A recap of Friday night playoff action in the USHL.
Omaha Lancers 4 @ Sioux City Musketeers 3 (OT)
(Sioux City leads series 2-1)
Jake Randolph scored the winner in overtime to help the Lancers take Game Three and push the series against the Musketeers to a fourth game. Omaha came out firing in the first period, putting 10 shots on goal and allowing none for Sioux City, but the game remained scoreless as Musketeers goalie Kyle Hayton stopped all 10 Omaha shots. Trevor Olson got Sioux City on the scoreboard early in the second period, his first USHL playoff goal, but the Lancers would respond with tallies from Tyler Vesel and defenseman Tucker Poolman later in the period. Vesel made the score 3-1 with less than six minutes to go in the third period, but the Musketeers would respond with goals from Adam Johnson and Avery Peterson over the next two minutes to tie the game and force overtime. Late in the first overtime session, Randolph netted the winner, his second goal of the series. Hayden Hawkey made 25 saves to record his first playoff victory while Hayton had 30 stops in the loss. The teams hit the ice on Saturday for Game Four in Sioux City.
Indiana Ice 1 @ Green Bay Gamblers 0
(Indiana wins series 3-1)
For the second consecutive night, Jason Pawloski posted a shutout as the Ice won Game Four to close out the series and advance to the Eastern Conference Final. Denis Smirnov scored with less than seven minutes to go in the first period, the second straight night he tallied the lone goal of the game for Indiana. The goaltenders were unbeatable after that as Pawloski finished the night with 22 saves while Jared Rutledge of Green Bay had 21 stops in the loss. Indiana won all three of their games in the series by shutout. They now await the winner of the Dubuque Fighting Saints and Cedar Rapids RoughRiders series.
Cedar Rapids RoughRiders 0 @ Dubuque Fighting Saints 1
(Dubuque leads series 2-1)
Kevin Reich stopped all 27 shots he faced to record his first USHL playoff shutout and lead the Saints to a victory in Game Three of the best-of-five series with Cedar Rapids. Following a scoreless first in which the goaltenders combined for 23 saves, including 16 by Danny Tirone of the Riders, Robby Darrar would score midway through the second period for Dubuque. It was his second goal of the series and the only scoring that Dubuque would need as Reich and the defense slammed the door on Cedar Rapids. Tirone made 32 saves in the loss. The teams return to action on Saturday in Dubuque for Game Four.
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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