Photo by Hickling Images
Bloomington Thunder  vs. Cedar Rapids RoughRiders 
A pair of third period goals gave Bloomington a sweep of the weekend and a 4-2 road victory over Cedar Rapids. Calen Kiefuk’s second of the season opening the scoring late in the first period, but Scott Perunovich responded for the RoughRiders 56 seconds later to tie the game at one before the first intermission. Cedar Rapids then took a 2-1 lead with under three minutes to play in the middle frame thanks to T.J. Walsh, but the Thunder’s Vladislav Dzhioshivili scored his second goal of the weekend with just 57 seconds remaining in the period to send the teams to the third period deadlocked at two. The game remained even through almost 18 minutes of the third before Mitchell Mattson broke the tie with his first of the year. Jake Durflinger then added an empty net goal to seal the victory. Logan Halladay stopped 19 of 21 shots for his third victory of the season.
Green Bay Gamblers  vs. Des Moines Buccaneers 
Green Bay has now won five straight games thanks to a 3-2 victory over the Buccaneers in Des Moines. The Buccaneers struck quickly with two goals in the first courtesy of Isaac Johnson and Collin Rutherford. Brock Caufield scored the only goal of the second period to cut the lead in half heading into the final 20 minutes. Casey Mittelstadt scored a power play goal to tie the game, which was followed by a Dante Palecco tally, assisted by Mittelstadt, to break the tie and ultimately give the Gamblers their fifth victory in as many contests. The two points by Mittelstadt now give him 20 on the season, keeping him atop the USHL scoring race. David Hrenak made 23 saves in the win, and Green Bay is now just two points shy of the top spot in the USHL standings.
Muskegon Lumberjacks  vs. Dubuque Fighting Saints 
Muskegon now sports a 6-2-0-0 road record thanks to a 3-2 victory over the Fighting Saints at the Mystique Ice Center. The win also put the Lumberjacks alone in third place in the Eastern Conference. The Saints jumped out to a 2-0 lead 12 minutes into the game with tallies from Taylor Brierley and Quinn Preston. Muskegon then responded with two goals of their own in the middle frame courtesy of Collin Adams and Marc Del Gaizo. Adams is now tied for third in the league with 15 points (9G, 6A). The score remained even until Will Smith broke the tie with just 2:58 to play in the game to give the Lumberjacks a 3-2 lead, which they were able to hang on to. Keith Petruzzelli is now 7-2-0-0 on the season thanks to a 22-save performance.
Chicago Steel  vs. Madison Capitols  (OT)
After winning 10 straight games to start the year, Chicago has now dropped three straight thanks to a 3-2 overtime loss at Madison. Despite those three losses, the Steel have gained a point in two of those contests. Both teams picked up a goal in the first period. Simon Sagissor opened the scoring 3:05 into the game before Minnesota State University, Mankato Reggie Lutz evened the score at one just two minutes later. Both the second and third periods came and went without any scoring, and the two teams headed to extra time still even at one goal apiece. Cole Hults tallied the game-winner 2:38 into the overtime period. It was the Lake Superior State commit’s first goal of his USHL career. Dryden McKay picked up the win between the pipes and now sits at 3-1-0-0 on the season.
Omaha Lancers – 2 at Sioux City Musketeers – 3 (OT)
The Musketeers also sport a five-game winning streak thanks to a 3-2 overtime victory at home over the Omaha Lancers and are now just two points out of the top spot in the Western Conference. After a scoreless opening period, second periods goals by Connor Ford and Aapeli Rasanen put Sioux City up 2-0 before Jacob Paganelli found the back of the net with just 49 seconds remaining in the period to make it a 2-1 game heading into the final 20 minutes. Michael Joyaux’s first of the season was the only goal of the third, which sent the teams into overtime tied at two goals each. About halfway through overtime, Jacob Wilson scored the game-winner for Sioux City to extend their winning streak. Princeton commit Ryan Ferland earned the first victory of his USHL career with an impressive 34-save performance.
Lincoln Stars – 4 at Sioux Falls Stampede – 5
In arguably the most exciting game of the night, Sioux Falls scored three times in the third period to help earn a 5-4 overtime victory at home over Lincoln. Recent Harvard commit Henry Bowlby scored the only goal of the opening period to give the Stars a 1-0 lead heading into the second. After Brandon Schultz doubled the lead to 2-0, 2016 Phase I first overall pick Gavin Hain tallied his second of the year to cut the Stampede deficit to one before the third period. Jake Nielsen put Lincoln up two goals for the second time in the game before Jaxon Nelson made it a one-goal game once more. Bowlby scored his second goal of the game to give the Stars a 4-2 lead with just 5:23 to play, but Alex Stevens and Will Garin scored twice in 2:14 to tie the game at four and bring the game to overtime. Eric MacAdams ended the proceedings just 1:09 into extra time to give the Stampede the win and move Sioux Falls just three points out of a top-four spot in the Western Conference. Mikhail Berdin stopped 28 of 32 shots in the win.
Youngstown Phantoms – 0 at Waterloo Black Hawks – 1 (SO)
In the most defensive game all season long, Kevin Charyszyn scored in the fifth round of a shootout to give Waterloo a weekend sweep of the Youngstown Phantoms. The Black Hawks remain atop the Western Conference standings and are just one point shy of the top spot in the USHL. The two teams combined for just 47 shots through 67 minutes of play. Both teams penalty killing units were outstanding, finishing a combined 6/6 on the night. After neither team was able to find the back of the net through those 67 minutes, the game went to a shootout. Robbie Beydoun and Ivan Kulbakov both stopped the first four shots in the shootout they faced, and in the fifth round, Beydoun turned Brett Murray aside and Charyszyn beat Kulbakov to secure the victory for Waterloo. Beyoun stopped all 25 shots he faced for his third shutout of the season, tied for most in the league. He also leads the league in both GAA (1.23) and SV% (.955).
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.