Colby Ambrosio, Tri-City Storm (courtesy Hickling Images)
Below is a recap of Wednesday's USHL games:
The Muskegon Lumberjacks won their third straight game and moved to 14-2-0-0 on the season, shutting out Team USA's U17 team 8-0 at L.C. Walker Arena. Muskegon scored four times in the opening period. Jagger Joshua opened the scoring 5:52 into the game, Igor Larionov and Alex Yakovenko found the back of the net 18 seconds apart to make it 3-0 and Hunter Skinner extended his team's lead to 4-0 with a power play tally, his first of two goals in the game, at 18:31. Larionov's goal was his first in the USHL, and Yakovenko now has five goals in his last three games. Muskegon found the back of the net three more times in the middle frame thanks to Skinner, Cam Knuble and Oliver MacDonald, to stretch their lead to 7-0 through 40 minutes. Brock Bremer added a goal in the third period to complete the scoring. Skinner (2G, 1A), Yakovenko (1G, 2A) and Colby Bukes (0G, 3A) had three-point nights, MacDonald (1G, 1A), Knuble (1G, 1A), Egor Afanasyev (0G, 2A) and Danil Guschin (0G, 2A) recorded two points each and Brandon Bussi made 19 saves for his second straight and USHL-leading fourth shutout of the season.
The Sioux City Musketeers won their sixth straight game, defeating the Waterloo Black Hawks 4-2 at Tyson Events Center. The teams traded goals in the opening period, with Emil Ohrvall and Aaron Grounds scoring for their respective teams. Ohrvall's goal was his 12th of the season and eighth in his last eight games. Matej Blumel added his 12th goal of the year in the second period to put the Black Hawks up 2-1 heading into the final 20 minutes. Bobby Brink made it a 2-2 game just two and a half minutes into the third period. The Denver commit then scored again, his 14th goal of the season and sixth goal in his last three games, to give the Musketeers a 3-2 lead just over six minutes later. Parker Ford added an empty net goal with 1:07 remaining to complete the scoring and give his team a 4-2 win. Ben Kraws stopped 19 of the 21 shots he faced for his fifth straight win between the pipes.
The Madison Capitols walked into the Mystique Ice Center and left with a 2-1 road victory over the Dubuque Fighting Saints. Dubuque scored the only goal of the first period, thanks to a nice pass from Willie Knierim that found the stick of James Sanchez, who scored his third goal in his last four games and extended his point streak to eight games. It remained a 1-0 game until just over eight minutes had been played in the second, when Dan Petrick's first USHL goal, the only goal of the middle frame, tied the game at one heading into the third period. The game remained tied until late in the third, when Kristof Papp's power play goal with just under five minutes remaining proved to be the game-winner, giving Madison the 2-1 road victory. Once again, Joey Lamoreaux was outstanding between the pipes, turning 36 of the 37 shots he faced aside to earn the victory.
The Des Moines Buccaneers overcame a 3-0 third period deficit but fell in a shootout to the Fargo Force by a 4-3 final. Fargo opened the scoring at 13:27 of the first period, courtesy of Josh Nodler's fifth goal of the season. Following a scoreless second period, the Force took their 1-0 lead into the final frame. AJ Drobot extended his team's lead to two with his second goal of the year 6:27 into the third with a beautiful deflection. Hank Crone made it a three-goal lead with just over six minutes to play, and it looked like the game was getting out of reach for Des Moines. The Buccaneers battled back, scoring three times in three and a half minutes in the final 4:50 of regulation to send the game to overtime. Reed Lebster reached the double-digit goal mark, scoring his 10th goal of the season to get his team on the board. Des Moines cut their deficit to one with a Rylee St. Onge goal just over two minutes later, and Luke Manning's seventh tally of the season brought Des Moines all the way back from a 3-0 deficit and sent the teams to overtime. Following a scoreless overtime period, Nodler scored the only goal of the shootout to give Fargo the extra point and the win. Carter Randklev dished out a pair of assists in the victory and Ryan Bischel stopped 32 of the 35 shots he faced through 65 minutes, in addition to all four attempts in the shootout, for his third win in his last four starts.
The Central Illinois Flying Aces moved to 10-7-0-2 on the season with a 7-2 road victory over the Green Bay Gamblers at Resch Center. The teams traded two goals each in the first period, with Jeremy Davidson and Trevor Janicke scoring for Central Illinois and Chris Giroday and Jesse Tucker finding the back of the net for Green Bay. The Flying Aces scored twice in the second period, courtesy of Brad Marek and Cal Kiefiuk, to take a 4-2 lead into the final 20 minutes. Davidson's second goal of the game just 75 seconds into the third extended the visitors' lead to three before Joseph Dunlap and Max Ellis found the back of the net later in the third, making it a 7-2 final. Davidson (2G, 1A), Janicke (1G, 2A) and Stephen Halliday (0G, 3A) recorded three points each in the win, Kiefiuk (1G, 1A) had a two-point night and Ryan Snowden made 33 saves on 35 Green Bay shots for his eighth win of the year.
The Tri-City Storm earned a 7-2 victory over the in-state rival Lincoln Stars. Elias Rosen opened the scoring at 10:48 of the first period with his second goal of the year, giving the Storm a 1-0 lead through 20 minutes. Tri-City would extend their lead to 3-0 thanks to a pair of second period goals from Colby Ambrosio before Matthew Barbolini got Lincoln on the board 23 seconds after Ambrosio's second goal, making it a 3-1 game through 40 minutes. Ambrosio completed his hat trick late in the third period, and Tri-City also got goals from Connor McMenamin, Khristian Acosta and Zac Jones in the final frame. Shane Pinto picked up his 10th goal of the season for Lincoln in the third. Jake Barczewski recorded the victory in goal for the Storm, making 20 saves on 22 Lincoln shots to move to 4-2-0-0 on the 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.