Monday, November 4- Junior Hockey Update

Some changes are taking place around the league not only in the standings, but on the trade block as well. The Lumberjacks sent defenseman Ryan Sorkin to the Lancers for defenseman Bryan Higgins, and the Buccaneers sent defenseman Jan Stibingr to the Capitols for defenseman Grant Docter. Sorkin leads all rookie USHL players in power play assists with four. 

The Stars and Saints are leading the East and West, respectfully, while the Black Hawks and Steel sit right on their tails. As several teams are vying for the top spot, the Capitols and Stampede are struggling to just find a point, let alone a win. 

Last week’s players of the week are forward, Jesse Tucker of the Gamblers who had three goals and two assists, defenseman Owen Power of the Steel who had two goals, and goaltender Victor Ostman of the Steel who boasted a .65 GAA and .976 SV%.

But without further ado:

The Lumberjacks extended their win-streak to 7 games with their win over the Black Hawks at home. Danil Guschin scored all four of the team’s goals as they won 4-3 in overtime. The team combined for 28 shots but wasn’t able to get anything going on the power play as they went zero for five. Noah Giesbrecht was in net for the Jacks and made 37 crucial saves.

Unfortunately for the Lumberjacks, their win-streak came to an end when they took on the Phantoms. Falling 4-3 in another overtime game, they haven’t been able to find the winning formula against the Phantoms as they’re now zero and three against them on the year. Luke Mobley, Cam Knuble, and Tanner Edwards all scored in this one. Noah Giesbrecht was in net again and matched his save count from the night before, he just needed to make one more in order for the team to get the win.

The boys from the Tri-City area picked up their fourth straight win as they defeated the Force, 3-1 on the road. Matthew Knies scored twice while Joe Berg added one of his own. Daniel Allin was stellar in net making 24 of 25 save opportunities.

The Storm’s win-streak came to an end when they took on the Force again in a 3-2 losing effort. Benji Eckerle scored both goals while the team as a whole looked out of sorts on power plays. Only converting on one of their nine opportunities, the Storm drop to 5-6-1-1 on the year.

Against the Phantoms, the Steel fell 4-2. Matty De St. Phalle pushed his point streak to 10 games with a goal that was accompanied by one by Sean Farrell as well. Both goals for the Steel came in the third period within 1:30 of each other, but it was too little too late.

At home against the Black Hawks, the Steel won their eighth game of the year, 5-3. Tyler Carpenter and John Spetz helped the Steel get out to an early lead while Sam Colangelo scored two goals in the third period. Owen Power added the nail in the coffin late in the third period as well.

Taking on the Capitols at home, the Buccaneers’ Alex Laferriere, John Driscoll, and Noah Ellis scored in the 3-2 win. The Buccaneers converted on two of their five power plays and scored one goal in each period.

With another win under their belt against the Stars, that takes the Bucs’ win-streak to three games. Winning 6-4 at home against the Stars, it was a big second period with two goals, but even bigger third period with three goals that propelled them to victory. Vincent Salice, Mason Nevers, Matt Choupani, Cooper Fenterstock, Noah Ellis, and Joey Strada all scored in this one.

The Saints won both of their games this week. First, against the Lancers, the Saints won 2-1 thanks to a big first period when Dylan Jackson and Mark Cheremeta found the back of the net. Although they didn’t score the rest of the way, Erik Portillo made 21 saves which was a big reason the Saints got the win.

Against the RoughRiders, Jimmy Glynn, Riese Gaber, Ty Jackson, and Antonio Venuto scored on four of the teams 33 shots for a 4-3 win. After a slow start, the Saints used a big second and third period when they scored two goals in each frame to get the victory. Erik Portillo was in net again where he picked up his league-leading sixth win of the season on a 23 save night.

It was a forgettable game when the Musketeers took on the Gamblers as they lost 4-0. Putting up 25 shots and going zero for two on power plays, this game can get swept under the rug.

Taking on the Gamblers, the Musketeers won 4-1 thanks to goals from Kirklan Irey, Sam Antenucci, Joel Maatta, and Josh Nixon. The victory comes thanks to an early 2-0 lead and a goal in each frame to coast to victory.

Youngstown picked up two big wins last week to improve to 6-4-2 on the year. Taking on the Steel, the Phantoms won 4-2 despite being outshot 16 to 38. A first-period goal by Aiden Gallacher helped gain some momentum, while John Beaton and Trevor Kuntar added one later on to build upon their lead. Aiden Gallacher iced the game in the third period with his goal. Dominic Basse made the most of his opportunities in net by making 36 of 38 saves.

Taking on the Lumberjacks, it went to overtime, but the Phantoms had enough to win 4-3. Yusako Ando scored two second period goals within 5 minutes of each other, a Jake Suede goal to follow, and Jayson Dobay scoring the game-winner in overtime with 46 seconds remaining. Dominic Basse was in net again making 33 saves.

The USHL schedule only had the Stampede playing one game last week and we’re guessing they wish they had zero. In a 4-0 shutout against the Lancers, the Stampede fall to 2-7-1 on the year. The turning point in the game came when Jack Jensen of the Lancers collided with Stampede defenseman, Ryan Sullivan, and received a 5-minute major. The Stampede couldn’t convert on the power play but as it ended, the Lancers received another penalty for having too many men on the ice. The Stampede again could not convert and finished zero for five on power plays. Grant Adams was between the pipes and made 30 of 34 saves.

Lynden Breen scored the lone goal in the Force’s 3-1 loss to the Storm Friday night. After jumping out to an early 1-0 lead, they couldn’t find the net on any of their remaining 24 shots.

Their second game of the week yielded better results for the team as they defeated the Storm, 3-2. Kaden Bohlsen, Mason Salquist, and Alex Nordstrom scored although the team struggled on power plays going zero for seven.

Traveling to Dubuque last week, the Lancers took on the Saints in a tight game. Christian Berger found the back of the net in the first period and was the lone Lancer to score on the night. They fell 2-1.

Returning home, the Lancers took on the Stampede and won 4-0. Their newly acquired player, Ross Mitton, scored two goals and was accompanied by Ryan Sorkin and Jack Rand. Kyle McClellan recorded his first career USHL shutout on the night as well.

The Musketeers traveled to Green Bay to take on the Gamblers over the weekend. Nicholas Zabaneh, Kyler Grundy, Jesse Tucker, and Chad Hillenbrand all scored in the 4-0 shutout. The Gamblers scored three goals in the second period and put the icing on the cake with one more in the third. Gavin Enright records a shutout with his 25 save performance.

Staying at home and taking on the Musketeers again, the Gamblers weren’t able to find as much success as they fell 4-1. Camden Thiesing scored the lone goal on the night for the Gamblers.

With at least one point in each of their last four games, the Stars put their record on the line as they took on the RoughRiders Friday night. With Zach Urdahl scoring two goals, Jake Boltman scoring his first USHL goal, and a guy named Travis Treloar, the Stars were too much in the 4-3 win. After trailing nearly the entire game, the come back win now leaves the Stars with a five-game points streak.

It was a slow start against the Buccaneers that ended the Stars’ five-game point streak. The 6-4 loss does keep the Stars in first place in the West, but it’s always nice to pick up road victories. 

Josh Groll scored two goals while Ty Glover and Brock Bremer added one of their own. Three of the team’s four goals came in the second period.

In a forgettable week for the RoughRiders, they did have a few bright spots that they can reflect on. After a great start on the road against the Stars, the RoughRiders ended up falling 4-3. All four of the team’s goals came in the first period by Nikolai Mayorov (2) and Michael Posma. It’s a tough pill to swallow as they blew a three-goal first-period lead. Derek Mullahy was in net for the RoughRiders making 33 saves.

Staying on the road, Cedar Rapids can’t wait to return home. They fell 4-3 to the Saints after again blowing an early lead. Nikolai Mayorov, Nate Hanley, and Michael Posma each had a goal in this contest.

Black Hawks
Heading into the weekend, the Black Hawks had a difficult task of playing three games in three days all on the road. Facing the Lumberjacks in the first game, Patrick Guzzo, Ryder Rolston, and Connor Caponi each had a goal. After falling behind early, they took a 2-1 lead into the third but couldn’t hold on. Rolston had his 5th goal in the last 4 games and Gabriel Carriere made 24 saves but they fell 4-3 in overtime.

Against the Steel, Patrick Guzzo, Dane Montgomery and Griffin Ness scored in another slow start. Picking things up in the second and third period is what did the Black Hawks in as they fell 5-3. 

In their final game of the weekend, the Black Hawks were relieved to take on the Capitols since it’s almost a guaranteed point. Well, Patrick Guzzo and Kyle Haskins scored in the 2-1 victory while Gabriel Carriere made 18 saves in the win. The Black Hawks did go 0-5 on power plays and will need to clean that up moving forward.

The Madison Capitols aren’t just facing tough teams, they’re having a difficult time not beating themselves. The defense is there but the shots they’re taking aren’t finding the back of the net. Against the Buccaneers, Kristof Papp and Reid Pabich scored on two of the team’s season-high 52 shots. They kept with the Buccaneers but ran out of gas late in the 3-2 loss. 

Against the Black Hawks the Caps fell 2-1 with Carson Bantle scoring the lone goal. All in all, another difficult weekend for the Capitols as they now sit at 2-10.

Points Leaders:
Trevor Kuntar, Phantoms, 18
Alex Laferriere, Buccaneers, 17
Mathieu De St. Phalle, Steel, 16

Goals Leaders:
Trevor Kuntar, Phantoms, 9
Mathieu De St. Phalle, Steel, 9
Oliver MacDonald, Lumberjacks, 9

Assists Leaders:
Jordan Power, Stars, 11
Sean Farrell, Steel, 10
Alex Konovalov, Lumberjacks, 9

Goalie Wins Leaders:
Erik Portillo, Saints, 6
Victor Ostman, Steel, 6
Noah Giesbrecht, Lumberjacks, 5

Save Percentage:
Logan Stein, Black Hawks, .941%
Gabriel Carriere, Black Hawks, .919%
Jack Williams, Lumberjacks, .919%

Goals Against Average:
Logan Stein, Black Hawks, 1.56
Gabriel Carriere, Black Hawks, 2.06
Ryan Mcinchak, Stars, 2.15

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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