USHL Rink Report: Fighting Saints keep winning, Phantoms keep scoring and trio of teams break out the brooms
USHL writer Jordan McAlpine takes a look back at the weekend and previews what's on tap in the USHL
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 league.
*Home teams in bold*
Thurs. Jan. 19
Youngstown 7, Muskegon 3
Fri. Jan. 20
Cedar Rapids 6, Green Bay 2
Dubuque 2, Des Moines 1
Fargo 3, Sioux Falls 1
Waterloo 5, Chicago 4
Madison 4, Youngstown 2
USNTDP 5, Muskegon 4
Tri-City 4, Omaha 0
Sioux City 4, Lincoln 2
Sat. Jan. 21
Sioux City 4, Lincoln 1
Sioux Falls 3, Fargo 1
Dubuque 3, Waterloo 2
Green Bay 3, Cedar Rapids 2 Shootout
Chicago 3, Des Moines 2
Youngstown 8, Madison 0
Tri-City 5, Omaha 3
USNTDP 7, Muskegon 4
Shane Lachance, F, Youngstown
Lachance netted a pair of goals Saturday night in Youngstown’s 8-0 win over Madison. Lachance, a 2021 sixth-round pick of the Edmonton Oilers, is now second in the USHL with 23 goals. The BU commit scored five goals and added an assist over the three games this weekend.
Gabe Perreault, F, USNTDP
The reigning USHL Forward of the Week recorded his second straight five-point night on Saturday with three goals and two assists against Muskegon. Perreault has 14 points over his last three USHL games and 13 goals and 28 points over his last 10 games overall.
The Boston College commit leads the USNTDP in USHL action with 25 points in 12 games this season.
William Whitelaw, F, Youngstown
Youngstown scored 17 goals as a team this weekend and although Lachance led the way with five, Whitelaw was right behind him with four. The Wisconsin commit racked up seven points (4-3-7) and scored in all three of Youngstown’s games.
Whitelaw, a Rosemount, Minn. product, is second on the Phantoms in both goals (16) and points (31) this season.
Patriks Berzins, G, Tri-City
The Latvian goaltender put a bow on a “crazy” week with wins in his first two USHL starts. Berzins pitched a 19-save shutout in his USHL debut Friday night and followed it up with 22 saves Saturday in a 5-3 win over Omaha.
What’s on tap
All 16 USHL teams will be in action again next Friday while 14 of the 16 will play on Saturday - Fargo and Tri-City being the two outliers. The Force and Storm will get the week started Thursday night in Frisco at the USHL Frosty Cup.
Without further ado, here’s a look at some of the top games on the docket:
Tri-City (16-3-0-3) vs. Fargo (22-8-0-3), Comerica Center, Frisco, Texas, Thursday, Jan. 26 and Friday, Jan. 27, 7:05 p.m. both nights
Let’s get started with those games in the Lone Star State. Fargo will serve as the designated home team Thursday night and the two sides will flip on Friday.
Tri-City has earned points in three straight (2-0-0-1) after sweeping Omaha this past weekend. Daimon Gardner netted a pair of goals on Saturday while Minnesota State commit Graham Gamache found the back of the net both nights.
Gamache also tallied three assists in Saturday’s win and leads Tri-City with 30 points in 32 games this season.
Fargo will look to respond to Saturday’s loss to Sioux Falls, which snapped a nine-game point streak on home ice. The Force fell behind 2-0 and Cole Knuble cut the deficit in half late in the third period. But that was as close as the Force would get.
Lincoln (20-11-1-0) at Waterloo (21-12-0-0), Young Arena, Fri. Jan. 27, 7:05 p.m.
Two of the top teams in the Western Conference will look to get back in the win column Friday night. Lincoln dropped a pair of games to Sioux City, while the Black Hawks suffered a heart-breaking loss in Dubuque on Saturday.
However, Matt Smaby’s squad was on the opposite side of a wild finish Friday night. Waterloo out-shot Chicago 21-0 in the third period and scored four third-period goals, including two in the final minute to cap off a 5-4 comeback win.
HOLY. SMOKES.@BlckHawksHockey scored 4 goals in the third period and two in the final minute, including this one with 12.2 seconds left in regulation, to beat Chicago 5-4 tonight after trailing 4-1 going into the final frame 👀— The Rink Live (@TheRinkLive) January 21, 2023
🎥 @FloHockey / @USHL pic.twitter.com/n6XpwRNyXO
The Black Hawks have trailed by three heading into the third period three times this month and have come back to win all three games. Waterloo has also won three straight at home.
The Stars managed just three goals against Sioux City last weekend. However, Rocky Russo's club has been one of the league's best all season. Waterloo and Lincoln are currently second and third in the Western Conference with 42 and 41 points respectively.
Chicago (22-10-1-1) at Youngstown (17-12-3-1), Covelli Centre, Fri. Jan. 28 & Sat. Jan. 29, 7:05 p.m. both nights
A pair of dynamic offenses will meet in eastern Ohio this weekend. Chicago boasts the USHL’s most explosive offense with a league-high 145 goals, the USHL’s top four point producers and the league’s top power play at 31.3%.
Across the ice, the Phantoms have scored 121 - including 17 this past weekend. Lachance and Whitelaw are both on fire and the Phantoms have one of the USHL's hottest goaltenders in Jacob Fowler.
Fowler recorded his second shutout of the week Saturday night with 33 saves. Fowler has won eight of his last nine starts, including four straight. Youngstown has won eight of its past 10 at home and the Phantoms are 6-4-0-0 in their last 10 overall.
Chicago and Youngstown come into this weekend first and third respectively in the Eastern Conference. Chicago will also play the USNTDP U-17 team in Plymouth on Sunday.
- Saturday’s win over Waterloo was Dubuque’s fifth straight. The Fighting Saints currently own the USHL’s longest win streak and have also won their last four at home.
- Dubuque forward Ryan St. Louis scored the game-winner with 22.7 seconds left in regulation. St. Louis has five goals over his last four games and has six points in that stretch. He’ll look to extend his goal streak this weekend as Dubuque plays a pair of games in Plymouth against the USNTDP.
- USNTDP forward Ryan Leonard recorded a five-point night Saturday with a goal and four assists.
- With two goals and an assist this weekend, Chicago’s
is now second in the USHL with 41 points (20-21-41). He trails Chicago teammate Jack Harvey (45).
- Cedar Rapids has points in six straight home games (4-0-1-1). The RoughRiders host Muskegon for a pair of games this weekend.