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USHL Notebook: Seven-game point streaks come to an end for three players, Chicago keeps rolling on the road

Samuel Harris of the Sioux Falls Stampede can continue his streak after World Junior A play and the Steel are the lone USHL team with one road loss.

Macklin Celebrini at the USHL Fall Classic out in Pittsburgh in September 2022.
Kirsten Krull / The Rink Live

Most consider the number 7 to be a lucky one, but it wasn't so kind Friday night as three players had seven-game runs come to an end in the USHL.

Heading into the weekend, four players had seven-game streaks for goals or points and only one survived — Samuel Harris of the Sioux Falls Stampede.

Harris — who has a point in his last seven contests — didn't get to eight, either. That’s because he’s away to play for the U.S. Junior Select team in the World Junior A Challenge and missed his team’s 3-2 loss Friday to the Lincoln Stars.

Andrew Kuzma of the Madison Capitols saw his point streak end at seven in a 4-2 loss to the Green Bay Gamblers. Owen Mehlenbacher of the Muskegon Lumberjacks had his run of seven games with at least a point come to a halt despite a team victory and the Tri-City Storm’s Evan Werner had his seven-game goal streak stopped in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Omaha Lancers.

Road losses

The Chicago Steel (15-5-1-1) avoided its second road loss of the season, beating the USNTDP with 5-4 shootout win via Macklin Celebrini’s goal on Friday night.


The Steel are the only team in the league with one road loss after the Fargo Force lost for the second time on the road Friday night. Sioux City forward Ryan Conmy's third-period goal helped the Musketeers beat Fargo 3-2.

Chicago is 8-1-1-1 in its last 11 games.

Rookie watch

Fargo’s Mac Swanson led all USHL rookies with 23 points before Friday night’s games. Swanson is playing for the U.S. in the World Junior A Challenge.

Edited/20221117_Fargo Force vs. Sioux Falls Stampede Cully's Kids Night_036.jpg
Fargo Force forward Mac Swanson (27) fires a puck past Sioux Falls Stampede goaltender Jackson Irving (1) in the first period Thursday, November 17, 2022, for his first goal of the game at the Moorhead Sports Center.
Eli Swanson / The Rink Live

Stepping in, stepping up

Adam Gajan , a rookie goaltender with the Chippewa Steel of the NAHL, joined the Green Bay Gamblers on Monday, Dec. 5, for a 10-game stint, The Chippewa Herald (Chippewa Falls, Wis.) reported.

The 6-3, 176-pound Slovakian was between the pipes on Friday against the Madison Capitols and helped his new club to a 4-2 victory.

Gajan, who recently committed to Minnesota Duluth, stopped 22 of 24 shots.

He was 8-7-0-1 with a 2.74 goals-against-average in 16 games with the Steel.


"He has some elements to his game that are very dynamic. He's explosive," Steel head coach Casey Mignone told The Chippewa Herald of Gajan. "He's just an outstanding kid and human being. He's humble and he's coachable and he just wants to get better."

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The committee upheld a ruling that Egor Barabanov didn’t play in 50% of the team’s games, a requirement for player postseason eligibility in ice hockey. He had a 10-game stint with Sioux Falls.

Lumberjacks prevail

After an ownership and coaching shakeup on Friday, the Muskegon Lumberjacks (12-8-1-0) beat the USNTDP U17 squad 4-3 with an overtime goal from Cody Croal .

Nicholas Rexine tied the game for Muskegon with a goal early in the third period.

Des Moines VP dies

Des Moines Buccaneers vice president Dawn Swanson, a longtime staff member of the team, died after battling cancer, the team announced Friday night.

Swanson, 53, served 27 years with the Bucs, starting as an usher and working up to vice president and general manager.

There will be no public viewing or funeral, the team said, asking that friends and fans respect her family and their privacy at this time.


The Buccaneers will honor the life and legacy of Swanson with a moment of silence prior to Saturday’s game.

Nelson making impact upon return

Defenseman Henry Nelson missed 18 games before making his season debut with the Lincoln Stars on Dec. 2. He’s been making up for lost time in a hurry.

In three games since returning from injury, Nelson has registered 13 shots. His four Friday night in a 3-2 victory at Sioux Falls were second only to teammate Brennan Ali’s six.

Nelson, of Maple Grove, Minnesota, scored in the second game back last weekend, a 2-1 victory over Fargo at the Ice Box. He produced 14 points a season ago for Lincoln.

“We knew Henry was going to have a little bit of an adjustment returning, which he still will," head coach Rocky Russo told the Lincoln Journal Star. "He's been practicing really well. We put him with Tony (Fernandez), because Tony can give him a level of comfort. (Fernandez) is a veteran defenseman that's responsible and able to play in all situations.”

How they Dew it

The 2002 Clark Cup champion Sioux City Musketeers are dewing it right. The team partnered with a local HyVee to produce 10,000 cases of Mountain Dew special edition collector cans.

Rob Beer is the digital content manager for Forum Communications. A journalist with Forum Communications since 1991, he is the editor of The Rink Live and helps cover the CCHA. He also assists with other content produced by Forum Communications.
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