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Clark Cup Playoffs Recap: May 4

05/04/2018, 10:30pm CDT

Youngstown, Fargo move one win away from advancing to Clark Cup Final.

Photos by Hickling Images

Below is recap of Friday's Clark Cup Playoffs games:


Game 3, Eastern Conference Final: Youngstown Phantoms [7], Team USA [5]

YNG leads series 2-1


A four-goal game from Chase Gresock led the Youngstown Phantoms to a 7-5 victory over Team USA in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final.


The Phantoms held a 3-1 lead through 20 minutes of play. Jason Smallidge opened the scoring for Youngstown 5:39 into the game and Gresock scored the final two Phantoms goals of the period. Henry Thrun found the back of the net for Team USA in the first.


Both teams then scored twice in the second period. While Erik Middendorf and Matthew Boldy lit the lamp for Team USA, the story of the period was Gresock, who recorded a pair of power play tallies to give him his third and fourth goals of the game.

The teams then alternated two goals each in the third period, much like in the second, giving Youngstown the 7-5 victory. Jake Gingell and Dalton Messina found the back of the net for Youngstown, with Messina's goal being an empty-netter. Danny Weight and Owen Lindmark scored for Team USA. Between Games 2 and 3, the two teams combined for 28 goals.


With his four-goal performance, Gresock moved into a tie for second in Clark Cup Playoffs scoring with nine points (6G, 3A) in six games, behind only teammate Matthew Barry. The Holy Cross commit dished out three assists in the victory to give him 10 points (2G, 8A) in six games to lead all players. Mike Regush and Craig Needham dished out a pair of assists each, and Ivan Prosvetov made 21 saves to move Youngstown a victory away from their first Clark Cup Final appearance in team history. 


The Phantoms can advance to the Clark Cup Final for the first time in team history with a victory in Saturday's Game 4.

Western Conference Final, Game 3: Fargo Force [6], Waterloo Black Hawks [4]

FGO leads series 2-1


Thanks to their 6-4 victory over the Waterloo Black Hawks in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final, the Fargo Force are one win away from advancing to the Clark Cup Final for the first time in 5 years.


Waterloo jumped out to a 2-0 lead nine minutes into the opening period, with Jackson Cates and Garrett Wait finding the back of the net just 22 seconds apart.

Fargo's Griffin Loughran cut his team's deficit in half with a power play goal five minutes later, making it a 2-1 game going into the first intermission.


The Force scored the only two goals of the second period, courtesy of Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup and Grant Hebert, to take a 3-2 lead, which they would hold going into the final 20 minutes of play.

Fargo then scored the first two goals of the third period to take a 5-2 lead. Hebert's second of the game and third of the postseason extended the Fargo lead to 4-2, and William Fallstrom made it a three-goal game four minutes later.

USHL Defenseman of the Year Ben Finkelstein scored his first goal of the postseason to cut the deficit to 5-3, but Schmidt-Svejstrup's second goal of the game and fourth goal of the Clark Cup Playoffs all but sealed the victory for the Force. The University of Maine commit is now tied for second in postseason scoring with nine points (6G, 3A) in six games, with his six goals leading the league. Niko Esposito-Selivanov found the back of the net with just one second remaining in the game, completing the scoring.


In addition to Hebert and Schmidt-Svejstrup's three-point (2G, 1A each) performances, Robbie Stucker and Ty Farmer dished out a pair of assists each. Strauss Mann, who was name to the All-USHL Third Team earlier in the week, stopped 26 of the 30 shots he faced to move his playoff record to 7-2.


With a win in Saturday's Game 4, Fargo will advance to the Clark Cup Final for the first time since 2013.

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