A recap of Saturday night playoff action in the USHL.
Dubuque Fighting Saints 2 @ Indiana Ice 3
(Indiana leads series 2-0)
Sam Kurker scored a pair of goals to lead Indiana to a victory in Game Two and take a 2-0 series lead against Dubuque in the Eastern Conference Final. Kurker netted the first goal of the game just over eight minutes into the first period. Denis Smirnov would add a second Indiana tally a little more than three minutes later. It was his third of the playoffs. Dubuque would get on the scoreboard late in the second period as Jacob Benson converted a power play opportunity. Indiana would go back up by two goals early in the third period as Kurker netted his second of the night just 1:25 into the frame. Dubuque wouldn’t be done just yet as they pulled their goaltender for the extra attacker and Benson scored his second of the game with just over two minutes to play in the third, pulling the Saints within a goal. The Ice would hold off a late Dubuque charge and secure the victory. Jason Pawloski made 26 saves to record his second win of the series while Kevin Reich had 29 stops in the loss. The Eastern Conference Final now shifts to Dubuque for Game Three on Friday.
Sioux City Musketeers 1 @ Waterloo Black Hawks 3
(Waterloo leads series 2-0)
Waterloo took advantage of special teams, scoring three goals on the power play to win Game Two and take a 2-0 series lead in the Western Conference Final. For the second consecutive night, Sioux City would get on the scoreboard first as defenseman Bobby Nardella netted a goal just under 12 minutes into the contest. It was his first playoff goal, coming four days after celebrating his 18th birthday. Waterloo took the lead in quick fashion just before the second period expired as Drew Melanson and Tyler Sheehy tallied goals just 30 seconds apart. It was the second goal in as many nights for Melanson and the fourth straight playoff game with a goal for Sheehy. Liam Pecararo added the third goal for Waterloo on a power play midway through the third period. It was his second of the playoffs. Cal Petersen made 25 saves to earn his fifth playoff win for the Black Hawks while Kyle Hayton had 38 saves in the loss for the Musketeers. The series now shifts to Sioux City for Game Three on Friday.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 12th season as the nation’s only Tier I junior hockey league in 2013-14. A record 32 players were chosen in the 2013 NHL Draft and more than 300 players on team rosters last season have committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL 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).
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