Record-setting and record-tying performances highlight big week
AROUND THE LEAGUE
More W’s for Waterloo…The Waterloo Black Hawks have continued an impressive win streak that has now reached 11 after a pair of weekend victories. It is one win shy of the team record set during the 2002-03 season and is the longest winning streak in the USHL since the Green Bay Gamblers earned 15 consecutive victories during the 2009-10 campaign. Waterloo has not lost in regulation since November 22nd, compiling a 16-0-1 record since that time. Their 27 total victories are the most in the USHL. Four of their last five victories have come on the road and they now lead the League with 13 road wins this season. The Hawks defeated Team USA’s Under-18 squad on Saturday as goaltender Cam Johnson made 46 saves to earn the win in his debut with Waterloo after being acquired via trade earlier in the week. It was also the record-setting 530th win of the USHL career for head coach P.K. O’Handley.
Icy Road…The Indiana Ice didn’t give up much over the weekend in a two-game sweep of the Fargo Force to extend their road winning streak to eight. Already leading the USHL by giving up just a little more than 24 shots per game, they gave up only 24 total shots in the two wins. Goaltender Jason Pawloski stopped all 12 shots in Friday’s 2-0 win, his second shutout of the season and sixth straight road victory. On Saturday, Hayden Stewart made his debut with the Ice and stopped 11 of the 12 shots he faced in the 4-1 victory. He was just over five minutes away from recording his second shutout of the season. The Ice then equaled a team record on Wednesday morning when they collected their ninth straight road win following a 7-4 victory over Youngstown. The nine consecutive wins on the road ties the record they set during the 2010-11 season.
Away From Home…The Sioux City Musketeers snapped a three-game winless skid (0-2-1) with a pair of weekend road wins. They now have 10 victories away from Sioux City this season, tied for fourth in the USHL. Jake Montgomery scored less than a minute into Friday’s 1-0 overtime win against the Sioux Falls Stampede. It was his 30th USHL career goal and his League-leading fifth game-winner of the season. Kyle Hayton stopped all 32 shots he faced to earn his first USHL shutout and the 30th win of his career in a Musketeers uniform. Collin Olson then made 23 stops in Saturday’s 4-1 win against the Green Bay Gamblers. He has allowed just six total goals over five appearances with the Musketeers this season (1.45 GAA and .950 SV%). Waltteri Hopponen netted two goals on Saturday, giving him four goals over his last four games.
Rocking the Stable…The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders collected a pair of wins during the weekend, extending their win streak on home ice to four games. Defenseman Mark Auk netted the game-winner with less than two minutes remaining in Friday’s 4-3 victory over Green Bay, while Mitch Maloney tallied two goals. Alec Marsh scored a goal in both games, including the game-winner in Saturday’s 4-1 victory over Chicago. Frederik Tiffels also scored on Saturday and now has at least one point (2g, 3a) in each of the four games he has played since being acquired by the RoughRiders. Danny Tirone was in net for both victories and equaled a season high with 40 saves on Saturday.
Leader of the Jacks…Muskegon Lumberjacks forward Matt Iacopelli scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner, in Saturday’s 7-4 victory over the Youngstown Phantoms. His second goal was not only the game-winner, but his 25th tally of the season. That already ties the Lumberjacks record for most goals in a season, first established by Matt Berry during the 2010-11 season. Iacopelli has the second most goals in the USHL this season and has netted the game-winner in four of the last seven wins for Muskegon.
Make it Eight…Team USA forward Dylan Larkin scored a goal in both weekend contests for the Under-18 squad to extend his point streak to eight games during USHL play. He has netted a goal in five consecutive USHL contests, giving him 11 total goals over 14 games. The 17-year-old was recently tabbed as one of the highest rated North American skaters (#17) in the midterm rankings by NHL Central Scouting for the 2014 NHL Draft.
Besting the West…The Dubuque Fighting Saints earned two weekend victories against Western Conference opponents to extend their win streak to four games, three of which have been on the road. Dubuque is now 10-4-0 against Western Conference foes, the second best record of any USHL against teams outside their conference. Max McHugh netted the winner in Friday’s 3-2 victory over Des Moines, giving him three goals in a span of four games. Karson Kuhlman also added a goal, giving him four goals in a span of three contests. Seamus Malone tallied a goal in both games and goaltender Benjamin Johansson made 28 saves on Friday to improve to 3-0-0 with the Saints.
Star Points…The Lincoln Stars continued their streak of earning points in the standings as they have improved to 4-0-2 over their last six contests. They shutout the rival Omaha Lancers on Friday to even their season series at three wins each. Max Humitz netted his fourth goal in a span of five games during the victory, while three other players scored goals in the final minute of each period. Dominick Sacco scored with just four seconds remaining in the opening period, Brandon Smith added a goal with 36 seconds left in the second, and Thomas Carey added an empty netter with 31 seconds remaining in the third, his third goal in a span of four games.
Noteworthy…USHL leading scorer Jake Randolph added an empty net goal for the Omaha Lancers in Friday’s 4-1 win over Tri-City. It was the 30th goal of his USHL career and his 100th game in the League…Tony Calderone scored the lone goal for the Sioux Falls Stampede in their 2-1 loss to Des Moines on Saturday. It was the 40th goal of his USHL career as he was playing his 100th game in the League…Oskar Norlov scored both goals for the Des Moines Buccaneers in Saturday’s 2-1 win. It was his first two goals in the USHL…Nick Schmaltz scored a goal in both weekend contests for the Green Bay Gamblers and is now one shy of 30 goals for his USHL career…Joel L’Esperance scored a pair of goals for the Tri-City Storm in Saturday’s 5-3 loss to Dubuque. It was his sixth multi-goal game of the season…Chase Hatcher made his debut with the Muskegon Lumberjacks over the weekend and scored a goal in both contests. The 19-year-old is the son of NHL veteran Derian Hatcher…Chicago Steel forward Robby Jackson scored three of his team’s five goals during the weekend…After missing six weeks due to injury, Willem Nong-Lambert scored a goal for the Des Moines Buccaneers in his return on Friday...Trey Bradley netted his first USHL goal for the Youngstown Phantoms in Saturday’s loss to Muskegon…Kiefer Sherwood has tallied four goals over his last three games for the Youngstown Phantoms…One day after being acquired in a trade by the Tri-City Storm, Conner Valesano dished out an assist and had the deciding shootout tally in the 4-3 shootout win over Lincoln on Tuesday.
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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