The USHL season kicked off Thursday with the 2018 Dick's Sporting Goods USHL Fall Classic in Pittsburgh, PA this Thursday with five exciting tilts.
FARGO FORCE: 3, CEDAR RAPIDS ROUGHRIDERS: 2 (OT)
The Clark Cup champions Fargo Force continued in their winning ways to begin the season. However it would not come easily. The Force and Roughriders fought a back-and-forth battle that would continue into the final frame. An unassisted Ben Almquist powerplay goal with just 3:04 remaining in regulation would let Cedar Rapids tie it up late in regulation. The goal forced the USHL season opener into overtime. At 1:21 of overtime, Hank Crone scored (assisted by Ben Meyers) to secure the Fargo Force their first victory of the 2018-19 season over the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.
Goalie Ryan Bischel stopped 21 of 23 shots, to earn the Force their win.
DES MOINES BUCCANEERS: 5, MADISON CAPITOLS: 2
Michigan State commit: Reed Lebster recorded a hat trick to push the Des Moines Buccaneers to a 5-2 lopsided win over the Madison Capitols. The seven goal game was highlighted by a four goal frenzy in the second period. Two of which would be credited to Lebster, completing the first hat trick of the season. The Bucs would take a 4-2 lead, over the Caps, to the intermission after 40 minutes of play. An empty net goal by Des Moines’ Connor Senken in the third would seal the Capitols fate.
Roman Durny stopped 21 of the 23 shots he faced to secure his first win of the season.
TRI-CITY STORM: 5, YOUNGSTOWN PHANTOMS: 4
Benji Eckerle put up three points (2G,1A) getting the Tri-City Storm a victory over the Youngstown Phantoms in a dogfight. The Storm got on the board first with a powerplay goal from Brad Morrissey. In just 5 minutes Youngstown would get their own powerplay equalizer via Liam Robertson. Tri-City’s Eckerle would create a two-goal advantage with goals in the second and third period, putting the Storm up 5-3. Youngstown fought back with two more goals of their own courtesy of Matthew DeMelis and Gianfranco Cassaro. The effort would leave the Phantoms shy of tying the game by one goal.
Storm goaltender Jake Barczewski logged a 29 of 33 effort on the night.
LINCOLN STARS: 5, CHICAGO STEEL: 4 (OT)
The Lincoln Stars complete the comeback late in the third to send the game verses Chicago Steel to overtime. The momentum continued resulting in a defeat of the Steel, 5-4. The Stars deficit was halved by a late goal from Hunter Carrick. A minute later, Shane Pinto kept the Stars skating with his second goal of the night, 43 seconds before the horn. At 1:34, Caleb Rule would take home his second goal on the night and a game winner.
Blackhawks prospect, Wouter Peeters would stop 27 of 31 shots in the win.
SIOUX FALLS STAMPEDE: 6, CENTRAL ILLINOIS FLYING ACES: 5 (OT)
Another game. Another comeback. Another overtime. The last game of the day would see the Flying Aces snatch a defeat away from the jaws of victory. The Sioux Falls Stampede’s Anthony Romano and Max Crozier eliminated a two-goal deficit to send the game to overtime late in the third. The Herd scored the only goal of the opening period thanks to a Jami Krannila tally. Central Illinois responded with two goals in the first eight minutes of the second, courtesy of Tate Singleton and Max Ellis, to take a 2-1 lead. It remained a 2-1 game until late in the frame, when the Stampede's Andre Lee found the back of the net with just 27 seconds remaining in the period, sending the teams to the final 20 minutes even at two. An Artem Ivanyuzhenkov deflection in overtime, would beat Illinois’ netminder Mitchell Gibson and the Flyers.
Hometown kid Chad Veltri stopped 25 of the 30 in the Sioux Falls win.
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