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USHL roundup: Green Bay knocks off defending champions in opener

10 teams get their first game of their season underway at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.

The Sioux City Musketeers and Green Bay Gamblers are the first teams to drop the puck on the 2022-23 season.
Kirsten Krull / The Rink Live

PITTSBURGH — It has been nearly four months since the USHL awarded the Clark Cup to the Sioux City Musketeers. Fast forward to Sept. 22, and the league is back in action and together under one roof to kick off the season at the Dick's Sporting Goods Fall Classic.


For the first game of the 2022-23 season, the defending Clark Cup champion Sioux City Musketeers faced off against the Green Bay Gamblers. Scoreless through the first 20 minutes, the second period changed things when Green Bay's Artyom Levshunov found the back of the net to give the Gamblers the early 1-0 lead. Sioux City responded shortly after with goals from Nick Pierre , followed by Kaden Shahan 1:42 later. With 3:13 left in the second, Green Bay's Jacob Martin found the back of the net on the power play. Game now 2-2 in the third, Green Bay found the back of the net to give it the 3-2 edge. With time running out and the Musketeers pulling their goalie, the Gamblers scored on the empty net and would go on to pick up their first win of the season 4-2.


It was a quick start for the Lincoln Stars in their first game against the Cedar Rapids Roughriders as they were able to get on the board 14 seconds into the game with a goal from Tanner Ludtke . Come the second period, it was Ludtke once again who struck gold for his second goal of the game to make it 2-0 Stars. Not long after, it was Roughriders
Zaccharya Wisdom who brought the game within one to make it 2-1. In the third period, the Stars came back and capitalized on the power play with a goal from Mason Marcellus . With a minute to play, the Roughriders pulled their goalie and Keaton Peters tacked on one more. The Roughriders fell to the Stars 4-1 in their first game of the season.



The Sioux Falls Stampede were off to a hot start in their first game of the season against the Muskegon Lumberjacks. They struck first with a goal from Maxim Strbak three and a half minutes in to the first period. Less than five minutes later, the Stampede would extend their lead by two as Will McDonough found the back of the net unassisted. At the 11:05 mark, the Lumberjacks would net their first goal of the night and would go on to score five unanswered. Come the third period, Sam Harris got the Stampede on the board again two minutes in but ultimately the Stampede wouldn't be able to get back in this one as the Lumberjacks went on to win 7-4.

One week into the season, three players made an impact at the annual Fall Classic to earn honors of forward, defenseman and goaltender of the week.
The Rink Live's Kirsten Krull spoke with Robertson about the importance of the Fall Classic, the opportunity for the players the event provides, and what's next on the calendar for the league.
From the Fall Classic, only four teams in the USHL remain undefeated after two games played.
There was no lack of action around the rink on Day 3 as we saw teams rally and two games head into OT.
Day 3 of the USHL Fall Classic saw two games go into OT, but everyone's thoughts were with team USA when NTDP's Brady Cleveland went into the boards and was stretchered off the ice in the first period against Omaha.
The first 10 teams that arrived to the Fall Classic have wrapped up their two game road trip, and some went out with a bang.
Day two of the Fall Classic is in the book, and 10 teams have completed the first two games to officially get the season underway.
"Consistency. Consistency every day," said head coach David Wilkie. "Work to get better every time they touch the ice or even in the gym." That is the goal for the team as they head into the new year.
Hear from USHL commissioner Bill Robertson about how important of an event the Fall Classic is, and get up to speed on the first five games of the USHL season.
Eastern Conference finalists a year ago, Muskegon head coach Mike Hamilton says "having experienced guys around makes a big difference in a lot of ways"


The Chicago Steel and Fargo Force faced off for the evening matchup at the USHL Fall Classic. The Force struck first as Cole Knuble found the back of the net about 15 minutes into the second period. The game remained in favor of the Force until halfway through the third period. Mick Thompson of the steel tapped one in to even the score one a piece. Not long after, Macklin Celebrini netted his first USHL goal to give the Steel their first lead of the night. Nick Moldenhauer sealed the deal for the Steel finding the net one last time and the Steel would go on for a comeback win against the Force 3-1.


The Madison Capitols and Tri City Storm took part in the night game to put a close to the first day of the USHL Fall Classic. The Storm came out strong and never took their foot off the gas as they went on to score four unanswered goals through the first 40 minutes. In the third, it was Quinn Finley who put the Capitols on the board to start to close the deficit. Unfortunately, the Capitols would get going too late as the Storm went on to win 4-1.

Related Topics: USHL
Kirsten Krull covers juniors and prospects for The Rink Live. She is a 2020 St. Cloud State graduate, and has been working in the hockey world for over six years, covering many levels of the game from juniors to the NHL.
What to read next
Over the summer, the Gamblers revamped their coaching staff and acquired a number of new players through trades that will have the team looking very different as they head into the 2022-23 season.
The annual event is taking place at the Lemieux Sports Complex from Sept. 22-25.
"We're on a bus heading here (Pittsburgh) with a team full of promise and potential,” said head coach Eric Rud about the team he has heading into the first week of the new season.
"We want to get really aligned on our culture and our team identity on ice," said Musketeers head coach Jason Kersner, also mentioning the team is off to a great start.