Bobby Lynch, Muskegon Lumberjacks (courtesy Hickling Images)
Below is a recap of Sunday's USHL games:
The Muskegon Lumberjacks have now won three straight games, all coming in three consecutive days over the weekend, with their 5-4 road victory over the Dubuque Fighting Saints. The teams combined for six goals in the opening period. It was 2-2 tie 11:11 into the game as Simon Kjellberg and Dylan Jackson scored for Dubuque, while Nolan Sullivan and Bobby Lynch found the back of the net for Muskegon. Igor Larionov, who had a pair of helpers in the first period as well, scored three minutes later to make it 3-2 and Lynch's second tally of the game and 12th goal of the season extended his team's lead to two with just a minute to play in the period. Following a scoreless middle 20 minutes, the visitors extended their lead to three with Nash Nienhuis's first goal of the season. Dubuque responded with tallies from Dallas Tulik, his first in the USHL, and Matias Maccelli, but the Lumberjacks were able to hang on for the 5-4 victory. Larionov, Cam Knuble and Alex Gaffney dished out two assists each and Brandon Bussi's 21-save performance gave him his 10th consecutive victory between the pipes.
Madison registered their sixth victory of the season with a 3-1 road victory over Central Illinois. A Noah Weber goal was the only scoring of the first period, giving the Capitols a 1-0 lead through 20 minutes of play. The Flying Aces responded midway through the second period, courtesy of Cal Kiefiuk finishing off a two-one-one, to tie the game at one heading into the third period. The game remained tied until late in the third period, when Alex Mella gave the visitors the 2-1 lead with just 1:27 remaining in the game. A Chaz Smedsrud empty-netter secured the victory for Madison. Mella added an assist for a two-point night, and Joseph Lamoreaux was outstanding between the pipes, stopping 36 of the 37 shots he faced for his fifth win 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.