Monday, September 23- Junior Hockey Update

Daylight is starting to fade earlier and earlier and the days are getting colder and colder. This week gets the season kicked off with the Dicks Sporting Goods Fall Classic where each USHL team will play two regular season games. See the schedule here.

There were a few transactions that took place this past week along with preseason officially wrapping up.

The RoughRiders made two transactions this week by acquiring netminder, Shamil Shmakov, from the Lincoln Stars. Shmakov was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2018 NHL draft. They also acquired Donte Lawson from the Tri-City Storm in exchange for a 2020 Phase II draft choice. Lawson is a Herb Brooks award winner which goes to the most qualified hockey player in the Minnesota State Tournament. 

The RoughRiders also defeated the Blackhawks 3-2 thanks to goals from Josh Barnes, Will Francis, and Grant Sillianoff. Their preseason wrapped up in game 2 vs. the Blackhawks with a 5-4 shootout win thanks to Jackson Jutting, Justin Hryckowian, Josh Barnes, Grant Sillianoff, and Donte Lawson all tickling the twine.

The Steel put on an absolute scoring clinic to finish their preseason by taking on the Capitols twice. In the first game, Tyler Carpenter had a hat-trick, Dawson Pasternak, Mackie Samoskevich, Ellis Hece, Matt Coronato, and Jimmy Dowd adding to the scoring in an 8-1 victory. In game two, it was Mathieu De St. Phalle with the hat-trick, Elis Hede with two, and Sam Colangelo and Mackie Samoskevich each with one in another 7-1 romp.

Another trade took place when the Saints sent Gabe Temple to the Lancers in exchange for a Phase II 4th round pick. The Saints final week of the preseason had them facing the Gamblers twice. In the first game, the Saints tasted victory in a 6-3 win thanks to Dylan Jackson, Reggie Millette, Stephen Halliday, Thomas Middleton, Ty Jackson, and Robert Cronin contributing. In game two, the score was different but the result was the same. Antonio Venuto, Riese Gaber, Dylan Jackson, and Ty Jackson all tallied a score with Ryan Beck putting in the game-winner. 

In the first game against the Saints, it was Jesse Tucker, Kyler Grundy, and Benito Posa who contributed in a 6-3 losing effort. For the second game against the Saints, Tyler Paquette, Benito Posa,  Jesse Tucker, and Ryan O’Reilly did their best efforts to taste victory but fell short in the 5-4 loss.

The second set of games for the Gamblers were against the Muskateers and it was unfortunately another loss for the Gamblers, 4-1 with Jake Schmaltz being the only scorer for them. In their final preseason game, the Gamblers ended on a high note by defeating the Muskateers 6-1. Ryan O’Reilly had a first period hat-trick, then it was Tyler Paquette, Dalton Wright, and Benito Posa rounding out the preseason.

When the Capitols took on the Blackhawks, there was no shortage of scoring. In a 7-5 victory, Cole Kodesi and Verners scored twice, with Will Margel, Braden Suter, and Ricky Lyle ensuring victory. It was in the second game that Waterloo got back the two goals they lost by in a 2-0 shutout against the Caps. 

From there, it was all downhill as they were outscored 15-2 by the Steel. In the first game, Hunter Weis was the lone scorer in the 8-1 loss and in the second it was Ricky Lyle who scored in the 7-1 defeat.

Sioux City acquired Avery Sturtz from the Maine Nordiques of the NAHL adding some much needed goalie depth. The return for the Nordiques is unknown at this time. The Muskateers took on the Stars in their first preseason game of the week and were defeated 2-1 with Victor Masilevich scoring the only goal for them. In their final preseason game against the Stampede, they tasted victory in a 5-1 thromping thanks to Ryan Taylors two goals, along with Ray Christy, Sam Stange, and Viktor Masilevich adding one.

Facing the USHL Development team, the Jacks fell 11-8 in a game that had everyone worried about getting whiplash. Danil Guschin scored twice, along with Oliver MacDonald and Harrison Roy. Aj Hodges and Alexandros Gaffner also contributed with a goal.

Taking on the Lancers this week, they won 6-1 thanks to John Driscoll, Mason Nevers, Joey Strada, Isaac Novak, finding the back of the net. Isaac Novak also added two goals in the contest.

Splitting their final two preseason games, the Stars fell 3-1 to the Stampede, and thanks to Josh Lopina, it would’ve been 3-0 otherwise. In their final preseason game, they defeated the team who had beaten them the night before 2-1. It was Lopina again with Josh Groll helping out.

In a trade with the Steel, Matthew Sutton and a 2021 Phase I 9th round pick were traded away in return for a 2021 Phase I 3rd round pick. Aside from their trade, it was a forgettable last week of preseason for the Lancers. Their first loss came against the Storm in a 4-3 shootout loss. Rhett Pitlick scored once and Alexander Campbell scored twice in the losing effort. In game two against the Storm, it was Logan Will who was the lone scorer in a 2-1 defeat. In their final game against the Storm, Blais Richartz felt lonely by netting the only goal for the Lancers in a 4-1 losing effort. Taking on the Buccaneers in their final game, Nolan Renwick was again the lone scorer in a 6-1 defeat.

Facing the Lancers in three games, they were victorious all three times. Benji Eckerle, Mark Estapa, Mitchell Miller, were the three who pushed the game to a 3-3 shootout where they watched Chikara Hanzawa score the game winner for a 4-3 victory. In game two, Mark Estapa and Mitchell Miller tickled the twine for their 2-1 win, and in the final game, Matthew Knies, Cole Mcward, Tyler Coffey, and Colby Ambrosio scored for a 4-1 victory.

The defending champs fell 1-3 on the week but found victory in the first game against the Stars. Thanks to Ryan Sullivan, Brian Carrabes, and Austin Heiderman, the 3-1 victory was the lone bright spot of the week. When they took on the Force for their next game, it was Cam MacDonald and Phillip Tornqvist who contributed in the 6-2 loss. 

Facing the Muskateers in their final two games, they were outscored 11-2, both goals were scored by Chase Foley in the 6-1 and 5-1 loss.

With four games last week, the Blackhawks found themselves with a .250 winning percentage. Dropping the first game to the Capitols, 7-5, Keighan Gerrie, Xander Lamppa, Ryder Rolston, Ryan Drkulec, and Ondrej Psenicka did their best to get the win. The Hawks came back in the second game and shutout the Caps in a 2-0 victory thanks to John Waldron and Wyatt Schingoethe.

The final two games were close for the Hawks against the RoughRiders. Losing each game by 1, Kyle Haskins and Griffin Ness scored in the first 3-2 loss, and Ethan Szmagaj, Quinn Rudrud, and Ryder Rolston (2) scored in the 5-4 loss.

Finishing up this weeks’ recap, the Force took on the Stampede and demolished them 6-2. Lynden Brreen, Alex Nordstrom, Mason Salquist, Noah Beck, Joseph Dunlap, and Kaden Bohlsen put a tick on the scoreboard in the win.

Come back next week to get the Fall Classic recap, transaction news, and anything else USHL related. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @Nwinansw and I’ll see you next week.

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