A recap of Saturday night action in the USHL.
Dubuque Fighting Saints 5 @ Team USA 3
Seamus Malone scored a pair of goals as the Saints snapped a four-game winless skid on the road (0-2-2). Dubuque took control of the game early as Karson Kuhlman netted his 18th of the season just over five minutes into the game, and Dylan Gambrell tallied his fifth goal over his last six games a few minutes later. Luke Kirwan got Team USA’s Under-17 squad on the board early in the second before Seamus Malone pushed the lead back up to two goals. Jordan Greenway would respond less than a minute later to pull Team USA within a goal heading into the second intermission. Defenseman Alexx Privitera scored his second goal in as many games early in the third to again make it a two-goal lead. USA made things interesting late in the game when they pulled their goalie in favor of the extra attacker and Colin White scored his 11th of the season with less than a minute to go, but Malone would seal it only seconds later with an empty net tally. Kevin Reich made 27 saves to earn the victory.
Chicago Steel 1 @ Indiana Ice 4
Denis Smirnov netted two goals as the Ice extended their win streak to three games in front of 12,100 fans during “Pack the House” night. Brian Pinho started things for the Ice midway through the first with his third goal of the weekend and sixth tally over his last six games. Robby Jackson evened the game midway through the second with his 19th goal of the season, but Smirnov scored six minutes later to put the Ice back in front. Smirnov then added his second midway through the third and Aidan Muir scored 34 seconds later to close out the victory for Indiana. Hayden Stewart made 19 saves to improve his record to 7-0-0 since joining the Ice.
Des Moines Buccaneers 4 @ Youngstown Phantoms 3 (OT)
Jake Jackson netted a goal in overtime as the Buccaneers responded with a victory after losing in overtime 24 hours earlier. Kiefer Sherwood put Youngstown on the board first when he scored with just under seven minutes to play in the opening period. Following a scoreless second frame, it would be a wild third. Danny Elser tied the game just 1:31 into the period, his third goal of the weekend, but Kyle Connor and Tyler Spezia scored in a span of 1:05 to put the Phantoms up by two goals. Jack Jenkins took over from there as he cut the lead to one and then added a second tally in the final minute of regulation to force the overtime period. Jackson then scored the winner with only 57 seconds left in the extra session to give the Bucs the dramatic victory. Billy Christopoulos made 30 saves in net to earn the win for Des Moines, his first victory since mid-December.
Waterloo Black Hawks 2 @ Muskegon Lumberjacks 3 (SO)
Haralds Egle had the lone shootout tally to give the Lumberjacks their second extra time win of the weekend. Muskegon got on the scoreboard just over four minutes into the game when defenseman Janik Moeser scored his third of the season, but Waterloo responded five minutes later on a Liam Pecararo goal. The teams again traded goals in the second as Matt Mendelson tallied just 47 seconds into the frame for the Lumberjacks before Tyler Sheehy netted his 16th of the year for the Black Hawks. After no scoring in the third and the overtime period, the teams went to a shootout where the goaltenders were unbeatable through six rounds. Egle finally broke through in the seventh round to send the Lumberjacks to the win. Eric Shierhorn made 38 saves before stopping all seven attempts he faced in the shootout to earn the victory.
Sioux Falls Stampede 3 @ Sioux City Musketeers 2
Art Brey made 38 saves to lead the Stampede to their 15th road win of the season and help them earn points for the seventh straight game (5-0-2). Dennis Kravchenko started the scoring for the Stampede midway through the first with a power play tally. Kyle Schmidt then evened the game for Sioux City, but Dakota Joshua responded just over two minutes later with a shorthanded goal to put Sioux Falls on top heading into the first intermission. Christian Horn extended the lead to two as he scored for the third straight contest, but Schmidt responded again a few moments later with his second of the night. It would be all the closer that the Musketeers would get as Brey shut the door from there, including stopping all 14 shots he faced in the third period to give the Stampede the win.
Lincoln Stars 5 @ Cedar Rapids RoughRiders 2
Five different players scored a goal as the Stars made it a two-win weekend. John Simonson struck first for Lincoln with his 20th goal of the season. Christian Lampasso made it 2-0 just over six minutes into the second frame, but Cedar Rapids responded to tie it on goals from Andrew Poturalski and Mark Auk. The Stars took control from there as Blake Christensen and Magnus Hoff scored 52 seconds apart late in the period to make it 4-2 headed into the second intermission. It was the third goal of the weekend for Hoff. David Parrottino then put the finishing touches on the Lincoln victory with a goal late in regulation. Michael Bitzer stopped 23 shots to earn his third straight win.
Omaha Lancers 2 @ Green Bay Gamblers 5
Dawson Cook scored twice as the Gamblers moved into a tie for fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings. Evan Tironese scored just over five minutes into the game for the Gamblers, but Luca Frigo responded for Omaha with his 18th of the season a little more than three minutes later. Cook then tallied a goal to give Green Bay a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes of play. Jake Randolph would tie the game again less than two minutes into the second, but a Ryan Lough shorthanded tally put Green Bay back on top for good. Cook added his second of the night midway through the third and Gavin Stoick chipped in an empty netter in the closing moments to give Green Bay the victory. Cam Hackett made 21 saves to collect his second victory of the season for the Gamblers.
Fargo Force 5 @ Tri-City Storm 4 (SO)
C.J. Hayes had the lone tally of the shootout as the Force won consecutive games for the first time since October. Andrew Zerban got it going early for Fargo as he extended his goal streak to three games just 1:36 after the opening faceoff. The Storm would take over after that, scoring three goals to close out the period as Conner Valesano, Kyle Eastman, and Cody Milan all found the back of the net. Austin Poganski then made it a 4-1 game midway through the second with his fourth goal over his last four games. Fargo responded shortly after as Mikey Eyssimont netted his ninth of the season. The Force then capitalized on special teams in the third period as Garick Gray and Tyler Hynes both scored on the power play to tie the contest and push the game to overtime. It was the fourth goal over the last six games for Hynes. Following a scoreless overtime, the teams went to a shootout where Hayes would eventually convert in the fifth round to give the Force the win. Brendan Jensen made 36 saves and stopped all five Tri-City shootout attempts to earn his first victory since late November.
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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