AROUND THE LEAGUE
Rewriting the Record Books…The Waterloo Black Hawks are continuing to win games, and doing so at a record pace. Following a weekend set in which they outscored their opposition 12-1 over two games, the Hawks pushed their winning streak to 15 games and have not lost in regulation for 21 straight games (20-0-1). The 21 consecutive games without a regulation loss established a new USHL record, surpassing the 20-game stretch by the Rochester Mustangs in 1986. During their 15-game win streak, Waterloo has outscored their opponents 71-30, including 23-5 over their last five contests. The winning streak is the longest in the USHL since the Green Bay Gamblers won 15 straight during the 2009-10 and is one shy of equaling the USHL Tier 1 era (2002-present) record of 16 set by the Sioux Falls Stampede during the 2005-06 season.
Masked Man…Goaltender Cal Petersen was between the pipes for both weekend victories for the Waterloo Black Hawks and stopped 56-of-57 shots he faced, including a 34-save effort in Saturday’s 7-0 win against the Sioux City Musketeers to post the fifth shutout of his USHL career. It was also his 47th victory in a Black Hawks uniform, tying for the most wins in team history (Matt DiGirolamo, 2006-08). The 2013 NHL Draft pick of the Buffalo Sabres has won each of his last 12 appearances and leads USHL goaltenders with 23 wins this season.
Enough of That…The Fargo Force were also recently part of a streak, but one they are glad is now behind them. They earned a 5-2 victory against the Omaha Lancers on Friday, snapping a 17-game winless skid (0-15-2). Though they were outshot 47-23, goaltender Mathias Israelsson made 45 saves to earn the win for Fargo. Jack Rowe tallied a pair of goals and Andrew McDonald netted the game-winner. It was the first victory in five meetings with the Lancers this season as the Force had been outscored 15-4 in the four previous meetings, including being shut out twice. The victory for the Force on Friday came in front of their third largest crowd of the season (3,850).
Stable for Seven…The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders twice won on home ice during the week to extend their winning streak at “The Stable” to seven. It is the longest win streak at home for the team since they closed out the 2010-11 season with 10 straight victories in Cedar Rapids. The Riders blanked their opponents in both home wins and have outscored the opposition 22-7 during the seven-game streak. Danny Tirone stopped all 18 shots he faced in Wednesday’s 1-0 victory against the Des Moines Buccaneers which was the first shutout by a RoughRiders goaltender since Jake Hildebrand recorded 24 saves in a 6-0 victory against Waterloo on March 24, 2012. The Riders again earned a shutout in Saturday’s 5-0 win against the Green Bay Gamblers, which included two goals by Carlos Fornaris, the first two goals of his USHL career.
Storming to Five Straight…The Tri-City Storm earned a weekend sweep over the Des Moines Buccaneers to extend their winning streak to five. It is the longest win streak for the Storm since winning five straight in November of 2012. They scored four goals in the third period of Friday’s 5-3 win. Chris Wilkie scored in the contest, his fifth goal in a span of five games. Newly acquired forwards Conner Valesano and Cody Milan then each converted in the shootout on Saturday to lead the 1-0 shootout win, the fourth straight win on home ice for the Storm.
Matching Shutouts…It was a goaltender duel on Saturday between the Tri-City Storm and Des Moines Buccaneers. Jacob Johansson stopped all 30 shots he faced through regulation and overtime for the Storm while Billy Christopoulos made 40 saves for the Bucs. It was the third shutout of the season for Johansson and the second of the year for Christopoulos who was celebrating his 20th birthday. The Storm would eventually get the victory when Johansson stopped 3-of-4 Des Moines attempts in the shootout.
Big Period…The Dubuque Fighting Saints scored five goals in the second period of Friday’s 7-3 victory over the Youngstown Phantoms. It was the most goals they had scored in a single period this season and led them to their 15th home win, tied for the most in the Eastern Conference. Five different Saints scored in that second period, including Seamus Malone who netted his fifth goal in a span of six games.
Tales From the Road…The Youngstown Phantoms put a halt to a six-game losing streak when they earned a 5-3 win against Dubuque on Saturday. It was also the team’s first win on the road since November 23rd. Forward J.J. Piccinich netted the game-winner, his third goal over the last four games and the 25th tally of his USHL career. Kyle Connor also scored in the victory, the 35th goal of his USHL career. Seam Romeo made 27 saves to post the win for Youngstown. The Phantoms are now 4-3-0 in their last seven regular season games in Dubuque over the last three seasons. Only the Green Bay Gamblers have as many wins in Dubuque over that same span.
Sound the Horn…One week after scoring the game-winner against the Sioux Falls Stampede, Christian Horn scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner, for the Stampede in Saturday’s 5-2 victory over Fargo. He was acquired earlier in the week via trade and currently leads the USHL with six game-winning goals.
Noteworthy…Green Bay Gamblers goaltender Cam Hackett made a season high 35 saves in the 3-2 victory over Lincoln on Friday to collect the first USHL win of his career…Hayden Stewart made 33 saves for the Indiana Ice in Thursday’s 4-1 win against Team USA. He improved to 3-0-0 since being acquired by the Ice and has allowed just one goal in each of his three wins…Indiana forward Dwyer Tschantz has scored a goal in six of the last seven games, two of which have been game-winners…Chicago Steel forward Robby Jackson netted the game-winner in Friday’s 4-3 victory over Sioux City. Three of his last seven goals have been game-winners…Scott Pooley scored both goals for the Muskegon Lumberjacks in their 2-1 win against Indiana on Saturday. He is now second on the team with 14 goals this season…Omaha Lancers forward Tyler Vesel netted the winner in overtime, his USHL-leading 29th goal of the year, during the 2-1 victory against Chicago on Saturday. It was the 16th home win of the season for the Lancers, tying for the League lead…Waltteri Hopponen scored a goal for the Sioux City Musketeers in Friday’s 4-3 loss to Chicago. It was his sixth goal in a span of six games…Playing his fourth USHL game, Eduard Simun tallied his first USHL goal for the Sioux Falls Stampede in Saturday’s 5-2 win against Fargo.
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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