Around the League
Three Stars...The Lincoln Stars found a good way to snap a two-game winless skid when they rattled off three wins over three nights in three different cities to remain on top of the Western Conference standings. Markus McCrea scored two goals, including the game-winner, in Friday's 5-2 win at Sioux Falls. Jared Hanson delighted the home crowd when he completed his hat trick by scoring the overtime-winner in Saturday's 4-3 win vs. Waterloo. Sunday's game against Waterloo also took more than 60 minutes but a tally by defenseman Colton Saucerman in the sixth round of the shootout gave the Stars a 2-1 victory. Saucerman had scored a goal in each of the previous two games. Goaltender Charles Williams started two of the three games and posted a combined 1.44 GAA and .945 SV%. Kevin Roy had a point in all three contests to extend his point streak to six games which included two goals, giving him League best 18 this season.
High Five...The Omaha Lancers picked up a mid-week win before hitting the road for a pair of weekend victories and extended their winning streak to a season best five games. Goals have been plenty during the streak as they have scored five-or-more goals in four of the contests, including twice scoring seven. Penalty killing has played a key role as they turned away 15-of-16 opponent power plays during the week and have stopped 22-of-23 during the win streak. They are now tied for the USHL lead with an 88.3% penalty killing rate. Casey Bailey netted the game-winner in Tuesday's 3-1 win over Tri-City, his second straight game with the deciding goal. He has collected five goals over the five-game win streak. Greg Gozzo scored two goals in Friday's 6-1 win against Team USA, including his third game-winner of the season. Jimmy Murray had a three-point night (1g, 2a) in Saturday's 7-3 triumph over Muskegon which pushed his point streak to five games. He has four multi-point games over that stretch and his two assists on Saturday gave him 22 for the season which leads the USHL.
Seven Up...The Green Bay Gamblers earned a pair of wins in their two-game set with Cedar Rapids to extend their winning streak to seven games, equaling a USHL season best. It also pushed their unbeaten in regulation streak to 13 games (12-0-1). Defenseman Markus Lauridsen scored the overtime-winner in Friday's 6-5 win. It was his second overtime-winner of the season. Nolan LaPorte added a goal for the fifth straight game while Nick Schmaltz scored his first USHL goal in the victory which was assisted by his older brother, Jordan Schmaltz. Goaltender Michael Rotolo earned his first USHL win when he made 33 saves in Saturday's 6-2 victory. Sam Herr scored two goals while Alex Broadhurst netted his 14th of the season.
Home Cooking...The Indiana Ice wrapped a seven-game home stretch by claiming two wins against Dubuque to improve their record to 4-3-0 over the homestand. Christian Hilbrich scored a power play and a shorthanded goal in Friday's 6-1 victory while Jacob Fallon dished out a USHL career high three assists. Andrew Mayer tallied his first of the season. Sean Kuraly provided the offense on Saturday as he recorded a hat trick during the 3-2 win. It was his first three-goal game in the USHL.
Road Trip...Team USA's Under-18 squad hit the road for a three-game stretch against Western Conference opponents and earned five of a possible six points in the standings. Stefan Matteau scored in regulation and converted in the shootout of Friday's 4-3 shootout loss to Fargo. Goaltender Collin Olson stopped all 26 shots he faced on Saturday for his first shutout of the season in the 4-0 defeat of Sioux Falls. Team USA scored three goals in the third period, which included a pair by Quentin Shore, to claim a 3-2 victory at Sioux City on Sunday.
Storm Watch...The Tri-City Storm snapped a four-game winless skid with a 3-2 win vs. Des Moines on Saturday. It was the first USHL victory for new head coach Josh Hauge. Forward Andrew Dorantes scored his first of the season which proved to be the game-winner. Nick Lappin scored two goals in Friday's 5-3 loss to Des Moines. It was his fourth multi-goal game of the season.
Notes...Forward J.T. Stenglein scored two goals for the Youngstown Phantoms in Saturday's 3-1 win vs. Chicago. He has scored 10 goals over his last 10 games...Bryn Chyzyk has scored four goals over his last three games for the Fargo Force, including two in the 5-3 loss to Sioux City on Saturday...Gerald Mayhew recorded his third multi-goal game of the season with a pair of tallies in Friday's 6-5 overtime loss to Green Bay...Des Moines Buccaneers forward Justin Hussar scored a goal in both games during the weekend, including the game-winner in Friday's 5-3 victory over Tri-City...After falling behind 3-0 on Saturday to Fargo, the Sioux City Musketeers scored the next five goals, including a pair by Kyle Criscuolo, to earn the 5-3 win...Both games for the Waterloo Black Hawks during the weekend went past regulation, the third time in the last four games they have gone past 60 minutes to decide a contest.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 10th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2011-12. With 28 picks during the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, 18 NHL draftees on its rosters last season, and over 280 players committed to NCAA Division I schools during the 2010-11 season, the USHL is emerging as the world's foremost producer of junior hockey talent. For more information, visit us on the web at www.USHL.com or visit the League's multiple social media platforms, including Facebook (www.facebook.com/ushlhockey), twitter (www.twitter.com/ushl), and YouTube (www.youtube.com/ushlinteractive).
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