A recap of Saturday night action in the USHL.
Waterloo Black Hawks 2 @ Team USA 1
Cam Johnson made 46 saves in his debut with the Black Hawks to lead them to their 11th consecutive victory. The game was almost scoreless through two periods of play until Peter Krieger netted his 12th of the season just eight seconds before the second period expired. Tyler Sheehy then made it a 2-0 lead midway through the third. Dylan Larkin cut the lead in half for Team USA’s Under-18 squad, his fifth straight USHL game with a goal, but that would be all that would get past Johnson as he made 20 of his saves during the final period. Johnson was acquired earlier in the week via a trade. The Hawks now have 27 wins, the most in the USHL, and the longest win streak in the League since the 2009-10 season.
Muskegon Lumberjacks 7 @ Youngstown Phantoms 4
Matt Iacopelli scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner, as the Lumberjacks wrapped up their eight-game road stretch. Muskegon controlled the first period scoring three goals. Chase Hatcher started things just three minutes into the contest, his second goal in as many nights, followed by Mason Jobst’s 15th USHL career goal and the first of the night for Iacopelli. Scott Pooley extended the lead early in the second before Trey Bradley got Youngstown on the scoreboard with his first USHL goal. Iacopelli then added his second of the game late in the period, his 25th goal of the season. The Phantoms made a push in the third with goals from Luke Stork, Keifer Sherwood, and third of the weekend for defenseman Tommy Parran but it wouldn’t be enough as Haralds Egle and Carson Gatt each tallied for Muskegon to close out the win. Eric Schierhorn made 27 saves to collect his fourth win over his last five starts.
Chicago Steel 1 @ Cedar Rapids RoughRiders 4
Danny Tirone tied his season high with 40 saves to lead the RoughRiders to their fourth straight win on home ice. Robby Jackson struck first for Chicago, scoring his third goal of the weekend just under four minutes into the contest. Judd Peterson then tied the game midway through the period on his 13th goal of the year. The RoughRiders took over in the second as they tallied three goals. Alec Marsch scored his second goal in as many nights, followed by tallies from Brennan Sanford and Frederik Tiffels. It was the fifth victory in the last six starts for Tirone.
Des Moines Buccaneers 2 @ Sioux Falls Stampede 1
The first two USHL goals for Oskar Norlov led the Bucs to the victory and helped them snap a four-game losing streak. Playing just his fourth game for Des Moines, Norlov netted his first USHL goal late in the second period before adding his second of the night midway through the second. Tony Calderone got Sioux Falls on the scoreboard early in the third period with his 40th USHL career goal, but that would be all the Stampede would get as goaltender Ryan Ruck made 35 saves to collect his third victory over his last four starts.
Lincoln Stars 4 @ Omaha Lancers 0
Jacob Nehama stopped all 26 shots he faced to collect his first USHL shutout and help the Stars even their season series with rival Omaha at 3-3. Dominic Sacco got the first goal of the game with just four seconds remaining in the first period. Max Humitz then tallied his fourth goal over his last five games midway through the second, and Brandon Smith added a goal in the final seconds of the frame. Thomas Carey closed it out with an empty netter in the final moments as Lincoln improved to 4-0-1 over their last five contests. It was the third straight win for Nehama.
Dubuque Fighting Saints 5 @ Tri-City Storm 3
Five different players scored a goal to lead the Saints to their fourth consecutive victory. Jacob Benson put Dubuque up midway through the first period, but Joel L’Esperance responded only 46 seconds later for the Storm. Eric Robinson gave the Saints the lead again in the second period, but the Storm responded again in short order as Chris Wilkie netted a goal 28 seconds later. Seamus Malone scored his second in as many nights and Robby Darrary tallied three minutes later to give Dubuque a two-gaol lead. L’Esperance added his second of the night early in the third, but it wouldn’t be enough as Shane Eiserman sealed it with a late empty net goal for Dubuque. Kevin Reich made 28 saves to earn the win while Hayden Lavigne had 40 stops in the loss.
Indiana Ice 4 @ Fargo Force 1
Denis Smirnov netted a pair of goals to lead the Ice to their eighth straight road win. Dwyer Tschantz scored his second goal of the weekend midway through the first before Smirnov netted his first of the night early in the second period. Smirnov tallied his second early in the third, followed by defenseman Josh Jacobs making it a 4-0 lead midway through the frame. C.J. Hayes broke up the shutout when he scored a late goal for Fargo. Goaltender Hayden Stewart earned the win in his debut with the Ice, stopping 11 shots. Indiana outshot Fargo 36-12 for the contest.
Sioux City Musketeers 4 @ Green Bay Gamblers 1
The Musketeers scored three goals in the third period on the way to their 10th road win of the season. Following a scoreless first period, Neal Pionk got Sioux City on the board early in the second. Nick Schmaltz responded for Green Bay less than seven minutes later, his second goal in as many nights. The Musketeers broke it open early in the third period as Zach Glienke and Brandon Hawkins scored 1:23 apart and Walterri Hopponen closed it out with an empty netter in the final moments. Collin Olson made 23 saves to earn the victory.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 12th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2013-14. A record 32 players were chosen in the 2013 NHL Draft and more than 300 players on team rosters last season have committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent. For more information, visit us on the web at www.USHL.com or visit the League’s social media platforms, including Facebook (www.facebook.com/ushlhockey), twitter (www.twitter.com/ushl), and YouTube (www.youtube.com/ushlinteractive). Fans can also watch USHL action all season long, live or on-demand via FASTHockey (ushl.fasthockey.com).
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