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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

DSM Overtime Celebration.JPG
The Des Moines Buccaneers celebrate a 4-3 overtime win in Lincoln on Feb. 14, 2023. The Buccaneers have won their last three games in overtime.
Jordan McAlpine / The Rink Live

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.

Weekend review

*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


Stick taps

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.

From Celebrini's five-goal night to another Des Moines OT win, USHL writer Jordan McAlpine takes a look at Saturday's action

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.

Veteran defenseman nets another game-winner Tuesday night in overtime win over Stars

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.


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.

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.

Chicago's Harvey becomes franchise goal leader, Waterloo's Croteau continues stellar play with back-to-back wins in Fargo and Green Bay's Artyom Levshunov named USHL DOTW for second time this season
Black Hawks snaps Fargo's 17-game point streak and clinch a playoff spot while the Musketeers put an end to Tri-City's eight-game win streak
Despite preseason unknown, Gamblers turn culture and four core values into success
Storm on the rise, RoughRiders on a roll and top teams set to square off in Fargo
Storm run win streak to eight, Phantoms sweep Gamblers and best in the west set to square off in Fargo
Panzer racks up six points in three games while Cedar Rapids goaltender Sam Scopa records his first USHL shutout
Capitols relieve head coach Corey Leivermann and his staff of their duties. Tom Gilbert, Dominic Zombo and Ryan Galt take over behind Madison bench
Forward Gavin O’Connell becomes Waterloo’s latest Michigan State commit while the USHL announces playoff format and suspensions
UND commit Jayden Perron headlines USHL Players of the Week after nine-point showing for the Chicago Steel
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.

Ice Chips

  • 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 Dylan Godbout recorded a hat trick Sunday afternoon in a 7-5 win over Lincoln. It was Godbout’s first multi-goal game of the season.
  • 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 Quinn Finley 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).

Jordan McAlpine is a junior and prospects reporter for The Rink Live.
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