Storm, Stampede grab wins on USHL’s opening day games

By Jim den Hollander  


America’s top junior hockey league kicked off its season with a pair of games on Wednesday (Sept. 20) in Pittsburgh. 

The United States Hockey League has made it a tradition in recent seasons, all 16 teams making the to Steel City starting the campaign with two games each. 

Opening day saw four teams in action, the Tri-City Storm starting its season with a 2-1 edge against the Youngstown Phantoms while the Sioux Falls Stampede opened with a 5-2 edge against the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, giving the West Conference two wins against East Conference rivals. 

Dallas Vieau (‘06/Duluth, MN) and Nolan Reed (‘05/White Bear Lake, MI) scored to lead the Storm to a win in the season opening game, helped by Cameron Corpi (‘04/South Lyon, MI) with 23 saves. 

Phantom’s lone goal came from Sascha Boumedienne (‘07/Oulu, Finland) Owen Bartoszkiewicz stopped all but two of the 31 shots he faced. 

The other game saw the Stampede turning a narrow 1-0 lead into a comfortable 4-0 cushion in the middle period, the RoughRiders gaining some momentum with a 2-1 edge through the final frame. 

Zach Nehring (‘05/Minot, ND), Beckett Hendrickson (‘05/Minnetonka, MN), Egor Barabanov (‘06/Anaheim, CA), JJ Wiebusch (‘04/River Falls, WI) and Tyler Borgula (‘05/Livonia, MI) fired the Stampede goals and Caleb Heil (‘06/Victoria, MN) picked up the win in goal with 18 saves. 

For the RoughRiders, Sam Scopa (‘05/Lexington, MA) stopped 20 shots while goals came from Dominic Elliott (‘04/Allendale, MI) and Isaac Johnson (‘05/Fergus Falls, MN). 

Thursday Games  

The same four teams will return for their second games on Friday and four others will enter the fray. 

The first game will pit the Chicago Steel from the East Conference taking on the Sioux City Musketeers from the West followed by the Green Bay Gamblers against the Lincoln Stars. Wrapping up the day the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders will battle Youngstown Phantoms in an all-West Conference match and the Tri-City Storm will take on the Sioux Falls Stampede.  

Action will continue in Pittsburgh through Sunday giving each team its first two games of regular season play. 

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