Photo by Hickling Images
TEAM USA (U17)  at YOUNGSTOWN PHANTOMS  SO
Youngstown's Coale Norris scored the only goal of the first period to put the Phantoms up 1-0 through 20 minutes of play. 38 seconds into the middle frame, Tyler Weiss responded for Team USA with his sixth tally of the year to tie the game at one. Eight minutes later, Youngstown's Austin Pooley found the back of the net for the 16th time this year, tied for the team lead, to make it 2-1. The lead didn't last long, as Team USA's Jonathan Gruden tied the game at two just four minutes after Pooley gave the Phantoms the lead. After a scoreless final frame, the teams played a scoreless overtime period, sending the game to a shootout. In the shootout, Pierce Crawford, playing in just his second game with Youngstown, scored the only goal to give his team a 3-2 victory. Ivan Kulbakov has now won five of his last six starts thanks to a 22-save performance. Youngstown is now just one point out of second place in the Eastern Conference.
CHICAGO STEEL  at MUSKEGON LUMBERJACKS  OT
Chicago has now won four straight games thanks to their second straight Saturday overtime victory, this time knocking off the Muskegon Lumberjacks 3-2 in the front half of a home-and-home series. Muskegon struck quickly to score first, as Collin Adams' 21st goal of the year made it 1-0 Lumberjacks just 59 seconds into the game. It remained 1-0 until tallies from Chicago's Jack Badini and Marc Johnstone just three minutes apart halfway through the second period made it 2-1 in favor of the Steel. Chicago held that 2-1 advantage until late in regulation, when Garrett Van Wyhe tied the game with his fifth goal of the year with just 1:07 remaining, sending the teams to overtime. Late in the extra frame, Mitch Lewandowski won it for Chicago off a pass from Brannon McManus. Graham Lillibridge had two assists, and Ales Stezka stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced to give his team a four-point advantage atop the Eastern Conference standings,
LINCOLN STARS  at CEDAR RAPIDS ROUGHRIDERS 
Former RoughRiders forward Sam Sternschein opened the scoring with a goal against his former team halfway into the first period, and Lincoln held a 1-0 lead through 20 minutes of play. After a scoreless second period, the teams alternated goals to make it a 3-2 Stars lead midway through the third. Henry Bowlby and Ethen Frank scored for Lincoln, while Justin Cole and Bobby Hampton found the back of the net for Cedar Rapids. Jake Johnson's third goal of the year tied the game three minutes after Frank scored, and Hampton netted the game-winner, his second of the night, just 46 seconds later. Ben Foley dished out a pair of helpers, and Zack LaRocque made 25 saves on 28 shots to pick up the victory between the pipes for the RoughRiders.
DUBUQUE FIGHTING SAINTS  at DES MOINES BUCCCANEERS 
With their 3-2 victory over Dubuque, Des Moines remains just two points out of second place in the Western Conference standings. Collin Rutherford put the Buccaneers up 1-0 with his eighth goal of the season late in the first period, and Colin Ugbekile doubled the lead four minutes into the middle frame. The Fighting Saints responded quickly with goals from Quinn Preston and Alex Steeves just 23 seconds apart later in the second to make it a 2-2 game heading into the final 20 minutes. Des Moines' Cam Orchard picked up the game winner eight minutes into the third with his 11th goal of the season to give Des Moines a 3-2 victory and their fourth straight win. Jan Ruzicka stopped 27 shots on 29 Dubuque attempts for his fourth straight victory in goal.
MADISON CAPITOLS  at FARGO FORCE 
Fargo picked up the weekend sweep of Madison with a 3-1 victory over the Capitols. After a scoreless first period, Cody Haiskanen's fourth goal of the season and fifth point of the weekend gave the Force a 1-0 lead before Keegan Ford tied the game for Madison five minutes later, making it a 1-1 game heading into the final 20 minutes. Shane McMahan put Fargo up 2-1 two minutes into the third, and Jacob Paganelli sealed the victory with an empty-net goal late in the game. Matt Murray picked up his second straight victory between the pipes with 24 saves on 25 shots in 54 minutes of work. Ryan Bischel relieved Murray late in the game and stopped both shots he faced. Fargo is now alone in fourth place in the Western Conference standings.
SIOUX CITY MUSKETEERS  at GREEN BAY GAMBLERS 
With their 6-5 victory over Green Bay, Sioux City picked up the weekend sweep of the Gamblers and remain atop the USHL standings. The Musketeers held a 4-2 lead through 20 minutes of play thanks to an Eeli Tolvanen hat trick, giving him 20 goals on the season, and a tally from Phillip Knies. John Leonard and Jared Spooner found the back of the net for Green Bay in the opening frame. Second period goals from Connor Ford and Jacob Wilson stretched the lead to 6-2, and despite a goal from Alexis Binner and two from Easton Brodzinski, the Gamblers were unable to complete the comeback, and Sioux City walked away with a 6-5 victory. Kristian Pospisil dished out three assists for the Musketeers, Aapeli Rasanen tallied a pair of helpers, and Matiss Kivlenieks made 39 saves for his sixth straight victory and league-leading 26th win of the year.
TRI-CITY STORM  at OMAHA LANCERS 
After Linus Weissbach opened the scoring 1:40 into the game, Omaha responded with three goals, courtesy of Brian Matthews, Cole Gallant and Filip Suchy to take a 3-1 lead into the second period. The Lancers extended the lead to 4-1 with Tyler Carpenter's first goal of his USHL career before Logan Drevitch made it a 4-2 game heading into the final frame. Cole Gallant picked up two goals in the third period, giving him the hat trick and giving his team a 6-2 victory. Noah LaLonde and Will Scherer dished out two assists each, and Tommy Nappier stopped 14 shots for his third win in his last four starts.
BLOOMINGTON THUNDER  at SIOUX FALLS STAMPEDE 
First period goals from August Von Ungern-Sternberg and Jason Smallidge, the first of his USHL career, put Bloomington up 2-0 through 20 minutes. The two teams then combined for nine goals in the middle frame, with the Thunder scoring five times and the Stampede tallying four times, giving Bloomington the 7-4 victory. The Thunder saw goals from Von Ungern-Sternberg, Alec Mehr, Vladislav Dzhioshvili and two from Sean Harrison, while the Stampede received tallies from Josh Passolt, Jack Doremus and two from Max Johnson. Wyatt Kalynuk tallied three assists for the Thunder, and Gabriel Mollot-Hill made 31 saves on 35 Sioux Falls shots for his ninth victory of 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.