USHL Rink Report: Brännman posts zeros, Gamache stays hot and Eastern Conference race tightens up
Trades and suspensions dominate USHL headlines as trade deadline looms at end of the month
OMAHA, Neb. - As this weekend’s games quickly approach on the horizon, USHL writer Jordan McAlpine gets you caught up on what’s happening around the USHL.
In case you missed it earlier this week, the USHL transaction log got a workout on Monday. Six trades were executed — highlighted by a pair of major deals involving the Omaha Lancers — and six players were issued suspensions. For more on those deals, click here.
Eastern Conference race tightens up
Chicago’s lead atop the Eastern Conference has dwindled to four points. The USNTDP is on a seven-game win streak and has climbed to second while Green Bay, Youngstown and Dubuque are right behind. And all five will get their fill of each other over the coming weeks.
The Gamblers are third in the Eastern Conference with 46 points while Youngstown and Dubuque have 44 and 42 respectively. Green Bay is 6-4-0-0 in its last 10 while Youngstown and Dubuque are 7-3-0-0 and 7-1-2-0 respectively.
Dubuque goaltender Marcus Brännman posted back-to-back shutouts last weekend and his four shutouts are tied for the USHL lead.
Brännman finished the weekend 2-1-0-0 and stopped 70 of the 76 shots fired his way. All six goals came Thursday night in a 7-3 loss to Waterloo. The loss was his third consecutive and came after Brännman had won six consecutive starts. However, he responded in impressive fashion.
Brännman turned aside 31 shots on Friday and another 21 on Saturday in a pair of 3-0 wins over Green Bay. He’s now 13-5-2-1 this season with a 2.88 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage.
Goals for Gamache
Graham Gamache is on a tear with goals in six of his last seven games. The Minnesota State commit currently has a seven-game point streak and has 11 points in that stretch. Gamache had 15 goals and 34 points in 62 games last season. He has 13 goals and 36 points in 37 games this season.
Gamache’s 36 points rank second on Tri-City’s roster behind recently-acquired Jake Richard. He’ll play his 100th career USHL game Friday night against Waterloo.
Players of the Week
In case you missed it earlier this week, the USHL announced its Players of the Week Monday evening. Waterloo forward Gavin O’Connell, Waterloo defenseman Ben Robertson and Tri-City goaltender Cameron Korpi took home the respective honors. It was the first honor of the season for all three and the third time a team has had multiple players selected in the same week.
For more on each player and their recent play, click here.
News and notes
- Youngstown forward William Whitelaw is also riding a seven-game point streak. Whitelaw has eight goals and 13 points over the last seven games. Whitelaw’s 37 points rank second among USHL rookies and his 20 goals are third.
- Waterloo is 8-2-0-0 in its last 10 and has closed the gap in the standings. Waterloo trails Fargo by just four points atop the Western Conference.
- Lincoln brings the USHL’s second-longest current win streak into this weekend. Lincoln won three games last weekend, including a home-and-home sweep over Sioux City.
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- Lincoln forward Doug Grimes currently has a five-game point streak. Grimes has three goals and two assists in that stretch.
- Fargo goaltender Matej Marinov won again last Friday and has won his last seven starts. Marinov is still undefeated in regulation this season (14-0-0-2). Fargo hosts Sioux City for a pair of games this weekend.
- Sioux Falls forward
saw a six-game point streak come to an end last Sunday. Harris has points in 17 of his last 20 games and has 39 points (19-20-39) in 34 games this season. Harris is 11th in the USHL in points and tied for eighth in goals.
- Chicago scored again on the power play last Saturday in a 5-3 win over Cedar Rapids. The Steel have the USHL’s top power-play unit at 29.1%.
- On top of the slew of trades earlier this week, Sioux City traded defenseman Grayden Daul to Janesville (NAHL) last Sunday. Daul had one point in 16 games with the Musketeers this season.