Final scores from earlier this week:
Thursday, Dec. 27th
DUBUQUE FIGHTING SAINTS , GREEN BAY GAMBLERS  (OT)
SIOUX FALLS STAMPEDE , WATERLOO BLACK HAWKS 
DES MOINES BUCCANEERS , OMAHA LANCERS 
Friday, Dec. 28th
MUSKEGON LUMBERJACKS , MADISON CAPITOLS 
The Lumberjacks return from their winter slumber to take care of business, defeating the Capitols 5-2 on Friday. Muskegon got out to a lead by netting the first two goals courtesy of Mikael Hakkarainen and Egor Afanasyev. Madison responded with a single tally from Carson Bantle. Hakkarainen returned the favor registering his second of the game. Capitol: Josh Boyer would score the Capitols’ final goal of the night before James McIsaac slammed the door shut scoring the final two goals of the game.
As one might have guessed, it was Brandon Bussi that brought home the victory stopping 32 of 34 shots.
TRI-CITY STORM , LINCOLN STARS 
The Storm take down the Stars in an early effort. Joe Berg opened the scoring for Tri-City just 1:20 into the contest. Just over seven and a half minutes later, Lincoln would even the score with a Shane Pinto tally. The intense first period would conclude with the Storm grabbing the go-ahead-goal via Brendan Furry. The Storm would carry their single goal lead all the way into the third when Ronnie Attard would extend the Tri-City lead and insure the victory.
Isaiah Saville was impressive stopping all but one of the 23 shots he encountered.
YOUNGSTOWN PHANTOMS , CEDAR RAPIDS ROUGHRIDERS 
Ohio outlasts Iowa in a dogfight. Youngstown’s Jack Malone was the first to get on the board, scoring the only goal of the first period. His teammate, Brett Murray would double the Phantom lead just over eight minutes into the second. Finally the RoughRiders would break through at the 11:47 mark of the second period with a goal from Nathan Smith. Cedar Rapids would tie the game up in the third period when Jason Polin took a feed from Smith through the pipes. With less than four minutes remaining Youngstown’s Connor MacEachern fired the game winner past Blake Pietila.
Christian Stoever made 20 saves on the 22 shots he faced.
CENTRAL ILLINOIS FLYING ACES , CHICAGO STEEL 
A season rivalry series that had been previously dominated by the Chicago Steel was upended the Flying Aces of Central Illinois. Matteo Pietroniro scored from behind net-front screen for the Steel. The Aces got on the board at 14:19 in the first when Lynden Breen quickly wristed a puck top-shelf. On the power play during the second, Philippe Lapointe scored for the first Aces lead of the night. Less than twenty seconds later, Aces’ Trevor Janicke grabbed deflection goal at 7:16. Neil Shea was able to lift a rebound in the third to get Chicago back within one. Stephen Halliday restored the Central Illinois two-goal lead at 9:11 in the third. Aces’ Tate Singleton put his own rebound into the back of the net to make it 5 to 2. Steel’s Shea got his second of the night off a rebound at 18:24 in the third. Chad Hillebrand would secure the game with an empty net goal.
Gibson stopped 30 of 33 shots faced between the pipes for the Aces in the win.
Saturday, Dec. 29th
MUSKEGON LUMBERJACKS , MADISON CAPITOLS  (OT)
The ‘Jacks outlast the Cap to win it in overtime. Bobby Lynch of Muskegon and Chase Brand of Madison traded goals traded respective goals to open the game. Lumberjack - Igor Larionov and Capitol – duplicated the previous period’s tallies in the second. The third period would see Kalle Eriksson of the Capitols and Larionov (his second) keepthe game tied through the remainder of regulation. At 2:03 in OT, Colby Bukes would land the game winner for Muskegon.
Ryan McInchak shutdown 24 of 27 shots.
CEDAR RAPIDS ROUGHRIDERS , DES MOINES BUCCANEERS 
Cedar Rapids get back on track after their loss the night before. The first period remained scoreless. Nathan Smith opened the scoring in the second with a RoughRider tally. Seven and a half minutes later Reed Lebster tied the game for the Buccaneers. The third was all Grant Silianoff who put up two goals to secure Cedar Rapids victory.
Troy Kobryn stopped all but one of the shots he faced in the RoughRiders’ win.
CHICAGO STEEL , TEAM USA (U17) 
The Steel come up big in their 6-3 defeat of the U17’s. Neil Shea opened the scoring in the first for Chicago. He would get the next goal as well, 27 seconds into the third. Luke Tuch would respond with the first US goal before Christian Sarlo and John Spetz put in the next two Chicago goals. Daniyal Dzhaniyev would get the next US goal before the Steel answere:d with yet another pair from Nick Abruzzese and Matteo Pietroniro. Thomas Bordeleau would score the last US goal and they would fall far short in their comeback.
Justin Robbins stopped 28 of the 31 shots he encountered.
GREEN BAY GAMBLERS , DUBUQUE FIGHTING SAINTS 
Green Bay eeks out a win in a one goal game over Dubuque. At 19:45 into the first period, Paul Maust scored an unassisted tally that would prove to be the game winner for the Gamblers.
Evan Fear would get the win stopping all 41of the shots he faced.
SIOUX FALLS STAMPEDE , FARGO FORCE 
The Stampede take down the Force, 5-3. Austen Swankler, Matt Kessel, Andre Lee, Brian Chambers and Jami Krannila all scored for Sioux Falls. Josh Nodler (with two) and Hank Crone total the three goals for the Force.
Alec Calvaruso blocked 23 of 26 shots.
SIOUX CITY MUSKETEERS , LINCOLN STARS 
The Muskies hang on to grab the win in a close contest over the Stars. Lincoln’s Josh Lopina and Sioux City’s Jordan Steinmetz traded goals in the first. The Muskies grabbed the next three goals in the second courtesy of Matthew Miller and a pair from Parker Ford. Tristan Ashbrook closed out the second with a Stars tally. Lincoln would squeeze out one more goal via Shane Pinto but it would not be enough to catch Sioux City.
Ben Kraws stopped 20 of 23 in the win.
TRI-CITY STORM , OMAHA LANCERS 
Tri-City put up a big win against Omaha. The Storm got the first three goals from Colton Kalezic and two from Joseph Molenaar. Travis Mitchell broke the Storm’s scoring with a Lancer goal at 5:18 in the second. The Storm would answer with two more goals from Keaton Pehrson and Khristian Acosta. Cole Kodsi would complete the Omaha scoring for the night.
Isaiah Saville proved victorious turning away 28 of the 26 Omaha shots.
WATERLOO BLACK HAWKS , YOUNGSTOWN PHANTOMS 
Another tight affair greeted the Phantoms as they took on the Black Hawks, although this time fate would not prove to be as fortunate. Waterloo’s Hank Sorensen and Youngstown’s Craig Needham traded goals in the first. Waterloo then went on a tear in the second to put up three courtesy of Wyatt Schingoethe, Matej Blümel and Mason Palmer. Youngstown would fight back with goals from Connor MacEachern and Matthew Barnaby in the third.
Logan Stein went 29 for 32 in Saturday’s win.
Sunday, Dec. 30th
YOUNGSTOWN PHANTOMS , DUBUQUE FIGHTING SAINTS 
The Phantoms escape Dubuque with a narrow 4-3 victory over the Saints. Saints opened the scoring with the only goal of the first period courtesy of JD Greenway. In the second, Jack Malone scored for Youngstown and Willie Knierim scored for Dubuque. The Phantoms scored three more times in the second period, courtesy of Connor MacEachern, Brett Murray and Dalton Messina. Dubuque’s Derek Contessa netted a final effort in the third but the Phantoms hung on for the win.
Christian Stoever made 33 saves on 36 shots in the victory.
**Do you have a business and want to boost your traffic, grow your brand, and build your online presence? JuniorHockey.com’s USHL Weekend Breakout receives tremendous amounts of traffic monthly. With a strong search engine ranking and loyal audience, this becomes a perfect opportunity for sponsorship. To learn more about how your business and brand can be featured, send an email to the column’s author Michael Moore at: email@example.com
* Disclaimer: This site may contain advice, opinions and statements from various authors and information providers. Views expressed in this article reflect the personal opinion of the author, Michael Moore, and not necessarily the views of JuniorHockey.com. JuniorHockey.com does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement or other info provided in the article, or from any other member of this site.