USHL Rink Report: Chicago’s offense shines, Bucs thrive in OT, Phantoms and Force roll on
Celebrini delivers big weekend, quartet of teams earn sweeps and USHL prepares for Cleveland Classic
The Rink Live’s Jordan McAlpine provides the USHL’s Rink Report. Take a look back at the weekend that was, what’s ahead and various other news and notes from around the USHL.
*Home teams in bold*
Fri. Feb. 17
Des Moines 4, Waterloo 3 OT
Youngstown 6, Dubuque 3
Green Bay 3, Muskegon 2
Fargo 3, Lincoln 2
Omaha 4, Madison 2
Chicago 4, Cedar Rapids 3
Sat. Feb. 18
Chicago 8, USNTDP U-17 5
Des Moines 3, Sioux Falls 2 OT
Youngstown 1, Dubuque 0
Tri-City 5, Sioux City 2
Fargo 3, Lincoln 2
Muskegon 4, Green Bay 2
Cedar Rapids 4, Waterloo 3
Madison 3, Omaha 1
Sun. Feb. 19
USNTDP U-17 8, Chicago 5
Sioux City 7, Lincoln 5
Tri-City 4, Sioux Falls 2
Macklin Celebrini, F, Chicago
The rookie phenom continued to turn heads this weekend with seven goals and an assist. The USHL scoring leader netted a highlight reel goal Friday and recorded the first five-goal game in Steel history on Saturday.
Celebrini has 11 goals and 15 points over his last five games.
Jayden Perron, F, Chicago
While Celebrini racked up the goals for Chicago, Perron was dishing out helpers. The North Dakota commit had two assists on Friday, four on Saturday and two more on Sunday.
The eight-point weekend gives Perron 49 points, which ranks sixth in the USHL. Right behind is fellow UND commit Michael Emerson, who had a five-point weekend (3-2-5). Perron has 16 points (3-13-16) over his current eight-game point streak.
Cole Eiserman, F, USNTDP
The only thing that prevented Chicago from a weekend sweep was Eiserman. The Minnesota commit recorded a hat trick in Sunday’s 8-5 win and five goals on the weekend. Eisermann has 18 goals and 30 points in 23 USHL games this season.
The USNTDP forward is one of the top prospects for the 2024 NHL Draft.
Cole Knuble, F, Fargo
Knuble scored two goals and added three assists over Fargo’s three games this week. Knuble was also a plus-4 and now has points in nine of his last 10 games. He has 17 points (7-10-17) in that stretch.
The Notre Dame commit is currently tied for fourth in the USHL with 50 points and his 22 goals rank eighth.
Michael Bevilacqua, D, Des Moines
Bevilacqua was the overtime hero twice this week - Tuesday in Lincoln and Saturday against Sioux Falls. The veteran defenseman has six goals this season and three of them are game-winners. His 23 points are also a career-high.
The Buccaneers won three games in overtime this past week and if the playoffs were to start today, the Buccaneers would be in. Des Moines is currently sixth in the Western Conference with 40 points.
Matej Marinov, G, Fargo
Marinov stopped 59 of the 63 shots fired his way in a pair of 3-2 wins over Lincoln. Marinov has won his last 11 starts and is still undefeated in regulation at 18-0-0-2.
What’s on tap
The week starts outdoors Thursday night in Cleveland and shifts back inside for eight games on both Friday and Saturday.
To view the complete schedule, click here. To view the current USHL standings, click here.
Without further ado, here’s a look at some of the top games on the docket.
Cedar Rapids (19-16-4-2) at Youngstown (23-13-4-1), FirstEnergy Stadium, Thurs. Feb. 23, 6:05 p.m.
The Phantoms and RoughRiders take it outdoors Thursday night for the USHL Cleveland Classic. The game will be played at FirstEnergy Stadium, the home of the Cleveland Browns.
The Phantoms are on a roll and have points in five straight (4-0-1-0). Youngstown swept Dubuque at home this past weekend, highlighted by a four-goal first period Friday night, and a Jacob Fowler 19-save shutout on Saturday. Andon Cerbone scored the lone goal Saturday and extended his point streak to seven games.
@USHL Cleveland Classic, presented by @WinmarkResale— Youngstown Phantoms (@YtownPhantoms) December 22, 2022
Visit our website for more information: https://t.co/cBxt2H0LEr pic.twitter.com/n0cDoaOUbP
The RoughRiders are also coming off a Saturday win, 4-3 over Waterloo. Ryan Walsh had three points (2-1-3) and his 53 points are second in the USHL. Mark Carlson’s group is 3-5-1-1 in its last 10 but they’re still in the thick of the Eastern Conference race.
Cedar Rapids and Youngstown will also play Friday and Saturday at the Covelli Centre.
Green Bay (25-15-1-1) at Chicago (28-13-2-1), Fox Valley Ice Arena, Fri. Feb. 24, 7:05 p.m.
The Eastern Conference’s top two teams will meet Friday night in Chicago and again Saturday in Green Bay.
The Steel saw a six-game win streak snapped Sunday afternoon but are 6-3-1-0 in their last 10 games. Mike Garman’s club has been on fire in the offensive zone. However, they’ll get a tough test against a sound defensive team in Green Bay.
The Gamblers are 6-4-0-0 in their last 10 overall and 7-3-0-0 in their last 10 at home. Green Bay split a pair of games against Muskegon and also earned a dominant 5-1 win over Dubuque last Tuesday. Forward Jimmy Clark is coming off a five-point (2-3-5) week.
Final Score ‼️ Saturday Night a few bounces didn't go our way and the Gamblers fell to the @MuskegonJacks 4-2. This Saturday is our Teddy Bear Toss game presented by @foxcu. Get tickets through the link below #GoGamblers— Green Bay Gamblers (@GamblersHockey) February 20, 2023
February 25th Tickets⬇️https://t.co/FNbwLAaMVk pic.twitter.com/kwHps2RKxk
Fargo (30-8-1-3) at Waterloo (27-14-1-0), Young Arena, Fri. Feb. 24, 7:05 p.m.
Fargo and Waterloo split a pair of games earlier this month, which included an overtime win by the Black Hawks. They’ll meet again Friday in northeast Iowa.
The Black Hawks will look to respond from a pair of losses while the Force continue to run their way through the Western Conference. Fargo has a nine-point lead on Waterloo and the Force have points in nine (8-0-1-0) straight. Waterloo and Fargo will meet four more times after Friday’s game.
- Tri-City will host Sioux City for a pair of games on Friday and Saturday. The Storm have points in three straight (2-0-1-0) and seven of their last 10 (5-3-2-0).
- Sioux City forward
recorded a hat trick Sunday afternoon in a 7-5 win over Lincoln. It was Godbout’s first multi-goal game of the season.
WE'VE GOT A HATTY 🧢@Dylan_Godbout pinballs a puck through to give the Muskies the lead and our second hat trick of the season pic.twitter.com/KUbcUsS9jj— Sioux City Musketeers (@Musketeerhockey) February 19, 2023
- The Lincoln Stars will look to rebound next weekend from four straight losses. The Stars will face Sioux Falls in a home-and-home this weekend. Lincoln is still third in the Western Conference.
- Sioux Falls earned a point Saturday in the overtime loss at Des Moines. However, the Stampede are on a six-game skid (0-4-2-0).
- Dubuque goaltender Marcus Brännman made 28 saves Saturday night in a 1-0 loss at Youngstown. Brännman has a .907 save percentage and 2.91 GAA this season.
- Chicago forward
saw his point streak end at six games Sunday. Finley had a goal and three assists on Saturday.
- The USHL issued three one-game suspensions Monday afternoon. Tri-City goaltender Patriks Berzins (spearing), Dubuque defenseman Caelum Dick (jersey tie-down) and Muskegon forward Justin Solovey (boarding).