Juniors Game Night: 4-14-18

United States Hockey League

** Note: Cole Guttman (Dubuque) was placed on injured reserved on December 22nd following the completion of the World Junior A Challenge tournament.

The Dubuque Fighting Saints finished as the #5 seed in the Eastern Conference, but it’s unknown if Guttman will return from injury for the Clark Cup playoffs.

Sioux City Musketeers 2 @ Omaha Lancers 3 (SO)

D Nick Perbix , OMA: 0-0-0, E, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals: 56 GP, 4-25-29, +19, 38 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 10-30-40, 6 PIM
Committed to: St. Cloud State University

F Sammy Walker, SC: 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season Totals (USHL): 17 GP, 2-7-9, -6, 4 PIM
’16-’17 Totals (USHL): 4 GP, 0-0-0, -3, 6 PIM
Season Totals (HS): 31 GP, 35-44-79, 16 PIM
’16-‘17 Totals (HS): 25 GP, 22-24-46, 6 PIM
Committed to: University of Minnesota

With playoff berths and #1 seeds on the line, Sioux City and Omaha closed out their 2017-18 USHL regular season campaign Saturday night. The Musketeers needed two points and a couple other teams to lose in order to sneak into the playoffs, and Lancers were in a battle with Waterloo for the #1 seed in the Western Conference.

The Lancers lit the lamp first, just 1:49 into the game, in front of 3700+ home fans at the Ralston Arena. But Luke Johnson (Providence commit) would set up a pair of Sioux City goals later in the 1st period, including a power play goal with one second left in the first, giving the Musketeers a 2-1 lead at the end of the first frame. Johnson was a former captain of Edina high school and teammate of Sammy Walker. Omaha would bury a power play marker of their own in the 2nd period to knot the score, and after a scoreless 3rd period and overtime session, the post season hopes of both teams would be decided by a skills competition. Both goalies turned aside the first 5 rounds of shooters before a pair of Miami (Ohio) commits squared off, with Ryan Savage (2018 draft eligible) finally solving Musketeer goalie Ben Kraws (2018 draft eligible) for the Lancer win.

One point for the shootout loss was not enough for Sioux City to clinch a playoff berth no matter the outcome of the other teams, and that mean that the 2017-18 hockey campaign for Bolt prospect Sammy Walker is for all intents an purposes over. It was a great season for Walker, the recipient of the prestigious Minnesota Mr. Hockey Award as the best high senior hockey player in the state. His helped lead his Edina, MN high school team to a 3rd place finish in the MN Class AA State championships, and his two goals and nine points for the Musketeers in 13 games after his high school season ended was a preview of what might be in store when he dons the Maroon and Gold for the Minnesota Golden Gophers this Fall.

For Omaha, the shootout win was not enough to clinch the top spot in the Western Conference, with Waterloo also winning their game Saturday night. Bolt prospect Nick Perbix and the Lancers will enter the Clark Cup playoffs as the #2 seed in the West.