Monday, October 28- Junior Hockey Update

Since the last update, there have been some changes around the league. All undefeated teams have fallen, we have a new points leader, and we have a new leader in the Eastern Conference. The Black Hawks and Saints are undefeated no more, meaning every team in the USHL has been proven to be beatable, it’s just all about seizing the opportunity.

Last week’s players of the week include Ryder Rolston of the Black Hawks, Ben Meehan of the Rough Riders, and Aidan McCarthy of the Saints. Rolston picked up his ninth multi-goal game and second hat-trick of his USHL career after his four-point performance a week prior. Meehan matched Rolston’s three goals and raised him one by scoring all of them in a 13-minute span for a four-point evening, and McCarthy has been as close to a brick wall as they come. A shutout saving all 18 shots with a GAA average of 1.5 and a 93.8 SV%, McCarthy has been a big part of the Saints’ great start.

To get things kicked off:

Black Hawks
The Black Hawks continued their hot start against the Gamblers by defeating them five to nothing in Green Bay. Goals came by none other than Ryder Rolston, Connor Caponi, Patrick Guzzo, Wyatt Schingoethe, and Keighan Gerrie. Logan Stein recorded the shutout on a 24 save night.

Unfortunately, the high was short-lived as the Hawks suffered their first loss of the season after a 7-0 start. Connor Caponi had a great week as he scored twice, once in each game, but the team just couldn’t find the back of the net. In total, the team was 0/10 on powerplays last week, something they’ll need to work on if they look to remain atop the leaderboard.

Rough Riders
Splitting their two games last week, Cedar Rapids finds themselves right in the thick of the Eastern Conference. Sitting at 6-4, they’re doing enough to make the playoffs, just not win the whole thing.

They got things started agians the Capitols, and thus far into the season, the results are most likely known for teams playing them. Robby Newton and Jackson Jutting had a solo goal while Grant Sillanoff, Nikolai Mayorov, and Joshua Barnes had two apiece in the 8-3 win. Derek Mullahy was solid in the crease with a 23 for 26 save night. 

Game two for the Rough Riders was a much different result as they fell to the Gamblers 7-4 at home. Nikolai Mayorov, Tyler Rollwagen, Yegoy Klavdiev, and Will Francis all scored in this one.

Dropping their first game of the season, the Saints were still able to pick up at least one point in their loss to Team USA U-17s. Sticking to their mantra, the Fighting Saints, they fought back from a 4-2 deficit to force overtime before running out of gas. Ty Jackson, Mark Cheremeta, Riese Gaber, and Matthew Kopperud led the way for the Saints in the 5-4 overtime loss.

If each game ended after the first period, the Phantoms would be one of the best teams in the league. Unfortunately for them, there are three periods and the remaining two seem to get the best of them time and time again. After jumping out to an early lead, the Phantoms conceded four unanswered goals to Team USA’s U-17s in a 9-2 loss. Jayson Dobay had one and Zack Nazzarett scored his first USHL goal to trim lead to 4-2 but that would be as close as it would get. The Phantoms only mustered 16 Shots while their goalie, Colin Purcell, faced 45 and was able to save 36 of them.

Taking on the Lancers twice, the Storm came away with a weekend sweep winning both games 3-2. In the first game, Davis Burnside scored his first career USHL goal, Nick Capone scored his first goal of the season, and Felix Carenfelt scored his fourth goal of the year. 

In game two, the Storm’s Colby Ambrosio and Ian Murphy had regulation the team’s regulation goals while Cole McWard scored the game-winner in overtime. Daniel Allin was instrumental in the win going 23 for 25 on save opportunities. The Storm will look to continue their hot streak as they take a three-game win-streak into Fargo for two-game stint against the Force. 

When the U-17s defeated Youngstown 9-2, 13 different players recorded a point. Justin Janicke and Jack Hughes each recorded one goal and two assists while teammates Sasha Pastujov, Liam Gilmartin, Chaz Lucius, Red Savage, Caden Brown, Jacob Martin, Ryan St. Louis all had one goal. Team USA rode a five-goal third period to coast to victory. Kaidan Mbereko was in net for the development team and stopped 14 of 16 shots.

In their second game of the week, Team USA tallied their third straight victory when they took on the Saints. Taking down the only remaining undefeated team at the hands of Sasha Pastujov, Ty Gallagher, and Jack Devine. Devine had two goals and the one that pushed it to overtime where Chaz Lucius scored the game-winner in overtime with less than 90 seconds remaining. Gibson Homer was in net recording 34 saves. Team USA will be off from USHL play as they begin the World U-17 Challenge in Canada.

Omaha fell in both of their games to the Storm 3-2 last week. In the first game, Alex Campbell and Jackson Decker did their best to avoid defeat by finding the back of the net. In game two,  Daniel Hilsendager and Cam Berg scored to push the game to overtime but came up short. They were able to record one point in the defeat but their record now stands at 3-5-2.

The Stars did their best to come away with at least one point against the Musketeers as they pushed the game to overtime but ran out of steam. Ty Glover scored his second goal of the season and was accompanied by Josh Lopina in the 3-2 overtime loss. Jake Muticelli was in net where he made 27 of 30 save opportunities.

In their second game of the week in as many days, the Stars got their revenge against the Musketeers as they defeated them 4-1. Matt Barbolini was one goal shy of a hat-trick as he was joined by Christian Sarlo and Zach Urdahl in the goal column. The Stars were outshot 14-29, but thankfully Ryan McInchak was in net stopping 28 of the 29 opportunities.

Recording his team-leading seventh assist, Alex Konovaloc helped lead the Lumberjacks to a 4-2 victory over the Stampede. Tanner Edwards scored just under 3 minutes in the first period and would add his second goal of the night later on in the contest. Christophe Fillion and AJ Hodges each had a goal as well while goaltender Noah Giesbrecht flashed his glove skills in a 27 for 29 save night. 

After losing four straight, the Lumberjacks remained hot as they beat the Stampede in the second game of the weekend, 6-1. Oliver MacDonald, Danil Gushchin, Tanner Edwards, Luke Mobley, Jack Williams, and Harrison Roy led the way; it was also Roy’s first goal of the season. Jonathon Williams was in net stopping 26 of 27 shots.

Sioux City split their games last week against the Stars winning the first but falling in the second. Ian Malcolmson had both regulation goals while Sam Strange scored the game-winner in overtime on a 2 on 1 chance.

In the second game, it was Ian Malcolmson who scored late in the third period to avoid the 4-0 shutout. The Stars looked all out of sorts in this one and it doesn’t help when your goalie, Ethan Daider, only faces 14 shots and can only stop 10 of them.

The Stampede definitely could’ve dreamt of a better start to the season, but as of now, they’re only 3 points out of a playoff position. The season’s long and there are plenty of games to be played so they can turn things around.

They did fall in both games at the hands of the Lumberjacks, but they’re on a promising path. Brenden Olson and Isaac Henkemeyer-Howe scored in the 4-2 loss while Tyler Coffey scored in the other contest where they fell 6-1. Grant Adams and Nate Reid combined for 24 of 30 save opportunities on the night and Adams was pulled in the first after trailing 4-0. 

Chicago’s Matty De St. Phalle continues to state his case for early season MVP as he extended his point streak to nine games last week. In the first game against the Force, the Steel won 3-1 with Dawson Pasternak netting one while St. Phalle had two. Victor Ostman was in net making 26saves on 27 shots.

In game two against the Force, the Steel won again 7-4. St. Phalle had an assist while Tyler Carpenter and Brendan Brisson had two goals each. Sam Colangelo, Owen Power, and Sean Farrell also joined in on the scoring action. The Steel rolled in this one converting on all four of their power plays.

The Force continue to flirt with their .500 record, but they’ll need to start winning some games at home if they want to make a playoff run. Losing to the Steel, 3-1, Aaron Grounds avoided the shutout by scoring in the closing minutes of the third period. Cole Brady, a 5th round pick by the New Jersey Devils (127th overall), made 36 saves out of 39 shots.

Taking on the Steel again, Tristan Broz, Aaron Grounds, Mason Salquist, and Ondrej Pavel found the net in their team’s 7-4 loss.

Green Bay is a hot sports town with the Packers now sitting at 7-1, but the Gamblers will need to pick up their play if they hope to ride some of the town’s momentum. Taking on the Black Hawks in their first game of the week, Green Bay was shutout on 24 shots as they fell 5-0. They can have some piece of mind knowing that Waterloo has the best goalies in the league thus far in the season.

In game two, the Gamblers were on the winning side of a 7-4 game against the Rough Riders. Jesse Tucker recorded a hat-trick and Michael Ferrandino, Dylan Wendt, McKade Webster, and Kyler Grundy added a goal for themselves as well. 

In their third game of the week in as many days, legs were tired as they faced the Madison Capitols. Ryan O’Reilly and Benito Posa found the net but it wasn’t enough as the lost 3-2 in a shootout.

The Capitols acquired Hunter Carrick from Lancers for a 6th round pick in the 2020 USHL Phase I draft. “We’re really excited to add a new face in the locker room. We’re familiar with Hunter and his family since we previously had him in 2016. We’ve had some injuries and need the help on the back end right now,” said head coach, Garrett Suter. “Hunter is a guy that’s been around the block and understands what it takes to succeed at this level.”

Taking on the Rough Riders, the Caps fell 8-3 with Stepan Pokorny slapping in two goals and Carson Bantle with one. Branden Suter and Coltan Wilkie are out with injuries while Hunter Weiss served his 1 game suspension. Garrett Mackay was in net where he made 35 saves on 43 shots.

Something that hasn’t been said often this year is, the Capitols win! With their new addition, Hunter Carrick, suiting up to play, his presence was felt on defense as they won 3-2 in a shootout victory. Ryan Kirwan and Gustav Muller scored the regulation-time goals and Kirwan put home the game-winner.

With the final recap of the week, the Buccaneers handed the Black Hawks their first loss of the season, 4-1. Noah Ellis, Michael Mancinelli, Joey Strada, and Mason Nevers led the way for the Bucs. Catch the recap here.

Points Leaders:

Matty De St. Phalle, Steel, 15

Trevor Kuntar, Phantoms, 15

Alex Laferriere, Buccaneers, 15

Goals Leaders:

Oliver MacDonald, Lumberjacks, 9

Matty De St. Phalle, Steel, 8

Trevor Kuntar, Phantoms, 8

Assists Leaders:

Sean Farrell, Steel, 9

Jordan Power, Stars, 9

Owen Power, Steel, 9

Goalie Wins Leaders:

Victor Ostman, Steel, 5

Logan Stein, Black Hawks, 4

Erik Portillo, Saints, 4

Save Percentage Leaders:

Drew Commesso, USA, .979%

Logan Stein, Black Hawks, .960%

Aidan McCarthy, Saints, .938%

Goals Against Average:

Drew Commesso, USA, .5

Logan Stein, Black Hawks, 1.05

Noah Grannan, USA, 1.5

Come back next week to get more USHL news and be sure to follow me on Twitter @Nwinansw. I’ll see you next week.

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