Photo by David Mahncke Photography
BLOOMINGTON THUNDER  at TEAM USA (U18) 
The U18s jumped out to a 3-0 lead through 20 minutes of play thanks to goals from Josh Norris, Oliver Wahlstrom and Jacob Tortora. Tortora added his second of the game three minutes into the second period to extend the lead to 4-0, giving him 17 points (9G, 8A) in 16 USHL games this season. Scott Reedy and Brady Tkachuk found the back of the net 35 seconds apart in the final frame to make it a 6-0 game and complete the scoring. Grant Mismash added an assist to extend his USHL point streak to 14 games, and Quinn Hughes, Logan Cockerill and Michael Pastujov all dished out two helpers each. Dylan St. Cyr stopped all 14 shots he faced for his fifth straight win, 15th victory overall and second shutout this season.
FARGO FORCE  at MUSKEGON LUMBERJACKS 
Fargo moved into third place in the Western Conference standings with a 5-2 road win and a split of their weekend series with the Muskegon Lumberjacks. The Force jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period courtesy of Kevin O'Neil and Jacob Paganelli. Jack Adams picked up his USHL-leading 32nd goal of the season late in the middle frame to make it a 3-0 Fargo advantage, and Hank Crone extended the lead to 4-0 early in the final 20 minutes. Muskegon's Colby Bukes and Bo Hanson found the back of the net three minutes apart in the third to cut the lead to 5-2, but O'Neil's second of the game, and empty-net tally, made it a 6-2 game and completed the scoring. Blake Lizotte dished out two assists, giving him 43 on the season, second in the league. Matt Murray was stellar in goal, stopping 33 of the 35 Lumberjacks attempts he saw to move to 27-14-0-5 on the season.
YOUNGSTOWN PHANTOMS  at CEDAR RAPIDS ROUGHRIDERS  OT
Despite winning the game in overtime, Cedar Rapids trailed Youngstown 3-0 late in the second period thanks to first period goals from the Phantoms Austin Pooley and Alex Esposito, and a tally from Michael Karow with just under four minutes to play in the middle frame. The RoughRiders started the comeback 1:28 after Karow's goal with Dalton Messina's 11th of the season to make it a 3-1 game heading into the final 20 minutes of play. Seven and a half minutes into the third, Scott Perunovich made it a 3-2 game, and Tomas Vochozka tied the game less than five minutes later to send the teams to overtime. Less than two minutes into the extra frame, TJ Walsh found the back of the net to give Cedar Rapids a 4-3 come-from-behind victory. Perunovich and Trevor Zins had two helpers each, and Drew DeRidder made 18 saves for his 10th win of the year.
CHICAGO STEEL  at DES MOINES BUCCANEERS 
Chicago clinched a spot in the Clark Cup Playoffs for the first time since the 2007-08 season with a resounding 6-2 victory over Des Moines in Buccaneer Arena. The Steel lead 3-2 after a wild first period that saw Mitch Lewandowski, Brannon McManus and Reggie Lutz find the back of the net for Chicago, and Matt Hudie and former Steel defenseman Adam Parsells score for Des Moines. The Steel made it 5-2 in the second period thanks to goals from Eduards Tralmaks and Austen Long, and McManus tallied his second of the game and 18th of the season to make it a 6-2 game and complete the scoring. Tralmaks dished out three assists and McManus had two helpers, giving both players four points on the night, and Dayton Rasmussen made 28 saves on 30 Des Moines shots to move to 5-2-0-0 with Chicago.
OMAHA LANCERS  at GREEN BAY GAMBLERS 
Despite 25 combined shots in the opening 20 minutes, neither Omaha nor Green Bay were able to find the back of the net in the first period. The Gamblers then exploded for three goals in the middle frame, courtesy of John Leonard, Casey Mittelstadt and Easton Brodzinski. Mittelstadt's goal gives him 7 points (3G, 4A) in his 5 games since returning to the Gamblers lineup. The Minnesota commit has scored in 4 of those 5 games. The Lancers made it a 3-2 game nine minutes into the third with goals from Jack Randl and Brian Matthews, but Josh Kosack put the game away for Green Bay with an empty-net goal with 38 seconds remaining. Josh Dunne had two assists in the win, and David Hrenak made 28 saves on 30 Omaha shots for his 14th win of the season.
MADISON CAPITOLS  at LINCOLN STARS 
Lincoln is now just three points out of the fourth an final playoff spot int he Western Conference thanks to a 1-0 home shutout of the Madison Capitols. It was a hard-fought, defensive battle between the two teams, who were scoreless through the first 40 minutes of play. The Stars broke the scoreless tie early in the third period, as Gustaf Westlund found the back of the net for the seventh time this season to give his team the lead less than three minutes into the final frame. Lincoln held on for the final 17 minutes to pick up the win, their third straight victory. Christian Evers added the lone assist in the game, and Josef Korenar stopped all 18 shots he faced for his 12th win and second shutout of the season.
SIOUX FALLS STAMPEDE  at TRI-CITY STORM 
The teams traded goals in the opening frame, with David Brumm scoring for Sioux Falls and Wyatt Bongiovanni tallying for Tri-City, sending the teams into the second period tied at one goal apiece. The Storm then took a 3-2 lead in the middle frame, with Joseph Campolieto and Logan Drevitch finding the back of the net. Boston Bruins prospect Jack Becker scored in the second for the Stampede. Montgomery Graham extended the lead to 4-2 six and a half minutes into the third, but rookie Jaxon Nelson made it a one-goal game again with just under seven minutes to play. That's as close as Sioux Falls would get, as Josiah Slavin added an empty-net goal with 58 seconds remaining in the game to make it a 5-3 Storm victory. Slavin, Wyllum Deveaux and Jonathan Bendorf each dished out two assists, and Bowling Green commit Eric Dop stopped 22 of the 25 shots he faced for his seventh win of the season.
DUBUQUE FIGHTING SAINTS  at WATERLOO BLACK HAWKS 
Waterloo became the second Western Conference team to clinch a Clark Cup Playoffs berth thanks to a 2-1 victory over in-state and intra-conference rival Dubuque. The Black Hawks and Fighting Saints played to a scoreless tie through the first 40 minutes of play, with Waterloo holding a narrow 15-14 margin in shots on goal. Dubuque struck first in the final frame, as Alex Steeves scored shorthanded, his sixth goal of the season, to put his team up 1-0. Zach Solow added an assist on the goal for his league-leading 44th assist and 59th point of the season. Alex Limoges tied the game just 1:25 after Steeves goal, giving him 20 points (7G, 13A) in 14 games with Waterloo since being acquired in late February. The game appeared destined for overtime until Shane Bowers scored a power play goal with just 15 seconds remaining in the game to give the Black Hawks a dramatic 2-1 victory. The Boston University commit added an assist on Limoges' goal and now has 49 points (21G, 28A) on the season, good for ninth in the USHL in scoring. Peter Thome made 25 saves on 26 Dubuque shots for his fifth win 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.