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Clark Cup Playoffs Recap: April 27

04/27/2018, 10:00pm CDT
By USHL

Team USA advances to Eastern Conference Final with Game 4 OT win.

Game 4, Eastern Conference Semifinal: Team USA [4], Chicago Steel [3] (OT)

USA wins series 3-1

 

Team USA earned their first-ever trip to the Eastern Conference Final with a 4-3 Game 4 overtime victory over the Chicago Steel, their second overtime win in as many nights.

 

Team USA got off to a hot start, taking a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. Erik Middendorf opened the scoring at the 6:33 mark of the opening period thanks to a great pass from Marshall WarrenDrew Helleson made it a 2-0 game with just under three minutes remaining in the frame.

Chicago responded quickly in the second period, scoring twice in the first 5:20 to even the game at 2-2. Jeremie Bucheler's shot from the right circle cut the lead to 2-1 and Vegas Golden Knights prospect Jack Dugan scored from center ice a little more than two minutes later to make it a 2-2 game. Team USA's Trevor Zegras gave USA the lead once more at the 14:19 mark, making it a 3-2 Team USA lead heading into the third period.

 

Once again, Chicago showed their resiliency, tying the game early in the third period with a beautiful passing play between Graham Lillibridge, Blake McLaughlin and Aaro Vidgren, who finished it off for his fourth goal of the Clark Cup Playoffs and sent the teams to overtime for the second straight game.

Just under four minutes into the extra frame, with Team USA shorthanded, Alex Vlasic came down on a one-on-one rush and fired a shot from the left circle past Chicago goaltender Oskar Autio, giving Team USA a 4-3 win in the game and advancing the NTDP to the Eastern Conference Final for the first time ever.

Once again, Cameron Rowe was stellar between the pipes for Team USA, stopping 38 of the 41 shots he faced to move to 3-1 in the postseason. Team USA will take on the Youngstown Phantoms in the Eastern Conference Final, with Game 1 set for Tuesday night.

 

BOXSCORE

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.

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Tag(s): Recaps