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2018 Dick's Sporting Goods USHL Fall Classic Sunday Recap

10/02/2018, 9:30am CDT

Pair of games close out opening weekend of 2018-19 season.

Photo by Hickling Images

Below is a recap of Sunday's two games at the 2018 Dick's Sporting Goods USHL Fall Classic:



The Dubuque Fighting Saints picked up their first win of the young season with a 4-2 victory over the Youngstown Phantoms.


The Phantoms jumped out to a 1-0 advantage about five and a half minutes into the contest. Liam Robertson gloved down a pass from Jack Malone, put the puck on his stick and fired a shot into the back of the net to put Youngstown on the board first. The goal was Robertson's second in as many games.

Dubuque responded just under seven minutes later. James Sanchez ripped home a shot from the right circle on the power play, tying the game at one as the teams headed to their respective locker rooms for the first intermission.


Following a scoreless second period in which both teams registered six shots on goal, Derek Contessa was the receipient of a Patrick Smyth faceoff win and put the puck over the shoulder of Phantoms goaltender Justin Evenson to give his team a 2-1 lead.

Five minutes later, Riese Gaber scored his second goal of the season to double the Fighting Saints lead with a power play tally. Saints defenseman Sam Martel picked up his first career USHL point with the secondary assist. 


Youngstown made it a one-goal game again three minutes after Gaber's goal thanks to a Brett Murray tally, his first of the season, but that's as close as the Phantoms would get.


Contessa added his second goal of the game, an empty net tally, with 1:08 remaining in the game, to complete the scoring and seal the first victory of the season for the Fighting Saints.


Vancouver Canucks prospect Matthew Thiessen was strong between the pipes, stopping 23 of the 25 shots he faced for his first win of the season.





Team USA opened the scoring on the power play just under midway through the first period. Jack Hughes threw a beautiful cross-ice feed to Cole Caufield, who fired the puck into the back of the net for his second goal of the season. Team USA outshot Omaha 10-4 in the first period and took that 1-0 lead into the intermission.

Omaha evened the proceedings in the second period. Tyler Carpenter helped forced a turnover in the offensive zone and put the puck past Spencer Knight to get the Lancers on the board and send the final USHL game of the 2018 Dick's Sporting Goods Fall Classic to the third period tied at one goal apiece.

The third period featured plenty of back-and-forth action, but neither team was able to find the back of the net until Domenick Fensore got a pass from Hughes, faked a shot, then rifled the puck past Omaha goaltender Vinnie Purpura for the game-winning goal. 

Hughes' assist was his second of the game, giving him a pair of helpers in back-to-back games. 2019 NHL Draft prospect Spencer Knight stopped 15 of the 16 shots he faced, giving him his first win of the new season.



Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 17th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2018-19. The USHL had a record 45 players selected at the 2018 NHL Draft, more than any junior league in the world, 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