Around the League
Here Come the Hawks...The Waterloo Black Hawks are making a push towards the top spot in the Western Conference after picking up three wins in three days. The three victories came on home ice and extended their winning streak to seven games at Young Arena which is the longest home winning streak for the Black Hawks since winning eight straight from October 18 to November 27, 2008. Mike Huntebrinker scored a goal in all three wins and has tallied six goals over the last four games. Vince Hinostroza scored a pair of goals in Friday's 4-2 victory over Tri-City, including the game-winner which was the 25th goal of his USHL career. Taylor Cammarata dished out three assists in Saturday's 4-1 win against Muskegon giving him 62 points (25g, 37a) for the season. The 16-year-old is the youngest USHL player to reach the 60-point mark. Goaltender Stephon Williams was stellar in all three wins for Waterloo posting a combined 1.33 GAA and .950 SV%. He has won six straight games and his 28-save effort in Sunday's 4-1 win against Lincoln was the 35th victory of his USHL career.
Saving the Best for Last...The Sioux City Musketeers are making a habit of coming on strong late in the season. They won three games in three nights over the weekend to extend their winning streak to five games and clinched a playoff spot. Sioux City has won seven of their last eight games, and over the last three seasons, the Musketeers have a combined record of 27-7-4 in the months of March and April. Kyle Criscuolo scored his 20th goal of the season, fifth game-winning goal, in Friday's 4-1 victory over Des Moines. He added another goal and converted in the shootout of Sunday's 3-2 shootout victory against Des Moines. Nikita Sirtokin had a two-goal game on Friday while Tim O'Brien netted a pair in Saturday's 3-0 shutout of Fargo. Playing his second USHL game, forward Conor McGlynn tallied his first USHL goal on Saturday. Goaltender Matt Skoff has made 11 straight starts and has posted a 1.13 GAA and .960 SV% in the seven victories during that span.
Goals + Defense = Winning Formula...The Green Bay Gamblers have already clinched the Anderson Cup for best regular season record but haven't stopped there. The team won three games in three days over the weekend to give them 45 total victories for the season, equaling a team record. Green Bay outscored the opposition 15-4 over the three-win weekend giving them a total of 230 goals for the season, the most the team has scored since netting 237 goals in 2008-09. The club record is 260, set during the 1996-97 season. The Gamblers have allowed just 125 goals this season, six goals less than the team record of 131 allowed last season. Green Bay's goal differential this season currently sits at +105 which are 70 more goals than the next highest differential in the USHL. Sam Herr scored four goals over the three wins, extending his goal streak to four games. Alex Broadhurst had multiple points in all three contests (2g, 5a), including his 25th goal of the season in Saturday's 5-2 win against Youngstown. Ryan McKay earned the win in all three weekend games posting a combined 1.50 GAA and .934 SV%. Defenseman Markus Lauridsen dished a USHL career high three assists in Sunday's 6-1 win against Muskegon which was his 100th game in the League.
Steel Still Standing...The Chicago Steel are not going down without a fight as they are still alive in the race for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They won both weekend contests to improve to 3-0-1 over their last four games. Phillip Marinaccio scored a goal in both games, including the game-winner in Saturday's 6-1 victory over Indiana. Mathias Dahlstrom stopped 36 shots and turned away 2-of-3 attempts in the shootout to lead the Steel to a 2-1 shootout victory over Cedar Rapids on Friday which was his 15th win of the season. Alex Sakellarapoulos was equally good on Saturday as he made 37 saves and narrowly missed his first USHL shutout when Indiana scored with just 1:32 remaining in the third period. Andrew Miller had a three-point game on Saturday, including his 20th goal of the season. Defenseman Bradley Shumway finished the game with a plus-six rating, equaling a USHL high for plus/minus in a game this season.
Key Wins in the Key City...The Dubuque Fighting Saints captured a pair of wins on home ice during the weekend. It extended their home win streak to three games after they had been winless in the three previous games at home (0-2-1). Dubuque has posted a 19-5-3 record at Mystique Community Ice Center this season, already earning more wins than the 18 last season. Eric Freschi scored two goals in a span of 4:01 during Friday's 5-3 win against Muskegon. Zemgus Girgensons had his second straight three-point game (1g, 2a) while Karson Kuhlman dished out three assists while playing in just his fourth USHL game. Kevin Morris scored a goal both nights and has tallied a goal in each of the last three home games. Max Gardiner netted a pair, including the winner, in Saturday's 3-1 win over Team USA. Defenseman Matthew Caito has recorded four points (1g, 3a) and a plus-five rating over his last three games.
Roy Making People Say "Wow"...Forward Kevin Roy is continuing his assault on the record books for both the Lincoln Stars and the USHL. His game-winning goal in Saturday's 5-4 victory against Omaha was his 48th of the season, setting a new Stars single season record. Roy added his 49th of the season in Sunday's 4-1 loss to Waterloo. He totaled six points (2g, 4a) over the three-game weekend giving him 96 points (49g, 47a) in 56 games this season. That point total is new season record in the USHL Tier 1 era (2002-present), surpassing the 92 points (34g, 58a) by Blake Coleman of the Indiana Ice last season. He could become the first USHL player to score 50 goals since Mark Mowers (Dubuque) and Jason Blake (Waterloo) scored 51 and 50 during the 1993-94 season. Roy needs four points to become the first USHL player to reach 100 points in a season since Peter Fregoe had 103 (46g, 57a) in 56 games for Des Moines in 1998-99.
Shorthanded Sniper...Forward Austin Cangelosi scored a shorthanded goal for the Youngstown Phantoms in their 4-1 loss to Green Bay on Friday. It was his eighth shorthanded tally of the season, the most in the USHL since Matt White scored eight during the 2009-10 season for the Omaha Lancers. The eight shorthanded goals by Cangelosi are more than the team totals of 10 clubs in the USHL this season. He has helped the Phantoms put up a USHL-leading 19 shorthanded goals, two shy of the USHL record set by the Des Moines Buccaneers in 2005-06.
Three Out of Four Ain't Bad...Very little has gotten past Zane Gothberg recently. The goaltender stopped all 30 shots he faced to lead the Fargo Force to an 8-0 win against Sioux Falls on Friday. It was his third shutout in his last four starts and gave him seven total shutouts for the season, leading all USHL goaltenders. Gothberg's shutout was his 25th win of the season, one shy of the team record set by Mike Lee in 2008-09.
The Winning Touch... Each of the last four goals scored by defenseman John Gilmour have been the game-winning goal for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, including his goal in the 4-1 victory over Team USA on Sunday. Five of his 10 goals this season were game-winners which leads all USHL defensemen.
Notes...Lincoln Stars forward Matt Friese scored a goal in each period of Saturday's 5-4 win over rival Omaha to record his first USHL hat trick...Tri-City Storm forward Nick Lappin scored a pair of goals in the 6-3 win over Sioux Falls on Saturday. It was his seventh multi-goal game of the season and his second tally was the 40th of his USHL career...Gasper Kopitar scored a goal in each weekend contest for the Des Moines Buccaneers and now has 24 goals in 49 games this season, doubling his goal total in 55 games last year...Dakota Klecha scored in each weekend game for the Muskegon Lumberjacks and now has five goals over his last five games...Jimmy Murray scored three points (1g, 2a) for the Omaha Lancers in their 5-2 win against Lincoln on Friday. It was his 14th multi-assist game of the season and his season total of 48 assists is seven shy of the Lancers team record set by Steve Suk in the 1990-91 season...Anthony Louis has scored four goals over the last four games for Team USA's Under-17 squad and leads the team with 16 goals in 32 games this season.
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, 13 NHL draftees on its rosters this season, and over 250 players already committed to NCAA Division I schools this 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.comor 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). Fans can also watch USHL action online all season long, live or on-demand via FASTHockey (ushl.fasthockey.com).
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