Photo by Hickling Images
Des Moines Buccaneers  vs. Chicago Steel  (SO)
The Buccaneers overcame a 4-0 third period deficit to come back and deliver the Steel their first home loss of the season. After a scoreless opening frame, Johnny Walker and Matt Kiersted gave Chicago a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes of play. Walker’s goal extended his league-leading point streak to nine games. The Steel would then double their lead to 4-0 seven and a half minutes into the third period courtesy of tallies from Jake Jaremko and Corson Green. Des Moines then stormed back with four goals in six and a half minutes to tie the game at four, with Solag Bakich, Cameron Orchard, Julian Napravnik and Collin Rutherford all finding the back of the net. Following a scoreless overtime period, David Keefer scored the only goal of the shootout to give Des Moines the victory and the Steel their first loss on home ice. Jan Ruzicka stopped 30 shots for the Buccaneers in the victory.
Muskegon Lumberjacks  vs. Dubuque Fighting Saints 
Muskegon suffered only their second road loss of the season by way of a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Dubuque Fighting Saints at the Mystique Ice Center. The teams were scoreless through 20 minutes of play. Colin Theisen opened the scoring three minutes into the second period to give Dubuque a 1-0 lead. North Dakota commit Collin Adams responded four minutes later to even the score before Theisen scored a shorthanded goal, his second of the game and fifth of the season to give the Fighting Saints they wouldn’t relinquish for the remainder of the game. Zach Solow added a pair of assists and Jaxon Castor stopped 20 of 21 shots for his fifth victory of the year.
Green Bay Gamblers  vs. Cedar Rapids RoughRiders 
Green Bay now sports a four-game winning streak after a 7-3 road victory over Cedar Rapids at The Stable. Five players tallied multiple points for the Gamblers - last week’s CCM/USHL Defenseman of the Week Connor Mackey (2G), John Leonard (2G), Jason Dhooghe (2A), Dante Palecco (2A), Matt Jennings (2A), and Casey Mittelstadt (1G, 3A). Mittelstadt now leads all USHL players in scoring with 18 points (7G, 11A) on the season. Green Bay scored twice in the first period, four times in the middle frame, and once in the final 20 minutes. Special teams were a big key in the win as Green Bay finished 3/4 on the power play and 6/6 on the penalty kill. Dalton Messina, Jason Polin and Matt Kidney were the goal scorers for Cedar Rapids. Maksim Zhukov is now on a three-game winning streak thanks to a 23-save performance.
Lincoln Stars  vs. Fargo Force 
A pair of third period goals lifted the Force to a 3-2 home victory over the Stars. Ethen Frank opened the scoring in the first period to give Lincoln a 1-0 lead before Michael Graham tied the game at one, where the two teams would stand heading into the first intermission. Jake Nielsen scored the only goal of the second period to put the Stars up 2-1 after 40 minutes of play. Jack Adams scored his ninth of the season in the third period to tie the game then added his tenth of the year, most in the league, to give Fargo the lead. Adams is now on a three-game goal streak. The Force were able to hold on in the final four minutes for the victory. Matthew Murray turned 34 of 36 shots aside the pick up the victory.
Bloomington Thunder  vs. Madison Capitols 
Bloomington scored twice in the second and three times in the third to earn a 5-1 road victory over Madison. The Thunder outshot the Capitols 18-5 in the first period but were unable to solve Madison goaltender Dryden McKay, and the two teams headed into the first intermission scoreless. Calen Kiefuk gave the Thunder a 1-0 lead in the second period and Jake Durflinger doubled the advantage to 2-0 just five minutes later. Goals by Kiefuk, Sean Harrison and Vladislav Dzhioshvili broke the game opened in the third period. Mick Messner tallied the lone goal for Madison. Logan Halladay made 31 saves in the victory, his second of the campaign.
Sioux Falls Stampede  vs. Sioux City Musketeers 
In a back and forth, entertaining tilt, the Sioux City Musketeers knocked off the Sioux Falls Stampede 5-4 to extend their winning streak to four games. Both teams scored twice in the opening period – Jack Doremus and Jason O’Neill for the Stampede and Eeli Tolvanen and Connor Ford for the Musketeers. Tolvanen and Doremus then scored in the middle frame to send the teams into the third period tied at three. After Matt Quercia gave Sioux Falls a 4-3 lead, JC MacLean scored his first of the season to tie the game with eight minutes remaining in the game. Just over five minutes later, Aapeli Rasanen’s second goal of the year netted the game-winner gave the Musketeers the win. Tolvanen and Rasanen both had tallied a goal and assist in the win and Matiss Kivlenieks made 20 saves to move to 8-2-1-0 on the season.
Omaha Lancers  vs. Tri-City Storm 
The defending champs have now tallied at least one point in five straight games thanks to a 4-1 home victory over in-state rival Omaha. Adam Goodsir and Charlie Kelleher put the Storm up 2-0 through 20 minutes of play. After a scoreless middle frame, Bryan Yoon gave Tri-City a 3-0 advantage with a power play tally. Filip Suchy’s third goal of the season cut the lead to 3-1 before Linus Weissbach sealed the victory at 11:47 of the third period. Alex Limoges dished out an assist to move his point streak to eight games. Weissbach also registered an assist, and Dayton Rasmussen stopped 21 of 22 shots to earn the win between the pipes.
Youngstown Phantoms  vs. Waterloo Black Hawks 
Waterloo remains alone atop the Western Conference standings with a 5-3 home victory over the Youngstown Phantoms. Brett Murray gave Youngstown a 1-0 lead two minutes into the game, but Yuki Miura and Nick Swaney scored 71 seconds apart late in the frame to put the Black Hawks up 2-1 through 20 minutes. Waterloo then tacked on a pair in the second period courtesy of Shane Bowers and Chase Pilawski to go up 4-1 through two periods. The Phantoms cut the lead to 4-3 with goals from Nicolas Werbik and Austin Pooley, but Mikey Anderson tallied an empty netter with just 24 seconds remaining to ice the game for Waterloo. Both Bowers and Anderson had a goal and assist each, and Severi Isokangas stopped 17 shots to move to 5-1-0-0 on the season.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 15th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2016-17. 30 or more players from the USHL have been selected in four consecutive NHL Drafts, and more than 400 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.