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USHL Update - Week 22

Wednesday February 27, 2013

Alex Lyon leads the USHL in minutes played, Charlie Lindgren is tops in the League with 25 wins, and Brian Ward is riding a lengthy point streak. (photos by mJoy Photography, Brandon Anderson, and Tri-City Storm)



Monster Minutes: Omaha Lancers goaltender Alex Lyon leads the USHL in minutes played with 2,189.  He has appeared in 38 of Omaha’s 49 games this season, tying for the League lead in goaltender appearances. The 20-year-old stopped 27 shots to pick up his 22nd win of the season and 50th victory of his USHL career in Saturday’s 3-2 win over the Sioux Falls Stampede.  Lyon is second in the USHL with a .920 SV% and fourth with a 2.52 GAA.

Winner, Winner: Sioux Falls Stampede goaltender Charlie Lindgren earned his 25th win of the season when he stopped 28 shots in the 4-1 victory over Green Bay on Sunday.  The 25 wins are the most in the USHL this season and most by a Sioux Falls Stampede goaltender since Kellen Briggs won 25 during the 2001-02 season.  Lindgren, who has made 11 straight starts, is six victories shy of tying the Stampede season record of 31 victories set by David Bowen in 1999-2000.

First of Many: A pair of youngsters scored their first USHL career goals over the weekend.  16-year-old Fargo Force defenseman Butrus Ghafari tallied a first-period goal in Saturday’s 4-1 win over the Sioux City Musketeers.  He now has seven points (1g, 6a) in 42 games played this season and is tied for fourth on the team with a plus-16 on-ice rating.  Playing his first USHL game on Saturday, 16-year-old Cedar Rapids RoughRiders forward Trevor Stone scored his first goal on his first shot during Saturday’s 4-2 loss to the Dubuque Fighting Saints.

Shooting Gallery: The Waterloo Black Hawks lead the USHL with 1,740 shots on goal this season, an average of 36.25 shots per game. Leading the way is forward J.T. Stenglein who is fifth overall in the USHL with 162 shots on goal this season.  Right behind him is Zach Stepan with 160, ranking sixth in the League.  Eight players have tallied at least 100 shots this season which is second only to the Fargo Force who have nine.  The Black Hawks currently have five of the top 21 shot producers in the USHL which also includes Vince Hinostroza (137), Taylor Cammarata (130), and Ryan Papa (129).

One-Two Punch: Team USA’s goalie tandem of Thatcher Demko and Blake Weyrick led the Under-18 team to a pair of wins over the last week, allowing only three goals in the process. The two combined for a 19-save performance to shutout the Chicago Steel 4-0 on Wednesday. Weyrick, who was credited with the win, came in for the second and third periods and stopped all 15 shots he faced. On Saturday night in Lincoln, Weyrick stopped 10-of-11 shots in the first before being replaced by Demko for the final two periods.  Demko made 14 saves on 16 shots and was credited with a 5-3 win over the Stars. Demko currently has a 7-3-0 record with a 2.48 GAA and .SV% in 11 USHL games played. Weyrick, who has appeared in five games for Team USA this season, has a 1-1-1 record with a 2.01 GAA and .935 SV%.

A Special Second Period: It was an eventful second period in the game between the Lincoln Stars and Team USA on Friday as special teams play stepped to the forefront.  Evan Allen netted a power play goal for Team USA before teammate Dawson Cook added a shorthanded goal six minutes later.  Mike McKee followed up with a shorthanded goal for Lincoln before Keaton Thompson added a power play tally for Team USA just before the end of the period.  The two teams combined for four power play goals and three shorthanded goals in the contest which Team USA won 5-3.  Jack Eichel of Team USA scored the lone goal at even strength.

Scoring Touch: Dubuque Fighting Saints forwards Peter Quenneville and Frankie DiChiara rank second and third respectively in team scoring and they both have found a nice scoring touch as of late. Quenneville has recorded points in five of his last six games, scoring three goals and three assists over that span. He is tied for sixth in the USHL with 52 points (22g, 30a) and is in the top ten in both goals and assists.  DiChiara has scored in eight of his last 10 games, totaling seven goals and five assists during that stretch.  His 43 points (22g, 21a) ranks him tied for 15th in USHL scoring.

In the Hunt: The Fargo Force currently sit in second place in the Western Conference with 63 points, just five points behind the Conference-leading Sioux Falls Stampede. They have won five of their last seven games and have been led by Dominic Toninato who is currently riding a seven-game point streak, tallying three goals and six assists over that span. He has points in nine of his last 10 games and has recorded points in 18 of his last 21 games played (11g, 18a). Also contributing to the Force’s success is forward Gabe Guertler who has recorded four goals over the past three games and five over his last six. Goaltender Brendan Jensen has also been hot as of late, going 4-1-0 over his last five starts.  He has faced 40-or-more shots in all four victories.

Staple on the Score Sheet: Tri-City Storm forward Brian Ward extended his point streak to six games with a goal and an assist in Saturday’s 4-3 loss to the Green Bay Gamblers.  The goal was his 20th of the season.  He now has eight points (5g, 3a) in his last six games and has scored points in 12 of his 13 games played since returning from injury on January 11. He leads the team in goals with 20 and ranks third in points with 37 (20g, 17a).

Notes: Sioux Falls Stampede forward Todd Skirving has scored a goal in three straight games and in four of his last five contests…Lincoln Stars forward Riley Bourbonnais scored in the third period on Saturday to send the game to overtime and then netted the winning goal in the extra session to give the Stars a 4-3 victory over Waterloo.  It was his fourth multi-goal game of the season…Des Moines Buccaneers forward Willem Nong-Lambert is riding a three-game point streak after recording a goal and two assists in a pair of games over the weekend…Chicago Steel forward Ray Pigozzi had a goal and two assists in Saturday’s 6-4 win over Des Moines while Drew Smolcynski also had a three-point game (2g, 1a) which included the game-winning goal…Youngstown Phantoms forward Alfred Larsson snapped an 11-game goal drought with a goal in each of Youngstown’s wins over the Muskegon Lumberjacks this past weekend…Green Bay Gamblers forward Kyle Novak extended his point streak to 14 with two goals and two assists in three games over the weekend…Tri-City Storm forward Trevor Mingoia extended his point streak to three games with a goal and an assist in Saturday’s 4-3 loss to Green Bay…Jared Thomas has scored a goal in three straight games for the Sioux City Musketeers.



Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 11th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2012-13.  With 19 NHL Draft picks on team rosters and over 250 players already committed to NCAA Division I schools this season, the USHL has emerged as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.  For more information, visit us on the web at www.USHL.com or visit the League’s social media platforms, including Facebook (www.facebook.com/ushlhockey), twitter (www.twitter.com/ushl), and YouTube (www.youtube.com/ushlinteractive).  Fans can also watch USHL action all season long, live or on-demand via FASTHockey (ushl.fasthockey.com).

It’s not just hockey. It’s the USHL.

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