Photo by Hickling Images
5. Team USA Back With a Vengeance
On Friday, it was Team USA's U18 team that picked up a victory over Central Illinois in the team's first game back since winning their Five Nations tournament. On Saturday, it was the U17 team who did the same thing, as they recorded a 7-4 victory over the Flying Aces in their first USHL game since winning their Five Nations Tournament. Ryder Rolston scored twice for Team USA in the victory, and the U17s also saw tallies from Erik Middendorf, Domenick Fensore, Danny Weight, Patrick Moynihan and Michael Gildon. Sean Farrell and Matthew Boldy dished out a pair of assists each and Jonathan Mor along with Cameron Rowe combined for a 21-save performance. With the victory, Team USA sits alone atop the Eastern Conference standings.
4. Lancers Win #30
After knocking off Youngstown 8-1 on Thursday, the Omaha Lancers completed the two-game sweep of the Phantoms with a 4-1 triumph on Saturday. After John Larkin opened the scoring 4:11 into the game to give Youngstown a 1-0 lead, the Lancers responded with four unanswered goals to earn their ninth victory in the team's last 10 games. Jesper Peltonen's first career USHL goal tied the game about halfway through the first period and Jack Randl added his 16th tally of the year to give Omaha a 2-1 lead through 40 minutes. Filip Suchy's team-leading 27th goal extended the advantage to 3-1 just 37 seconds into the third and Noah Cates completed the scoring with a power play tally about halfway through the frame. Suchy and Christian O'Neill added two assists each and Zach Driscoll continued his strong play between the pipes by stopping 18 of the 19 shots he faced. Omaha remains atop the USHL standings and is the first team to reach 30 wins this season.
3. Lumberjacks Top Line Leads the Way
The first line for the Muskegon Lumberjacks - Anthony Del Gaizo, Matej Pekar and Mikael Hakkarainen - combined for seven points as they lead their team to a 6-2 win over the Sioux City Musketeers. Hakkarainen dished out two assists, giving the Providence commit three points in his first two games after being out of the lineup since Feb. 2. Del Gaizo scored two goals, his USHL-leading 32nd and 33rd tallies of the season. Pekar scored two goals and dished out an assist in the win, giving the Nebraska Omaha commit 39 points (9G, 30A) on the season. He continues to lead all rookies and currently sits just outside the top-10 in USHL scoring. Jachym Kondelik added a pair of helpers and Zach Borgiel backstopped the Lumberjacks with a 21-save performance.
2. Stars Score Eight
The Lincoln Stars picked up two huge wins over tough Western Conference opponents this weekend, including a wild 8-5 victory over the Waterloo Black Hawks on Saturday. Six different Stars recorded multi-point performances in the win. Dominick Mersch led the way with two goals and two assists, giving the Wisconsin commit 30 points (17G, 13A) through 41 games. Paul Cotter scored twice and added an assist, Tristan Ashbrook found the back of the net twice, Wyatt Aamodt dished out three helpers, and both Josiah Slavin (1G, 1A) and Eero Teravainen (0G, 2A) tallied two points each. Jackson Cates recorded a hat trick for Waterloo in the loss. Nashville Predators prospect Tomas Vomacka stopped 39 of the 44 shots he faced to move his team into a tie for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
1. Primeau Propels Saints Past Stampede
The Dubuque Fighting Saints handed the Sioux Falls Stampede their first regulation loss in their last 10 games thanks to a 3-2 victory at the Mystique Community Ice Center. Chayse Primeau provided all the offense for Dubuque in the win. The Nebraska Omaha commit scored all three of the Fighting Saints' goals, giving him his first career USHL hat trick. Alexander Steeves, Logan Pietila, Quinn Preston and Scott Corbett all added assists along with goaltender Cole Weaver, who made 22 saves on 24 shots for his 12th victory of the season. The assist was the Niagara commit's first USHL point. With the win, Dubuque is now alone in second place in the Eastern Conference.
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.