Photo by Hickling Images
BLOOMINGTON THUNDER  at MUSKEGON LUMBERJACKS  OT
Muskegon is now three points ahead of the Youngstown Phantoms for third place in the Eastern Conference standings thanks to a thrilling 2-1 overtime victory over the Bloomington Thunder at L.C. Walker Arena. Following a scoreless opening period that saw both teams put up 10 shots on goal each, the Thunder's Christiano Versich opened the scoring two minutes into the middle frame. The Colorado College commit has played well since joining his new team, as he has four points (1G, 3A) in his first four games with Bloomington. It remained a 1-0 Thunder lead until late in the period, when Muskegon's Casey Gilling tallied his 12th goal of the season to tie the game at one, giving the uncommitted forward at least one point in four of his last five games. Gilling also added an assist in the win, earning him five points (2G, 3A) in those five contests. After a scoreless final 20 minutes of play, the two teams headed to overtime. About halfway through the extra session, Zach Berzolla's fourth goal of the year gave the Lumberjacks the win. Keith Petruzzelli stopped 33 of the 34 Bloomington shots he faced for his fifth victory in his last six starts.
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.