SOUTHAVEN, Miss. – Fresh off Thanksgiving turkey, several USHL teams went to work Friday night as the regular season continued.
In Michigan, a five-goal outburst in the second period and a Ryan Lough hat trick led the Green Bay Gamblers to a 7-2 victory over Muskegon in the first game of a two-game set on the Lumberjacks’ home ice.
Lough’s hat-trick came by scoring three of the first four goals in the Gamblers’ win. He scored an even-strength goal, power play goal, and finished with a shorthanded tally that eventually became the game-winning goal.
Goaltender Jared Rutledge stopped 27 shots in getting the victory.
Tyler Vesel scored twice in the final minute of the game to lift the Omaha Lancers to a 5-3 victory at Tri-City Friday night, in the first of a two-game set at Kearney, Neb.
Vesel scored the game winner with 30 seconds remaining and added an empty netter with six seconds left to seal the Lancers’ victory.
Drew Mayer’s two goals in the final frame had tied the game for Tri-City before Vesel’s last minute heroics.
Hayden Hawkey stopped 26 shots in net for Omaha, which has a two-point lead on second-place Sioux Falls in the Western Conference standings.
Sioux Falls kept close to the Lancers with a 3-0 home ice victory against Dubuque. All the scoring came in the first period as Dakota Joshua, Jack Stander, and Conner Valesano found the back of the net.
Goaltender Arthur Brey posted 38 saves in getting the shutout for Sioux Falls, his first as a member of the Stampede since his acquisition. Brey played for the Fighting Saints last season as they won the Clark Cup championship.
“I just wanted to beat them (Dubuque),” said Brey. “I have nothing but respect for those guys over there, but when it comes to two points, it’s business.”
Sioux Falls won its fifth straight contest with Friday’s victory over Dubuque.
In other action, Artem Artemov scored twice as Chicago handled Des Moines 4-1 and Waterloo goaltender Cal Petersen stopped all 21 shots in a 3-0 blanking of rival Cedar Rapids.
The Black Hawks are in third place in the Western Conference standings, six points behind Omaha and four points in back of Sioux Falls.
Team USA remains the top team in a very tight Eastern Conference race. Team USA leads Dubuque by two points, Cedar Rapids by four, and Green Bay and Muskegon by five points.
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