Below are five takeaways from Saturday's USHL games:
5. Farabee Leads U18s
Team USA forward Joel Farabee is considered an A-rated player according to NHL Central Scouting and showed why on Saturday, as he led the U18s to a 4-2 victory over the Central Illinois Flying Aces at USA Hockey Arena. The Boston University commit picked up three points (1G, 2A) on the night and now leads all players on the U18s with 11 points (5G, 6A) through seven USHL games. K'Andre Miller added two points (1G, 1A) of his own, and Team USA also picked up tallies from Jonathan Gruden and Bode Wilde in the victory. Drew DeRidder was stellar once again between the pipes, stopping 25 of the 27 shots he faced to move to 5-0-0-0 in USHL competition. Team USA is in a great position in the standings, as they sit just six points out of the top spot in the Eastern Conference with at least three games in hand on all four teams above them.
4. Fargo on a Roll
The league-leading Fargo Force have officially started another winning streak, as they knocked off the Waterloo Black Hawks 4-2 to earn their third straight victory and pick up their USHL-leading 11th road win of the season. Special teams was big for the Force in the win, as they scored three times on the man advantage while only allowing Waterloo to finish 1/5 on the power play. William Fallstrom, A.J. Drobot and Jacob Nordqvist all tallied on the power play, and Mark Senden added an empty-net goal late in the game to seal the victory. Fallstrom added two assists for a three-point night, Jacob-Schmidt Svejstrup dished out two helpers of his own and University of Michigan commit Strauss Mann was busy in goal but played extremely well, stopping 43 of the 45 shots he faced for his third straight victory. Fargo now sits alone atop the Western Conference standings with 32 points.
3. Lucky #7
A pair of teams had strong offensive showings on Saturday night, as the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders and Chicago Steel both found the back of the net seven times in their respective victories. Cedar Rapids knocked off in-state rival Dubuque 7-1 for their second straight victory. Several players got involved in the fun for the RoughRiders. Jordan Timmons was stellar again, picking up four points (2G, 2A) on the night, giving the UConn commit six points (4G, 2A) on the weekend. Nicholas Granowicz also scored twice and added an assist, while Marek Valach (1G, 1A), Roman Ahcan (1G, 1A), Sam Malinski (0G, 2A), and Matt Denman (0G, 2A) all contributed with multiple-point efforts. In total, 12 different RoughRiders picked up a point. Blake Pietila turned 31 of the 32 shots he faced aside for his second straight win. Chicago saw six different goal scorers in their 7-3 triumph over Madison. Nick Abruzzese scored twice, and Robbie Stukcer, Aaro Vidgren, Baker Shore, Brett Budgell and Samuel Bucek also lit the lamp. Bucek added a pair of assists, Jeremie Bucheler dished out two helpers, and both Shore and Vidgren added assists of their own to earn multiple points on the night. Justin Robbins made 29 saves on 32 Capitols shots for his first career USHL win.
2. Stampede Snap Phantoms' Streak
The Youngstown Phantoms came into Saturday's matchup against the Sioux Falls Stampede having won each of their last six games, but the Herd knocked off the Phantoms 4-3 in overtime, snapping Youngstown's winning streak. It was an entertaining game that saw three different lead changes, as the Stampede held leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-1 before the Phantoms scored twice in the last 12 minutes of regulation - one of those goals was scored by Max Ellis to extend his point streak to 10 games - to earn the extra point and send the game into overtime. Kirill Panyukov, Matt Quercia and Reid Stefanson all found the back of the net in regulation for the Stampede, and Kevin Conley netted the overtime winner on the power play just under three minutes into the extra frame. Quercia and Panyukov each dished out an assist in the win, and Jaxon Stauber picked up his second win of the season with a 30-save performance. The Stampede have now won seven of their last 10 games and sit alone in third place in the Western Conference.
1. Lancers Lighting It Up
The Omaha Lancers extended their winning streak to six games and have now won eight of their last 10 contests thanks to a 3-0 shutout of the Sioux City Musketeers at Tyson Events Center. The two teams played the first two periods without either side finding the back of the net, sending the game scoreless heading into the final frame. The Lancers finally broke through five and a half minutes into the third period, with Filip Suchy scoring his fourth goal of the season to give his team the 1-0 lead. Aaron Grounds' first USHL goal doubled the Lancers advantage with just over three minutes to play in the game, and Suchy added his second goal of the night, an empty-net tally, to seal the victory and extend Omaha winning streak, now the longest active winning streak in the USHL. Zach Driscoll stopped all 18 shots he faced for his sixth victory and fourth shutout of the season.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 16th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2017-18. 30 or more players from the USHL have been selected in five 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.