Logan Pietila, Dubuque Fighting Saints (courtesy Brandon Anderson)
Below is a recap of Saturday's USHL games:
Tri-City extended their winning streak to six games with a 3-2 victory over the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders on Saturday afternoon. Cedar Rapids scored the only goal of the first period, an Ethan Wolthers tally, to take a 1-0 lead into the second period. The Storm responded with three goals in the middle 20 minutes of play, courtesy of Colby Ambrosio and two from Ronnie Attard, to hold a 3-1 advantage into the final frame. It remained a 3-1 game until late in the contest, when Andrei Bakanov's second goal in as many games cut the visitors' deficit to one. However, Tri-City was able to hang on for the final two minutes of regulation to earn the 3-2 win, their sixth consecutive victory. Jake Barczewski made 16 saves on 18 shots to move to 5-2-0-0 on the season.
A three-goal second period led Team USA's U18 team to a 3-1 victory over the Waterloo Black Hawks. Following a scoreless first period, Case McCarthy opened the scoring, lighting the lamp at 2:36 of the second period and giving Team USA a 1-0 lead. Cole Caufield doubled the U18s lead at 15:29 and Michael Gildon's fourth goal of the year extended the margin to three goals. Joe Cassetti got Waterloo on the board just under five minutes into the third, but that's as close as Waterloo would get, as Team USA closed out the 3-1 victory. Jack Hughes dished out a pair of assists, and Cameron Rowe and Spencer Knight split time between the pipes. Knight earned the win with a 13-save on 14-shot performance.
After losing in overtime last night, the Fargo Force earned a split of their weekend series in Youngstown with a 4-3 shootout win over the Phantoms. Five goals were scored in the opening period, three of which came from the visitors. The Force took a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Ben Meyers and Detroit Red Wings prospect Ryan O'Reilly. Just under two minutes after O'Reilly's goal, Brett Murray got Youngstown on the board and cut his team's deficit in half. Fargo regained their two-goal lead at 13:03 with Carter Randklev's third goal of the season before Trevor Kuntar found the back of the net with just over 90 seconds to play in the frame to cut the Phantoms deficit to just one at 3-2 heading into the second period. Following a scoreless second period, Youngstown tied the game just under five minutes into the third period courtesy of Craig Needham, sending the teams to overtime. Following a scoreless overtime period, O'Reilly scored the only goal of the five-round shootout to earn the Force the extra point and the weekend split. Hank Crone dished out five assists and Ryan Bischel stopped 21 of 24 shots through 65 minutes, in addition to all five attempts he faced in the shootout, to move to 9-6-1-2 on the season.
Sioux Falls moved to 9-7-1-1 on the year with a 5-3 road victory in Des Moines. The Buccaneers' TJ Walsh and the Stampede's Jared Westcott traded goals 30 seconds apart late in the first period, sending the teams to the first intermission tied at one. Sioux Falls then scored twice in each of the final two periods, with Des Moines scoring once in both the second and third, giving the Stampede a 5-3 victory. A Mac Welsher second period goal was sandwiched between tallies from Anthony Romano and Andre Lee, while Matt Brown's 17th goal of the season came between goals from Max Crozier and Austen Swankler. Crozier and Ethan Phillips dished out two assists each, and Jaxson Stauber earned his fifth victory of the season with a 20-save effort.
Dubuque got back to .500 on the season with a 7-1 win over Green Bay. The Fighting Saints led 1-0 through 20 minutes, 5-0 after two periods and 7-0 halfway through the third period, as they totally dominate the play. Riese Gaber scored at nearly identical times in the first and second periods, Logan Pietila, Derek Contessa and James Sanchez also found the back of the net in the middle frame, and Bram Scheerer lit the lamp in the third period along with Pietila. Noah Ganske got the Gamblers on the board late in the third period, making it a 7-1 game. Pietila (2G, 1A) and Aidan Fulp (0G, 3A) had three-point nights, Gaber (2G, 0A), Scheerer (1G, 1A), Contessa (1G, 1A) and Dallas Tulik (0G, 2A) recorded two points each and Vancouver Canucks prospect Matthew Thiessen picked up his sixth victory of the season by stopping 22 of the 23 shots he faced.
The Muskegon Lumberjacks are now 17-3-0-0 on the season, thanks to a 7-1 victory in Madison over the Capitols. Muskegon scored four times in the first period to take a 4-0 lead, courtesy of Danil Guschin, Alex Gaffney, Colby Bukes and Oliver MacDonald. Alex Mella got Madison on the board 11:28 into the second period with his first USHL goal, but the visitors scored the final three goals of the game to pick up the 7-1 win. Jagger Joshua put his team back up by four with just under two minutes to play in the second, and Bobby Lynch scored twice in the final frame to get the double digit mark in goals on the season. Muskegon finished the game with four special teams goals, as they scored three times on the power play and once while shorthanded. Chicago Blackhawks prospect Mikael Hakkarainen dished out a pair of assists, and Brandon Bussi made 27 saves on 28 Madison shots for his ninth straight win and 17th victory of the season.
The Chicago Steel's win streak is now at seven games thanks to their weekend home-and-home sweep of the Central Illinois Flying Aces at Grossinger Motors Arena, completed with a 5-1 victory on Saturday. The visitors jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period, thanks to goals from Jake Schmaltz, John Spetz and Nick Abruzzese. Central Illinois' Jeremy Davidson got his team on the board 21 seconds into the second period to cut the deficit to two, but the Steel responded with two more goals in the middle frame, courtesy of Mathieu De St. Phalle and Christian Sarlo. A scoreless third period gave the Steel the 5-1 victory. Abruzzese, Owen Power and Neil Shea dished out two assists each, and Reilly Herbst turned 20 of the 21 shots he faced aside to record his second victory of 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.