Photo by Hickling Images
Below are five takeaways from Friday's USHL games:
5. Steel Storm Back
The I-55 rivalry was renewed last night, as the Central Illinois Flying Aces traveled north to take on the Chicago Steel. The home team overcame a 3-1 deficit for a 5-4 comeback victory that moved them into sole possession of second place in the Eastern Conference. Chicago held a 1-0 through 20 minutes with Samuel Bucek's 12th goal of the season, but the visitors scored the first three goals of the middle frame, courtesy of Lucas Breault, Max Andreev and Jeremy Davidson, to go up 3-1. The Steel answered right back, however, as Travis Treloar's first USHL goal just 24 seconds after Davidson's tally made it a 3-2 game heading into the third period. Less than three minutes into the third, Jordan Seyfert's ninth of the year, set up by Blake McLaughlin, tied the score at three. Bucek's second goal of the game gave Chicago a 4-3 lead, but the Flying Aces tied the game once again at 14:11 courtesy of an Andreev shorthanded tally, the Cornell commit's second goal of the night. The game looked headed for overtime until Aaro Vidgren scored the game-winner with just 46 seconds remaining. Justin Robbins stopped 23 of the 27 shots he faced for his fourth victory of the season.
4. Buccaneers Best RoughRiders
The Des Moines Buccaneers put a hold on Cedar Rapids head coach Mark Carlson's 600th USHL win for at least one night, as they edged the RoughRiders 2-1 in overtime at Buccaneer Arena. It was a tight-checking, defensive battle between the in-state rivals, as Matt Denman's power play goal at 13:34 of the opening period was the only scoring through the first 40 minutes of play. With just under six minutes gone in the third period, Des Moines tied the game thanks to a beautiful tic-tac-toe passing play that was finished off by Nate Clurman. The goal was the first of the Colorado Avalanche prospect's USHL career. The two teams headed to overtime tied at one, and with just over 90 seconds gone in the extra frame, Des Moines leading scorer Nicolas Werbik found the back of the net for the 16th time this season to give his team the 2-1 victory. Brian Halonen, Julian Napravnik and Mike Hardman all dished out an assist in the win and Roman Durny picked up his fourth victory of the year with an impressive 35-save performance.
3. Dawe Dazzles
It was the Adam Dawe show inside the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center on Friday night, as the Maine commit scored two goals, including the game-winning tally, to lead the Sioux Falls Stampede to a 4-2 victory over the Lincoln Stars. After a scoreless opening frame, the teams traded goals in the second period, with Paul DeNaples and Philippe Lapointe finding the back of the net for their respective teams. The Stampede then scored the first three goals of the third period, including two from Dawe, to take a 4-1 lead. Tristan Ashbrook's ninth tally of the season cut the lead to 4-2, but that's as close as Lincoln would get. Jack St. Ivany dished out a pair of assists, Griffin Lunn added a helper in his first game with Sioux Falls and Winnipeg Jets prospect Mikhail Berdin stopped 25 of 27 shots to move to 16-6-0-1 and win his seventh start in his last nine games. With the win, Sioux Falls is now tied for second place in the Eastern Conference standings.
2. Marvelous McKay
Madison Capitols goaltender Dryden McKay was at it again on Friday, stopping 55 of the 58 shots he faced to lead his team to a 5-3 road victory over the Muskegon Lumberjacks and keep Madison just one point out of playoff position in the Eastern Conference. Muskegon's Marc Del Gaizo opened the scoring and gave the Lumberjacks a 1-0 lead through 20 minutes before the teams traded two goals each in the second period. Alec Broetzman and Kamil Sadlocha scored for Madison in the middle frame while Anthony Del Gaizo added his league-leading 28th goal of the year for Muskegon, who also picked up a goal from former Capitols forward Vincent de Mey, giving the Lumberjacks a 3-2 lead going into the third period. Madison then exploded for three goals in the final frame courtesy of Broetzman, Brendan Walkom and Verners Egle, to pick up the 5-3 road win.
1. Drury Does It Again
Jack Drury is now tied for the longest point streak in USHL Tier 1 history (2002-present), as the Harvard commit picked up an assist on Jackson Cates's overtime goal in Waterloo's 2-1 victory at Green Bay, giving him 21 straight games with at least one point. Cates scored both goals for Waterloo in the victory, with Ben Copeland added an assist on each tally. With the win, the Black Hawks have now won five of their last six games and remain the top team in the USHL standings. Drury will now look to set the all-time USHL Tier 1 point record and break the streak previously set by Jake Guentzel and Mike Erickson in the team's next game against Cedar Rapids on Saturday night.
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.