Wins by Waterloo and North Iowa keep teams 6-9 separated by just 4 points
The Waterloo Black Hawks and North Iowa Huskies, who are both fighting for their playoff lives managed to take a pair of games each from teams they are battling for the remaining playoff births in the USHL. Waterloo took a pair of 2-1 wins from Thunder Bay north of the border on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. The Black Hawks played a pair of tight defensive games headlined by goaltender Mike Walsh, who made 61 of 63 saves over the weekend to earn the league’s defensive player of the week. The losses could spell big trouble for the Flyers who have only 4 games remaining, 2 against USA (18 & Under), 2 with Omaha, and have a combined 0-2-2 record against those 2 teams so far this season. Thunder Bay is leading 9th place Rochester by just 4 points, while the Mustangs have 4 games in hand.
North Iowa bounced back from an 11-0 loss on Wednesday to the red hot Des Moines Buccaneers, and swept a home and home series with the Dubuque Fighting Saints. The Huskies won a 4-1 decision on Saturday in Mason City, IA with goals from Josh Schlipp(2), Effren Larranago, and Marty Goulet. They then capped the weekend by traveling to Dubuque and blanking the Saints 2-0. Jason Gregoire got the Shutout on Sunday stopping all 23 of Dubuque’s shots on goal.
The Rochester Mustangs did manage to move a little closer in the standings by blanking the Lincoln Stars 5-0 on Saturday, after losing to the Omaha Lancers 3-1 on Friday. The Lancers held Rochester to just 14 shots on goal Friday night and Lancer netminder Tony Zazowski stopped 13 of them for the victory. Rochester’s Adam Coole was the story on Saturday night stopping all 35 Lincoln shots while Tim Turner put the first goal past Wayne Russell on the power play to get the game winning goal.
After their big win at North Iowa on Wednesday, the Des Moines Buccaneers took 2 easy games from Fargo Moorhead, 9-4 and 4-0, to make the Ice Sharks the first team eliminated from post season play in the USHL this season. The wins were numbers 9 and 10 in a row for Des Moines who appear to be the favorite to win both the Anderson and Gold Cups as USHL and US National Junior Champions.
The Twin Cites Vulcans missed a chance to move past Thunder Bay in the standings this week with losses to Lincoln, 2-0, and Omaha, 12-1. The Vulcans do remain just 2 points behind Thunder Bay and tied for 7th place in the league with Dubuque at 40 points.
Other Scored around the USHL:
Friday- Dubuque 6 Sioux City 5 (OT), Green Bay 2 Team USA 1
Saturday- Team USA 3 Green Bay 2 (SO)