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Clark Cup Playoffs Recap: April 21

04/21/2018, 10:00pm CDT

Fargo wins Game 1 in Omaha, Team USA shuts out Chicago in Game 1, Youngstown goes up 2-0 on Dubuque, Lincoln wins Game 1 in Waterloo in OT.

Photos by Hickling Images

Below is a recap of Saturday's Clark Cup Playoffs games:


Game 1, Western Conference Semifinal: Fargo Force [2], Omaha Lancers [1]

FGO leads series 1-0


The Fargo Force took Game 1 of their Western Conference Semifinal series in Omaha with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the Lancers at Ralston Arena. 


Fargo jumped out to an early lead in the contest. 3:07 into the opening period, Calvin Porknoy found the back of the net for the first time in the postseason to give his team a 1-0, which they would hold onto for the remainder of the first period.


It remained 1-0 in favor of Fargo until late in the second period, when Mark Senden capitalized on a shorthanded breakaway to double his team's lead through 40 minutes of play.

Omaha made it interesting about midway through the third period, as Noah Cates scored for the first time in the playoffs to get his team on the board and cut the Lancers deficit to 2-1. However, despite a 15-5 shot advantage in the final frame, Omaha wasn't able to find the back of the net again, giving Fargo a Game 1 road victory. Strauss Mann stopped 29 of 30 shots in the victory for his third straight win in the postseason. The University of Michigan commit has been outstanding so far in the playoffs, allowing just two goals in three games. Game 2 between the two teams will be played on Sunday at 5:05 PM CT.



Game 1, Eastern Conference Semifinal: Team USA [3], Chicago Steel [0]

USA leads series 1-0


Team USA saw three different goal scorers and Cameron Rowe stopped all 34 shots he faced as Team USA defeated the Chicago Steel 3-0 in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series.


The teams played a scoreless opening period, with Team USA outshooting Chicago 10-7 in the frame. Team USA's Owen Lindmark broke the scoreless tie six minutes into the second period with a shorthanded goal, assisted by Drew Helleson, to give his team a 1-0 lead. The score remained 1-0 in favor of Team USA until early in the third, when Helleson found the back of the net 5:47 into the frame, doubling the Team USA advantage to 2-0. John Beecher completed the scoring with a goal 10:30 into the final frame, the second shorthanded tally of the evening for Team USA.


Cameron Rowe was outstanding between the pipes for Team USA, stopping all 34 shots he faced for a shutout in his first Clark Cup Playoffs appearance. Team USA will look to take a 2-0 series lead in tomorrow's Game 2, while the Steel will look to even the series before the two teams head to Chicago next Thursday and Friday.



Game 2, Eastern Conference Semifinal: Youngstown Phantoms [3], Dubuque Fighting Saints [2]

YNG leads series 2-0


A late third period goal from Samuel Salonen was the difference in the game as the Youngstown Phantoms took down the Dubuque Fighting Saints 3-2 in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series, putting the Phantoms up 2-0 before the series shifts to Dubuque.


Following a scoreless opening 20 minutes where Dubuque outshot Youngstown 13-5, the Fighting Saints finally broke through 38 seconds into the second period. Quinn Preston continued his strong play with his fourth goal in as many Clark Cup Playoffs games, giving Dubuque a 1-0 lead. Curtis Hall responded for Youngstown at the 5:40 mark of the second, evening the score at one. Dubuque's Dalton Hunter, a former member of the Phantoms, found the back of the net against his former team to give the Fighting Saints a 2-1 lead, but Matthew Barry, the leading scorer for the Phantoms in the regular season, tied the game at two with a shorthanded goal late in the frame.


The game remained 2-2 until the 14:40 mark of the third, when Salonen broke the tie to give Youngstown a 3-2 lead, a lead that the Phantoms would hold onto for the remainder of the contest, giving them a 2-0 series lead. Ivan Prosvetov moved to 2-0 in postseason play with a 34-save performance.



Game 1, Western Conference Semifinal: Lincoln Stars [3], Waterloo Black Hawks [2] (OT)

LIN leads series 1-0


For the second time in as many games, Paul Cotter was the overtime hero for the Lincoln Stars, this time getting the game-winner in Game 1 of his team's Western Conference Semifinal series with the Anderson Cup champion Waterloo Black Hawks.

The two teams skated to a scoreless tie through 20 minutes of play, with Waterloo holding a 14-11 edge in shots on goal. The teams then combined for three goals in the span of 37 seconds about two minutes into the second period. Ethan Johnson broke the scoreless deadlock at 2:02 of the frame, giving Waterloo a 1-0 lead. Garrett Wait then doubled the Black Hawks lead at 2:37, but Lincoln's Paul Cotter, the overtime hero in Game 3 of the Stars' First Round series against the Sioux Falls Stampede, responded just seven seconds later to make it a 2-1 game heading into the third period.


Josiah Slavin scored the only goal in the final frame, a power play goal at 5:37 of the period, to tie the game at two. Both teams had chances later in the third, including a five-on-three power play for Waterloo, but neither team was able to find the back of the net for the remainder of the period, which send the teams to overtime.


3:10 into the extra frame, Cotter, who scored the series-winning goal for Lincoln in the Stars' First Round series against the Sioux Falls Stampede, became the overtime hero for the second straight game, this time with a beautiful shot past Waterloo goaltender Matej TomekAshton Calder dished out a pair of assists for Lincoln in the victory, and Derek Schaedig made 40 saves on 42 shots to move to 2-0 in the postseason. The two teams will play Game 2 at 5:05 PM CT on Sunday as the Stars look to go up 2-0 before heading back to Lincoln, while the Black Hawks will aim to even the series at one game apiece.




2018 Clark Cup Playoffs Hub

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.

Tag(s): Recaps