Three wins by Des Moines over the weekend clinch regular season title
The Des Moines Buccaneers took their first step to a National Championship over the weekend by clinching the Anderson Cup for winning the regular season title. The wins also assured them a place in the upcoming Gold Cup playoffs for the National Junior Hockey Championship.
The weekend started at home for Des Moines with a 6-1 win against the North Iowa Huskies. The Buccaneers Peter Sejna figured in on 5 of the 6 Des Moines goals with one assist and 4 goals, one of which came on the power play. The Buccaneers then traveled the 103 miles North to Waterloo and finished clinching the cup with an easy 7-3 win against the Waterloo Black Hawks. Kelly Miller got the game-winning goal while Jerrid Reinholz, Pete Fregoe, and KC Caudill each added 2 goals apiece. Des Moines then added another 5-4 win against North Iowa, this time coming in Mason City.
The race for the final three playoff spots will go down to the final weekend in the USHL. The Rochester Mustangs took over 6th place in the league over the weekend by winning 2 out of 3 games. Rochester defeated the Twin Cities Vulcans on Friday night 7-4 with the power supply coming from Jeff Taffe’s Hat Trick and 2 goals from BJ Abel. Rochester then defeated North Iowa on Saturday with Abel adding another 2 goals and Adam Coole making 26 of 27 saves on the way to a 5-1 Mustang victory. The Mustangs then lost to the Twin Cities Vulcans on Sunday night by a score of 6-4. The win kept the Twin Cities in the playoff hunt currently tied for 8th with Dubuque.
The Dubuque Fighting Saints missed an opportunity over the weekend to move ahead of the Thunder Bay Flyers for 7th place in the USHL playoff standings by dropping a pair of games. Omaha shutout the Saints on Friday with Tony Zasowski making 17 saves in net for the Lancers. Dubuque then traveled from Omaha west to Lincoln, Nebraska to meet the Stars who peppered the net with 47 shots, scoring on 11 of them. Grant Poltulny and Preston Callander each had hat tricks in the game.
Waterloo and North Iowa were each eliminated from playoff contention by this weekend’s losses.
Race for Remaining Playoff Births (Teams 6-8 make playoffs)
Team Points Games Remaining
6.Rochester Mustangs 44 3
7.Thunder Bay Flyers 43 2
8.Dubuque Fighting Saints 42 2
9.Twin Cities Vulcans 42 2
Other Games Around the USHL:
Wednesday-Green Bay 7 North Iowa 0
Friday- Sioux City 4 Team USA 2, Lincoln 9 Fargo-Moorhead 1,Green Bay 3 Waterloo 2(SO)
Saturday- Sioux City 2 Team USA 1(SO), Omaha 5 Fargo-Moorhead 4
Sunday- Green Bay 5 Waterloo 0