A recap of action from the final night of the regular season.
Dubuque Fighting Saints 4 @ Team USA 7
Christian Fischer recorded a hat trick as Team USA closed out their season earning their 30th USHL victory of the year. Fischer started things by scoring his first just over four minutes after the opening faceoff, but Dubuque would take the lead after Dylan Gambrell tallied his 14th of the season four minutes later and Shane Eiserman scored his 20th USHL career goal just before the period expired. Team USA’s Under-17 squad then scored three goals in less than five minutes in the third as Nick Boka, Ryan Wagner, and Brendan Warren all found the net. Seamus Malone responded for Dubuque a couple minutes later with his fourth goal over his last four games. Defenseman Zach Werenski scored just 37 seconds into the third for Team USA, but Dubuque would respond a few minutes later on the 25th of the season for Karson Kuhlman. Fischer would close out the victory for Team USA as he scored midway through the final period and then completed his first USHL hat trick with an empty netter in the closing moments.
Sioux City Musketeers 5 @ Youngstown Phantoms 3
Four goals in the third period led the Musketeers to their 38th win of the season. Trevor Olson got it going early for Sioux City with a goal just 1:48 into the game, but the Phantoms responded to take the lead after goals by Tommy Parran and Josh Melnick. After a scoreless second period, Cedric Lacroix tied the game early in the third with his second goal in as many nights. Conor Lemirande put the Phantoms back on top when he scored shorthanded, but the Musketeers would then score three goals over a span 4:25 to finish off the victory. Bobo Carpenter netted his second goal of the weekend, Joe Snively tallied his 14th of the season, and Joel L’Esperance scored his 27th of the season to lead the Musketeers win. Collin Olson made 26 saves to earn his third win over his last four appearances in net for Sioux City.
Green Bay Gamblers 4 @ Muskegon Lumberjacks 3
Matt Weis scored two goals, including the game-winner, to lead Green Bay to the victory and earn the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Weis netted his first just 1:36 after the opening faceoff and Ryan Siroky made it a 2-0 lead midway through the period as he extended his goal streak to three straight games. Sebastian Weberg scored shorthanded, his 20th USHL career tally, to make it 3-0 in the second period, but Muskegon came alive as Cullen Hurley netted a goal a few moments later for Muskegon and Jack Rowe tallied his fifth goal over last four games to cut the lead to one. Trevor Morbeck then tied the game with his second goal in as many nights for the Lumberjacks, but Weis would get the winner midway through the final period, his fourth goal over the last three games. Jared Rutledge made 30 saves in net to earn his 40th USHL career victory.
Indiana Ice 5 @ Chicago Steel 2
Three goals in the third period helped the Ice earn the victory and finish with the second best regular season record in the USHL. Defenseman Matt Roy put the Ice on the board midway through the first period, and then Patrick Newell made it 2-0 with the lone goal of the second frame. The third period was full of action as Robby Jackson scored his 28th of the season for Chicago, but Brian Pinho responded 1:17 later with his 28th of the year for Indiana. Scott Conway then tallied his 33rd goal of the season and sixth goal over the last three games for the Ice. Fredrik Olofsson netted a late power play goal for the Steel, but it wouldn’t be enough as Tyler Andrew closed it out for Indiana with an empty netter. Jason Pawloski made 31 saves to collect his 27th victory of the season, tied for the most among USHL goaltenders.
Lincoln Stars 3 @ Tri-City Storm 2 (SO)
Dominick Sacco scored in regulation and the shootout to lead the Stars to victory and close out their season with a two-win weekend. Tri-City scored first as Austin Poganski netted his 20th USHL career goal with only a minute remaining in the opening period. Conner Valesano then made it 2-0 a little more than a minute into the second period. Sacco pulled the Stars within a goal later in the period, and then Magnus Hoff tied the game midway through the third period with his 15th goal of the season. Following a scoreless overtime session, Sacco and John Simonson converted in the shootout for Lincoln while goaltender Michael Bitzer stopped 2-of-3 Storm attempts to go along with his season high 47 saves.
Des Moines Buccaneers 1 @ Fargo Force 2 (SO)
Defenseman Neal Goff had the lone tally of the shootout to lead the Force to the victory and help them finish their season earning points in each of their last three games (2-0-1). Defenseman Connor Schmidt put the Buccaneers on the scoreboard first, tallying shorthanded less than eight minutes into the contest. After no scoring the second period, defenseman Meirs Moore tied the game early in the third. Another defenseman, Teemu Kivihalme, had the opportunity to put Fargo ahead on a penalty shot, but Des Moines goaltender Billy Christopoulos turned him aside for one of his 39 saves. The game would head to overtime, but after no scoring in the extra frame, the game went to the shootout where Goff converted his attempt and Fargo goaltender Brendan Jensen stopped all three Des Moines attempts to go along with his 28 saves for the victory. It was his 30th USHL career win for the Force.
Cedar Rapids RoughRiders 2 @ Waterloo Black Hawks 3 (SO)
Jake Horton scored in the ninth round of the shootout to help the Black Hawks win and clinch the best record in the USHL this season. The opening period was scoreless despite the Hawks firing 15 shots on net. Andrew Poturalski put Cedar Rapids on the scoreboard early in the second, extending his point streak to nine games and giving him 100 USHL career points. Drew Melanson responded for Waterloo midway through the period with his 30th USHL career goal. The teams again traded goals in the third as Dylan Steman netted his 13th of the season for the Riders and Peter Krieger tallied his 26th of the year for the Hawks less than four minutes later. The game went to a scoreless overtime that was followed by an epic shootout. After no player had scored through the first eight rounds, Horton sealed it in the ninth round for Waterloo. Cam Johnson made 21 saves and stopped all nine Cedar Rapids shootout attempts to earn his seventh straight victory. Danny Tirone was stellar in net for the Riders, making a season high 51 saves and stopping 8-of-9 in the shootout.
Omaha Lancers 4 @ Sioux Falls Stampede 2
Four different Lancers scored a goal as they closed out the regular season posting a 3-1-2 record over a six-game road stretch. Tyler Vesel got things going early as he netted his 33rd of the season just 1:23 after the opening faceoff, and then Brian Williams made it 2-0 a few minutes later. Ryan Tait extend the lead seven minutes into the third with his 16th of the season, but Keith Burchett would respond three minutes later to get the Stampede on the board. Burchett added his second of night in the third period, but it would be all the closer Sioux Falls would get as Gage Hough sealed the win with an empty netter in the final moments for Omaha, his 24th goal of the season. Cole Bruns made 25 saves to collect his 17th win of the season in net for the Lancers. Jake Randolph tallied two assists in the game, setting the USHL Tier 1 era (2002-present) record for assists in a season with 60.
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).
It’s not just hockey. It’s the USHL.
Tag(s): Top Story