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USHL Update - Week 11

Wednesday December 12, 2012

Omaha Lancers defenseman Tucker Poolman has been a top power play performer while Austin Ortega of the Indiana Ice is tied for the second most goals in the USHL. (photos by Steve Loop and Whiteshark Photography)



by Everett Fitzhugh, USHL.com 

Power Play Perfection… When the Omaha Lancers are on the man advantage, it’s safe to assume that defenseman Tucker Poolman will have some type of impact. Poolman has scored six goals this season, and all of them have come on the power play. He accounts for six of the Lancers’ 22 power play goals on the year, and over the weekend, Poolman tallied a pair of power play markers which extended his  lead in USHL defensemen power play goal scoring, and ties him for second overall in the USHL in that category. This season, eight of his 11 points (6g, 2a) have come on the man advantage.

Balance of Scoring Power…The Indiana Ice have been getting production from all throughout the line-up, including five players who have accounted for 37 points (19g, 18a) over their last nine games. Austin Ortega leads this group with 11 points (5g, 6a) in his last nine games. He also is tied for second in the USHL in goals with 15. Right behind him is Brian Morgan with nine points (6g, 3a) in his last eight games. Drew Smolcynski (3g, 3a) and Peter Hand (1g, 5a) have each  tallied six points over their last five games  and  Woody Hudson has five points (3g , 2a) in his last five games. The Ice have won their last two games, and are 4-5-0 in their last nine.

Continuing to Soar… Waterloo Black Hawks forward Taylor Cammarata put together a three-point weekend with a couple of goals and an assist, extending his USHL scoring lead to 35 points (14g, 21a). The Plymouth, MN native has points in 15 of his 18 games played this season, including a two-goal effort on Friday night in a 4-3 loss to Indiana. That was his eleventh multi-point effort of the season, and he is currently riding a three-game point streak.

Changing of the Guard… A pair of wins this past weekend for Sioux Falls has propelled them into first place in the Western Conference. The Stampede picked up a 2-0 shutout win over Tri-City on Friday, and grabbed a 3-1 win over Sioux City on Sunday. Preston Hodge scored the game-winning goal in that 3-1 win, which was his first goal since being acquired by the Stampede from Cedar Rapids, and his first goal in over a year. Ironically, his last goal also came against the Musketeers back on October 11, 2011. Sioux Falls now has 31 points on the season, and are only eight points behind USHL leader Dubuque. The Stampede currently have 15 wins on the season which is only two behind their win total from all of last year.

Making Moves… The Omaha Lancers have been on a tear as of late, winning eight of their last 10 games, four of which coming via the shootout. A pair of 4-3 wins this past weekend over Team USA on Friday and Lincoln on Saturday has them currently sitting in fifth place in the Western Conference, just five points behind front-runner Sioux Falls. Also on the up-and-up are the Green Bay Gamblers, who are also winners of eight of their last 10. They are currently riding a three-game winning streak after a big 9-0 win against Des Moines on Friday. The nine-goal output is the highest single game total this season, and the most since a 10-1 win over Chicago on December 31, 2011. They are currently third in the Eastern Conference with 27 points, behind Muskegon (30) and Dubuque (39).

Streak Snappers… Sioux City’s 4-1 win over Fargo on Saturday marks the first victory for the Musketeers on the road this season. A couple of new additions contributed in a big way, as Riley Bourbonnais netted a pair of goals, while J.T. Stenglein dished out two assists. Prior to Saturday’s win, the Musketeers had not won a game on the road since a 3-1 victory over Sioux Falls back on April 13 of last season; a span of 13 games. Cedar Rapids also snapped a road losing streak of their own, with a 5-4 shootout win in Muskegon on Friday. Ten RoughRiders registered a point in the contest, and Dylan Steman scored the decisive goal in the shootout. That marked their first win on the road since a 7-5 triumph in Indiana back on October 20, a span of eight games.

First time in a Loooong Time… Goaltender Billy Christopoulos backstopped the Des Moines Buccaneers to their first road shutout since 2007, with a 3-0 win in Chicago on Saturday. The last time the Bucs got a shutout on the road was back on March 11, 2007 when Matt Dalton stopped all 22 shots he faced in a 2-0 victory over the Ohio Jr. Blue Jackets.

Those Points Add Up… Dubuque Fighting Saints forward Frank DiChiara has multi-point efforts in his last three contests after a four-point weekend against Youngstown. He potted a pair of goals in a 5-4 win on Friday and assisted on two goals in a 5-1 victory on Saturday. DiChiara now has points in five of his last six games, with goals in three of them. He is now fifth on the team in points with 17 (10g, 7a).

Notes: Team USA forward Ryan MacInnis has scored a goal in each of his last three games…Waterloo forward Vince Hinostroza has produced three-point games in three of his last five games, scoring two goals and one assist in each contest… Lincoln Stars forward Luke Johnson scored two third-period power play goals in the 4-3 loss to Omaha on Saturday… Muskegon forward Campbell Elynuik had a pair of goals and an assist in a 5-4 loss to Cedar Rapids on Friday…The Tri-City Storm scored five goals in a span 8:43 in the second period, including two from Jared Linnell in 2:22, in a 6-3 win over Team USA on Saturday…Goaltender Jordan Uhelski recorded his first USHL career shutout when he stopped all 24 shots for the Muskegon Lumberjacks in the 3-0 win against Cedar Rapids on Saturday.  He has won three of his four starts this season.

USHL Transactions:

12/11/12 – Ali Thomas, Des Moines – suspended two (2) games (Rule 617b – Head Contact)

12/9/12 – Mike McKee, Lincoln – suspended two (2) games (Rule 404d – Misconduct Accumulation, Rule 613 – Fighting Major Accumulation

12/8/12 – Joel L’Esperance, Tri-City – placed on injured reserve

12/7/12 – Mitch DeMario, Waterloo – activated from injured reserve

12/6/12 – Justin Wade, Cedar Rapids – acquired in trade from Fargo

12/6/12 – Gavin Bayreuther, Fargo – acquired in trade from Cedar Rapids

12/6/12 – Joseph Manno, Dubuque – added to roster

12/6/12 – Roman Uchyn, Des Moines – added to roster

12/6/12 – Cody Marooney, Sioux City – added to roster

12/6/12 – Christian Lampasso, Sioux City – acquired in trade from Des Moines

12/6/12 – Preston Hodge, Sioux Falls – acquired in trade from Dubuque

12/6/12 – Alfred Larsson, Youngstown – activated from injured reserve

12/6/12 – Connor Andrle, Sioux City – traded to Brookings (NAHL)

12/6/12 – Zach Habscheid, Sioux Falls – placed on injured reserve (retroactive to 11/30/12)

12/5/12 – Charlie Pelnik, Fargo – placed on injured reserve (retroactive to 11/30/12)


Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 11th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2012-13.  With 18 NHL Draft picks on team rosters and over 200 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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