Emil Ohrvall, Waterloo Black Hawks (courtesy Brandon Anderson)
Below is a recap of Saturday's USHL games:
The Chicago Steel won their third straight game with a 5-3 victory over Team USA's U17 team. Chicago got on the board in a hurry, as Mathieu De St. Phalle opened the scoring just 14 seconds into the game. It was the lone goal of the first period, giving the Steel a 1-0 lead through 20 minutes. Robert Mastrosimone and Nick Abruzzese scored in the second for Chicago, but the U17s scored three times in the middle frame, courtesy of Chase Yoder, Thomas Bordeleau and Ty Smilianic to even the score at 3-3 heading into the third period. Chicago regrouped in the final frame, as Christian Sarlo scored his second goal in as many games at 5:12 of the third to give his team the lead, and Cole Quisenberry added an empty-netter to complete the scoring. Abruzzese and Sarlo had two points (1G, 1A) each and Reilly Herbst stopped 16 of the 19 shots he faced for his first USHL win.
Muskegon moved to 13-2-0-0 on the season with a 4-0 shutout of Cedar Rapids at L.C. Walker Arena. The game remained scoreless until late in the first period, when James McIsaac's third goal of the season gave the Lumberjacks a 1-0 lead through 20 minutes of play. Alex Gaffney doubled the lead at 2:32 of the middle frame, and Alex Yakovenko scored twice in the final 20 minutes, once on the power play and once shorthanded, to complete the scoring and give his team the 4-0 win. The defenseman added an assist for a three-point night, Egor Afanasyev dished out a pair of assists and Brandon Bussi stopped all 23 shots he faced to earn his fifth straight win and move to 13-1-0-0 on the season.
A three-goal second period gave the Des Moines Buccaneers a 4-3 home victory over the Fargo Force. After Matt Brown's goal, his first of two on the night, gave the Bucs a 1-0 lead midway through the opening period, Detroit Red Wings prospect Ryan O'Reilly and Michael Mancinelli found the back of the net for Fargo, giving the Force a 2-1 lead heading into the second period. Sam Renlund tied the game for Des Moines 6:17 into the second period, but Fargo answered right back, as Connor Mayer's third of the year gave his team the lead just 31 seconds later. Des Moines responded with two goals before the end of the frame, courtesy of Brown, his league-leading 15th goal of the season, and a penalty shot tally from Reed Lebster, to take a 4-3 lead. The Bucs would hang out in the third period to pick up the win. Anaheim Ducks prospect Roman Durny's 29 saves gave him his fifth victory in his last six starts.
The U18s scored seven goals for the second straight game, this time knocking off the Dubuque Fighting Saints at the Mystique Ice Center. Team USA held leads of 2-0, 3-1, and 7-2 throughout the course of the game. Seven different U18 players found the back of the net in the victory: Drew Helleson, Danny Weight, Alex Vlasic, Owen Lindmark, Michael Gildon, Matthew Boldy and Trevor Zegras. The U18s also scored five of their seven goals on special teams - four on the power play, finishing 4-for-7 on the night, and one shorthanded tally. Willie Knierim scored twice for Dubuque, and the Fighting Saints also picked up goals from Ty Jackson and Riese Gaber late in the contest. Jack Hughes and Judd Caulfield added two assists each and Cameron Rowe made 25 saves to earn the win between the pipes for Team USA.
The Green Bay Gamblers scored once in each period to earn a 3-1 victory over their in-state rivals, the Madison Capitols. Noah Prokop and Carson Bantle scored for their respective teams just 54 seconds apart, sending the teams to the first intermission tied at one. Kyler Grundy broke the tie with just under three minutes remaining in the second period, and Gleb Murtazin's breakaway goal 1:54 into the final frame completed the scoring to give his team the 3-1 win. Murtazin added an assist for a two-point night and Jake Begley stopped 37 of the 38 Capitols shots that came his way for his second victory of the season.
An Emil Ohrvall hat trick and five power play goals from the Waterloo Black Hawks were the difference in a 6-3 victory over the Lincoln Stars at Young Arena. After Ohrvall and Devlin McCabe scored for their respective teams in the first period, the teams combined for six goals in the middle frame, including two goals from Ohrvall to complete the hat trick, Matt Koopman's fifth goal of the year, and goals from Lincoln's Josh Lopina and Jordan Power. Xander Lamppa completed the scoring in the third period with the Black Hawks' fifth tally on the man advantage in the game. Ohrvall added an assist for a four-point night, Lamppa (1G, 2A), Koopman (1G, 2A) and Hank Sorensen (0G, 3A) recorded three points each, Matej Blumel dished out two assists of his own and Logan Stein made 24 saves for his third victory in his last four appearances.
The Central Illinois Flying Aces jumped out to a 3-0 second period lead and were able to hang on for a 5-2 victory over the Youngstown Phantoms to earn a split of the weekend series. After a scoreless first period, Stephen Halliday, Max Ellis and Lynden Breen all found the back of the net in the middle 20 minutes, giving Central Illinois the aforementioned 3-0 lead. Youngstown made a game of it in the third period, as they picked up goals from Trevor Kuntar and Josh DeLuca in the first half of the frame, but the Flying Aces hung on and picked up empty-net tallies from Cal Kiefiuk and Jeremy Davidson to earn the 5-3 win. Kiefiuk also had an assist for a two-point night along with Colby Enns and Bradley Marek, who dished out two helpers apiece. Ryan Snowden's 34-save performance earned him the win between the pipes, his seventh of the 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.