Matt Brown, Des Moines Buccaneers (courtesy Hickling Images)
Below is a recap of Saturday's USHL games (click headers to view boxscore):
The Dubuque Fighting Saints knocked off Team USA's U17 team 6-3 thanks to a four-point night from Dylan Jackson (2G, 2A) and a three-point performance from his twin brother Ty Jackson (2G, 1A). The Saints held leads of 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 before two late goals, one coming from each of the Jackson twins. Dylan and Ty are sixth and seventh in USHL scoring with 13 and 12 points, respectively, and led both the Fighting Saints and all USHL rookies with those numbers. Riese Gaber dished out a pair of assists in the win, and Aaron Randazzo made 25 saves for his first USHL victory.
Three goals in both the second and third periods helped Team USA's U18 team hand the Muskegon Lumberjacks their first loss of the season and give them an 8-3 road victory at L.C. Walker Arena. There were six multi-points performances from the U18s on the night. Trevor Zegras had a four-point night (2G, 2A), Cole Caufield earned a hat trick, his first of the season, while Ryder Rolston (1G, 1A), John Beecher (1G, 1A), Judd Caulfield (0G, 2A) and Michael Gildon (0G, 2A) also found the scoresheet more than once. Spencer Knight stopped 30 of the 33 shots he faced to move to 2-0 on the season.
After falling to Waterloo on Friday, the Fargo Force earned a weekend split with the Black Hawks courtesy of a 4-3 victory at Young Arena. The teams traded two goals apiece in the first period, including Ethan Szmagaj, Ondrej Pavel and Wyatt Schingoethe all earning their first career USHL goals. After the sides traded goals once more in the third period, with AJ Drobot and Ryan Drkulec scoring for their respective teams, Fargo's Ben Meyers put home the game-winning goal with just 1:25 remaining in the game to give Fargo the 4-3 victory. With his goals, Meyers, a University of Minnesota commit, extended his point and goal-scoring streak to five games, with him recording seven points (5G, 2A) in that span. The forward is now tied for third in USHL scoring with 15 points (9G, 6A) in 10 games. Ryan Bischel earned his third victory of the season with a 27-save performance.
The Tri-City Storm earned their second shootout victory of the weekend with a 2-1 win over the Lincoln Stars at the Ice Box. The only scoring of the game came in the first period. Matthew Barbolini gave the Stars a 1-0 lead just over three minutes in, but the Storm tied the game late in the frame with a Colton Kalezic power play goal. The following 45 minutes of play were scoreless, sending the teams to a shootout. Colby Ambrosio and Zac Jones scored for Tri-City, while Isaiah Saville stopped both shots he faced in the shootout, giving the Storm the extra point and the 2-1 win. Jones and Ambrosio also added the assists on Kalezic's first period goal, and Saville stopped all but one of the 26 shots he faced. The Storm are now 8-1-1-0 on the season, including 3-0-1-0 in their last four games.
A back-and-forth battle saw the Chicago Steel pull out a 4-3 overtime victory on the road at The Stable. Following a scoreless opening frame, the teams alternated three goals each throughout the second and third periods to send the game to overtime. Just 35 seconds into the extra session, Boston University commit Robert Mastrosimone scored his second goal of the game and sixth of the season to give the Steel the 4-3 victory. Mastrosimone now has points in three straight games and seven of the nine games he's played so far this season, recording 10 points (6G, 4A) in those nine games to lead the Steel in scoring. Cole Quisenberry added the other two goals for Chicago, Nick Abruzzese dished out a pair of helpers and Justin Robbins made 33 saves on the 36 RoughRiders shots he saw for his second straight victory.
A five-goal third period helped the Des Moines Buccaneers cruise to an 8-3 road victory over the Omaha Lancers. The Bucs held a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes, and a 3-2 lead after two periods. The Lancers tied the game at 8:39 of the third period with a Michael Colella goal, but Des Moines responded with five goals in just 4:16 to run away with the victory. Two of those five goals came from Matt Brown, the USHL's second-leading scorer, including a beautiful between-the-legs goal. The UMass-Lowell commit is now up to 17 points (11G, 6A) on the season, with his 11 goals leading the league. Brown also added an assist for a three-point night, Rylee St. Onge recorded a three-point (1G, 2A) performance of his own, Luke Manning scored twice, Mac Welsher tallied a goal and an assist, and James Durham made 29 saves on 32 shots for his first victory of the season.
A Bobby Brink goal 19 seconds into overtime gave the Sioux City Musketeers a 4-3 victory over the Sioux Falls Stampede, snapping the Herd's winning streak at five games. Calgary Flames prospect and USHL leading scorer Martin Pospisil opened the scoring at 11:24, but the Stampede tied the game with just one second remaining in the period thanks to Anthony Romano. Sioux Falls then scored twice in the second to take a 3-1 lead, courtesy of Jared Wescott and Cade Borchardt, but the Musketeers scored twice in the third period with goals from Matthew Miller and Anthony Kehrer, his first USHL goal, to tie the game at three and send the teams to overtime, where Brink scored the winning tally. Pospisil's point streak has now reached double digits with his two-point (1G, 1A) performance, as the St. Lawrence commit has found the scoresheet in all 10 games so far this year, the longest streak in the USHL. He also leads the league with 19 points (5G, 14A) in those contests. Brink also added an assist along with his goal, and Luke Johnson dished out four helpers, putting him on a three-game point streak with six points (1G, 5A) in that span.
A four-goal third period propelled the Central Illinois Flying Aces to a 5-1 victory over the Green Bay Gamblers. Lynden Breen scored the only goal for either team through the first 40 minutes, giving Central Illinois a 1-0 lead heading into the third period. Despite a Paul Maust goal for the Gamblers, Green Bay would never get closer to 2-1, as third period goals from Trevor Janicke, Stephen Halliday, Benito Posa and Ryan Siedem helped the Aces run away with a 5-1 win, Philip Elgestal and Jeremy Davidson dished out two assists each, and Ryan Snowden made 19 saves for his third straight win and fourth victory this year.
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.