A recap of Friday night action in the USHL.
Sioux Falls Stampede 2 @ Sioux City Musketeers 3 (OT)
Defenseman Garret Cockerill scored twice, including the winner in overtime, to lead the Musketeers to their sixth straight victory. The Stampede got on the scoreboard first as Ryan Schwalbe netted a goal with only 14 seconds remaining in the first period. Brandon Hawkins responded for Sioux City five minutes into the second period with his 22nd goal of the season. Christian Horn gave Sioux Falls the lead again early in the third, but Cockerill would tie it late in regulation to force overtime. Cockerill then converted on the power play just 41 seconds into the overtime session as the Musketeers finished a five-game homestand a perfect 5-0-0. Collin Olson made 33 saves to earn the win while Art Brey had 30 saves in the loss.
Tri-City Storm 4 @ Lincoln Stars 2
Austin Poganski netted two goals to lead the Storm to the victory and help them snap a five-game losing streak. After a scoreless first period, the Storm scored three straight goals in the second. Poganski started it just under five minutes into the frame. Garrett Gamez made it 2-0 and Poganski added his second tally of the game just 14 seconds later to extend the lead. Lincoln would break up the scoring stretch when John Simonson tallied late in the period, extending his goal streak to four games. Brandon Smith cut the lead to one goal with his 14th tally of the season, but Kyle Eastman would seal it for Tri-City with a shorthanded goal. Jacob Johansson made 35 saves to earn the win as the Storm wrapped up a six-game road stretch.
Muskegon Lumberjacks 3 @ Cedar Rapids RoughRiders 6
Six different players scored a goal as the RoughRiders extended their winning streak to give games. Andrew Oglevie started it early for Cedar Rapids as he scored just over two minutes after the opening faceoff. Dylan McLaughlin and Carlson Fornaris then scored 57 seconds apart early in the second period to extend the lead to 3-0. Late in the second, former Rider Jack Rowe scored his 30th USHL career goal to put Muskegon on the board. Alec Marsh put the lead back up to three midway through the third before Matt Iacopelli responded with his 32nd of the season less than a minute later. The teams traded goals again as Andrew Gaus scored for the Riders and Chris Dodero responded only 58 seconds later. Dylan Steman would then close out the victory for Cedar Rapids with an empty netter in the final moments. Danny Tirone made 31 saves to earn the win.
Chicago Steel 4 @ Des Moines Buccaneers 1
Cale Morris made 31 saves to lead the Steel to their fourth straight victory. Chicago got on the scoreboard first as C.J. Smith netted his 18th of the season late in the first period. Brian LeBlanc then made it 2-0 late in the second period, but Patrick Grasso cut the lead in half only 31 seconds later. It would be all that Des Moines would get however as Danny Fetzer scored his 10th of the season early in the third and Artem Artemov added an empty netter in the closing moments. It was the seventh win over the last eight starts for Morris who made 17 of his 31 saves in the third period.
Waterloo Black Hawks 7 @ Fargo Force 0
Cam Johnson stopped all 18 shots he faced from his former team to record the shutout and give Waterloo its League-leading 33rd win of the season. The Black Hawks got on the board early as Patrick Russell netted his 21st of the year just over a minute after the opening faceoff and Tim Lappin made it 2-0 with a goal late in the period. Waterloo then dominated special teams in the second period as Alec McCrea scored shorthanded less than two minutes in and Blake Winiecki and Hayden Shaw scored on the power play just 21 seconds apart. Tyler Sheehy netted his 15th of the season early in the third period and John Wiitala closed out the scoring late in regulation. Johnson collected his 20th USHL career victory as he improved to 4-1-0 since being acquired by the Black Hawks.
Youngstown Phantoms 7 @ Green Bay Gamblers 3
J.J. Piccinich scored twice as the Phantoms netted a season high seven goals on their way to victory. Piccinich started it off with his League-leading 13th power play goal five minutes into the contest. Matt Weis then took over for Green Bay as he scored two power play goals in a span of 3:27. Youngstown would regain the lead later in the period as Kiefer Sherwood and Zach Evancho both tallied goals. Piccinich then netted his 25th goal of the season midway through the second and Trey Bradley extended the lead with a goal in the closing seconds of the frame. Conor Lemirande scored early in the third for to make it five straight goals for Youngstown, but Sebastian Weberg would stop that stretch a little more than two minutes later with his 10th goal of the season. Josh Melnick closed out the game with a late empty netter for the Phantoms. Sean Romeo stopped 23 shots to earn his 41st USHL career win.
Omaha Lancers 1 @ Dubuque Fighting Saints 0
Hayden Hawkey stopped all 22 shots he faced to record his second shutout of the season and backstop the Lancers to their fifth straight win. It was a goaltending duel throughout the night between Hawkey and Kevin Reich of Dubuque. The game went almost two periods scoreless until Luca Frigo netted his 15th of the season late in the second period. It would be all the scoring needed for the Lancers as Hawkey was unbeatable, picking up his 16th win of the season. Reich would make 26 saves for Dubuque, but was saddled with his first regulation loss since joining the team.
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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