Bradley Marek, Central Illinois Flying Aces (courtesy Hickling Images)
A two-goal performance from Bradley Marek helped the Central Illinois Flying Aces to a 6-3 victory over the Green Bay Gamblers on Sunday at Grossinger Motors Arena.
The Gamblers' Paul Maust scored the only goal of the first period, a shorthanded tally that gave his team a 1-0 lead through 20 minutes of play.
It remained a 1-0 game until late in the second, when Central Illinois scored three times in under 90 seconds to go up by a 3-1 margin. Jamie Armstrong, Cal Kiefiuk and Payton Matsui all scored their first goals of the season in the sequence.
2:34 into the final frame, Marek scored his first of the game and the season to give the Flying Aces a 4-1 lead.
Green Bay cut the lead to 4-3 about midway through the period, thanks to Maust's second goal of the game as well as a snipe from Sam Huff.
That's as far as the Green Bay comeback went, however, as 19 seconds after Huff's goal, Tate Singleton found the back of the net for the third time this season to put the Flying Aces back up by two. An empty-net goal by Marek, his second of the game, completed the scoring and sealed Central Illinois' second victory of the season.
Eight different Flying Aces dished out an assist in the win, including Singleton, and Washington Capitals prospect Mitchell Gibson made 37 saves on 40 shots for his first career USHL victory.
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.