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USHL Alumni Roundup - NCAA Conference Tournaments, Championship Weekend

03/24/2022, 9:15am CDT

The United States Hockey League (USHL) had alumni on each of the six NCAA conference champion teams who were all crowned last weekend. 

Check out how the Championship weekend of the Playoffs played out, as well as the upcoming schedule for the NCAA Tournament.


Championship: AIC defeats Air Force, 7-0

  • AIC won the Atlantic Hockey Championship behind a game-leading, four-point performance (2-2-4) from Chris Dodero (Chicago Steel / Muskegon Lumberjacks / Lincoln Stars / Des Moines Buccaneers, 2012-15) and Zak Galambos (Omaha Lancers / Des Moines Buccaneers, 2014-15 & 2016-17) added a trio of points (1-2-3). Both Rian Rigali (Sioux City Musketeers, 2015-17) and Justin Cole (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, 2015-17) each picked up an assist and Alec Calvaruso turned aside all 18 of the shots Air Force sent his way for the Championship game shutout. 

Semifinals: AIC defeats Mercyhurst, 5-4

  • AIC punched its ticket to the Atlantic Hockey Championship game with a back-and-forth 5-4 win over Mercyhurst, spurred by a goal from Galambos along with assists from USHL alumni Rigali, Cole and Austen Long (Chicago Steel / Lincoln Stars / Omaha Lancers / Tri-City Storm, 2014-19) while Calvaruso made 17 saves in the win. Both Rylee St. Onge (Des Moines Buccaneers, 2018-19) and Dante Sheriff (Muskegon Lumberjacks / Fargo Force, 2017-18) both registered a pair of points for Mercyhurst, including a pair of goals for St. Onge and a goal and an assist for Sheriff while Kyle McClellan (Omaha Lancers, 2019-20) made 44 saves in the loss. Austin Heidemann (Green Bay Gamblers / Sioux Falls Stampede / Sioux City Musketeers, 2018-20) also scored for Mercyhurst in the Semifinal matchup. 

Semifinals: Air Force defeats RIT, 4-3 

  • Despite a goal from Dan Willett (Madison Capitols / Lincoln Stars / Bloomington Thunder / Muskegon Lumberjacks, 2012-17), RIT fell to Air Force in their Friday night Semifinal matchup.


Championship: Michigan defeats Minnesota, 4-3

  • Two-point performances from Mackie Samoskevich (Chicago Steel, 2018-21), Brendan Brisson (Chicago Steel / Green Bay Gamblers, 2018-20) and Thomas Bordeleau (USA Hockey National Team Development Program - NTDP, 2018-20) led Michigan to the Big Ten Championship. Dylan Duke (USA Hockey NTDP, 2019-21) scored while Matty Beniers (USA Hockey NTDP, 2018-20), Jonny Beecher (USA Hockey NTDP, 2017-19) and Luke Hughes (USA Hockey NTDP, 2019-21) added assists and Erik Portillo (Dubuque Fighting Saints, 2019-20) made 25 saves in the win. Matthew Knies (Tri-City Storm, 2018-21) scored twice and Jackson LaCombe (Chicago Steel, 2018-19) picked up a pair of assists for Minnesota, who earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.


Championship: Harvard vs. Quinnipiac, 3-2 (OT)

  • Harvard earned the ECAC Championship with an overtime game-winner from Matthew Coronato (Chicago Steel, 2019-21) as former Steel teammates Ian Moore (Chicago Steel, 2020-21) and Sean Farrell (Chicago Steel / USA Hockey NTDP, 2017-21), propelling all three to multi-point performances in the Championship game. Ryan Siedem (Central Illinois Flying Aces / Fargo Force / USA Hockey NTDP, 2017-19 & 2020-21) scored for Harvard while Marshall Rifai (Des Moines Buccaneers / Omaha Lancers, 2017-18) picked up an assist and Mitchell Gibson (Central Illinois Flying Aces, 2018-19) made 47 saves in the contest.  TJ Friedmann (Green Bay Gamblers, 2016-17) tied the game for Quinnipiac in the first period with Iivari Rasanen (Muskegon Lumberjacks, 2019-20)  and Joey Cipollone (Tri-City Storm, 2017-18 & 2019-20) picking up the assists before a third period goal, assisted by Wyatt Bongiovanni (Tri-City Storm / Des Moines Buccaneers / Muskegon Lumberjacks, 2015-18), sent the contest to overtime. Quinnipiac earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Semifinals: Quinnipiac defeats Colgate, 3-1

  • Quinnipiac advanced to the ECAC Championship game behind goals from Bongiovanni and Cipollone while Friedmann added an assist. The lone Colgate goal of the Semifinal matchup came from the stick of Griffin Lunn (Bloomington Thunder / Central Illinois Flying Aces / Sioux Falls Stampede, 2016-18). 

Semifinals: Harvard defeats Clarkson, 5-3

  • Big four point nights (2-2-4) from both Nick Abruzzese (Chicago Steel, 2017-19) and Coronato led Harvard to the ECAC Championship game as Farrell also added three points (1-2-3) in the win. USHL alumni rounded out the win with assists from Moore, Henry Thrun (USA Hockey NTDP / Dubuque Fighting Saints, 2017-19 & 2020-21) and Siedem while Gibson made 24 saves in the win. Clarkson held the lead going into the third period thanks to two goals (2-0-2) from Alex Campbell (Omaha Lancers, 2019-20) and a pair of assists from Noah Beck (Fargo Force, 2019-20) while Ayrton Martino (Omaha Lancers, 2020-21) also chipped in an assist. Ethan Haider (Sioux City Musketeers, 2019-20) made 29 saves in the Clarkson loss.


Championship: Massachusetts defeats Connecticut, 2-1 (OT)

  • Aaron Bohlinger (Waterloo Black Hawks, 2019-20) found the overtime goal for Massachusetts, securing the Hockey East Championship, with Bobby Trivigno (Waterloo Black Hawks, 2017-18) and Anthony Del Gaizo (Muskegon Lumberjacks, 2015-18) picking up the assists. Connecticut opened the scoring with a goal from Vladislav Firstov (Waterloo Black Hawks, 2018-19), assisted by John Spetz (Chicago Steel, 2015-20) before Trivigno tied things up with Colin Felix (Madison Capitols, 2017-18) picking up the assist. Matt Murray (Fargo Force, 2016-17) made 19 saves for Massachusetts in the win. 

Semifinals: Connecticut defeats Northeastern, 4-1

  • Connecticut earned its spot in the Hockey East Championship game as Chase Bradley (Omaha Lancers / Sioux City Musketeers, 2018-21) was the lone player with multiple points (0-2-2) in the contest while Firstov and Roman Kinal (Dubuque Fighting Saints, 2017-18) added goals in the game. Nick Capone (Tri-City Storm, 2018-20) registered an assist and Darion Hanson (Youngstown Phantoms, 2016-17) made 24 saves in the win. The lone Northeastern goal came from Aidan McDonough (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, 2018-19) with assists from Jordan Harris (Youngstown Phantoms, 2017-18) and Gunnarwolfe Fontaine (Chicago Steel, 2018-20). Northeastern, who won the Hockey East regular season title, earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. 

Semifinals: Massachusetts defeats Massachusetts-Lowell, 3-1

  • University of Massachusetts got goals from Garrett Wait (Waterloo Black Hawks, 2015-18), Trivigno and Jerry Harding (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders / Omaha Lancers / Bloomington Thunder, 2016-17 & 2018-19) while wait also recorded an assist (1-1-2) and both Josh Lopina (Lincoln Stars, 2018-20) and Scott Morrow (Fargo Force / Youngstown Phantoms, 2019-21) chipped in assists while Murray made 22 saves in the win. Matt Crasa (Fargo Force, 2020-21) scored the lone goal for Massachusetts-Lowell with an assist from Nick Austin (Madison Capitols, 2016-17). Massachusetts-Lowell earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.


Championship: Minnesota Duluth defeats Western Michigan, 3-0

  • Minnesota Duluth was spurred to the NCHC Championship by a multi-point game from Wyatt Kaiser (Dubuque Fighting Saints, 2019-20) and additional goals from Dominic James (Lincoln Stars, 2018-21) and Casey Gilling (Muskegon Lumberjacks, 2014-15 & 2016-17) while Koby Bender (Muskegon Lumberjacks / Chicago Steel, 2015-17) rounded out the scoresheet with an assist. 

Semifinals: Minnesota Duluth defeats Denver, 2-0

  • Minnesota Duluth got goals from Blake Biondi (Sioux City Musketeers / USA Hockey NTDP, 2018-20) and Kobe Roth (Des Moines Buccaneers, 2015-17) while Jesse Jacques (Green Bay Gamblers, 2017-18) added the lone assist in the Bulldogs’ Semifinals win. Denver earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. 

Semifinals: Western Michigan defeats North Dakota, 4-2

  • Ty Glover (Lincoln Stars, 2019-20) scored twice (2-0-2) while Max Sasson (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders / Waterloo Black Hawks / Muskegon Lumberjacks, 2017-21) scored a goal and added an assist (1-1-2) and both Michael Joyaux (Omaha Lancers / Chicago Steel / Youngstown Phantoms / Tri-City Storm, 2013-18) and Ronnie Attard (Tri-City Storm, 2016-19) each added an assist and Brandon Bussi (Muskegon Lumberjacks, 2018-19) made 21 saves in the win. Nick Portz (Tri-City Storm / Muskegon Lumberjacks, 2019-21) and Judd Caulfield (USA Hockey NTDP, 2017-19) each scored while Riese Gaber (Dubuque Fighting Saints, 2018-20), Mark Senden (Fargo Force / Des Moines Buccaneers, 2014-18) and Connor Ford (Sioux City Musketeers, 2016-17) all added an assist each. North Dakota earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.


Championship: Minnesota State defeats Bemidji State, 2-1 (OT)

  • Minnesota State won an overtime thriller to earn the CCHA Championship after a lengthy review overturned an initial game-winner for Minnesota State, Jack McNeely (Tri-City Storm / Muskegon Lumberjacks, 2014-17) found the actual Championship-clinching goal with assists from Nathan Smith (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, 2017-19) and Julian Napravnik (Des Moines Buccaneers, 2016-18). Brendan Furry picked up the Minnesota State regulation goal while Dryden McKay (Madison Capitols / Green Bay Gamblers, 2017-19) made 21 saves. Mattias Sholl (Youngstown Phantoms, 2020-21) made 29 saves for Bemidji State, keeping his team in the game. 

NCAA Tournament

Albany, New York Regional

Semifinals: Minnesota State vs. Harvard (Thursday, March 24 at 12 p.m. EST)
Semifinals: North Dakota vs. Notre Dame (Thursday, March 24 at 6 p.m. EST)
Regional Final: Saturday, March 26 at 4 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. EST

Loveland, Colorado Regional

Semifinals: Minnesota Duluth vs. Michigan Tech (Thursday, March 24 at 3 p.m. EST)
Semifinals: Denver vs. Massachusetts-Lowell (Thursday, March 24 at 9 p.m. EST)
Regional Final: Saturday, March 26 at 4 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. EST

Allentown, Pennsylvania Regional

Semifinals: Michigan vs. AIC (Friday, March 25 at 3 p.m. EST)
Semifinals: Quinnipiac vs. St. Cloud State (Friday, March 25 at 8 p.m. EST)
Regional Final: Sunday, March 27 at 4 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. EST

Worcester, Massachusetts Regional

Semifinals: Western Michigan vs. Northeastern (Friday, March 25 at 12 p.m. EST)
Semifinals: Minnesota vs. Massachusetts (Friday, March 25 at 6 p.m. EST)
Regional Final: Sunday, March 27 at 4 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. EST 

Frozen Four (Boston, Massachusetts)

National Semifinals: Thursday, April 7 at 5 p.m. EST
National Semifinals: Thursday, April 7 at 8:30 p.m. EST
National Championship Game: Saturday, April 9 at 8 p.m. EST

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