We’re back with the latest USHL Power Rankings where this week we might be nice and take what some teams did at the trade deadline into account.
Let’s not waste anymore time. Unleash the rankings.
1. Green Bay Gamblers (30-7-2): Losses are bound to happen and the 3-2 overtime loss to Indiana certainly lived up to the “Game Of The Week” billing. Even with the loss, the fact they took a few days and then handled what’s been a hot Waterloo team with a 3-0 win also says a lot too. Simply, this is the most complete team in the league and what we’re witnessing is history with them. That’s the best way to leave it. History. Last Week: No. 1
2. Omaha Lancers (24-12-3): Really impressive team to watch. What’s more impressive is how they came back from a 3-1 hole against Fargo to win 4-3 in overtime. If they can keep having weekends where they at least grab three points, if not all four, they could pull away with the Western Conference. Maybe. See more later in this post about why they might get chased down. Last Week: No. 2
3. Dubuque Fighting Saints (23-12-2): There’s Captain Obvious but there are other reasons to be afraid of Dubuque. One is Tyler Lundey (Ohio State), who is quietly having a strong season for the Fighting Saints. He has 28 points in 38 games. The other reason is how they bounced back. They lost by two goals to Youngstown and then dropped five on Indiana in the second period for a 6-1 win. Watching this race for the No. 2 spot is going to be good television. Last Week: No. 3
4. Youngstown Phantoms (23-13-3): If Austin Cangelosi (Boston University) and Mike Ambrosia (Princeton) aren’t the best 1-2 punch in the league, then they are right up there in the discussion. Both played a major role in Youngstown winning two over the weekend combining for two goals and six assists. Last Week: No. 6
5. Lincoln Stars (22-13-4): Snowstorms don’t kill people. Kevin Roy (Brown) kills people or pirates. He had three points in his team’s 7-0 beatdown against Des Moines. Lincoln’s game against Waterloo was cancelled by a bad storm in the area. See, something can stop Roy. Just not Des Moines. Last Week: No. 4
6. Indiana Ice (23-10-5): Figuring out Indiana when it comes to the rankings is really hard to do. The talent is there given they went the distance with Green Bay and won. Yet the next night they get hammered by Dubuque. See what we mean? Even with that being said, if we had to bet the farm on a team which has the best chance at stopping Green Bay in a playoff series, we still pick them. Now watch Chicago make the playoffs and run the table. Last Week: No. 5
7. Waterloo Black Hawks (20-12-4): Here’s our bold prediction for the rest of the year. Waterloo will overtake Omaha and win the Western Conference. Waterloo has played three fewer games (and has six fewer potential points) than Omaha. Getting goaltender Stephon Williams (Minnesota-Mankato) will help down the stretch if he can do for Waterloo what he did for Sioux Falls last season. Call us stupid (you’ve done it before) but Waterloo has all the tools needed to challenge Omaha and Lincoln and win the West. Last Week: No. 7
8. Fargo Force (20-15-4): It was a three-point weekend which really should have been a four-point weekend. No one knows if Austin Farley (Minnesota-Duluth) will return this weekend from a lower-body injury, which left the Force shorthanded last weekend. If so, then one thing and one thing only needs to be said, “Paging Dr. Chyzyk….” Last Week: No. 8
9. NTDP (18-13-4): Not a bad weekend, but we like them because of the hypothetical possibilities. They’ve played the fewest games in the East and they have a chance to create some space and get closer to fourth. The U-17s are extremely impressive and they’ve shown it week in and week out. Last Week: No. 9
10. Sioux City Musketeers (17-22-0): They’ve won five of six and four of those wins have come against Conference Powers Omaha and Fargo. Even when he loses, Matt Skoff (Penn State) has been playing extremely well. Keep that in mind. Last Week: No. 11
11. Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (16-14-8): Dennis. Kravchenko. Thirteen Points. In. Thirteen Games. Last Week: No. 10
12. Tri-City Storm (15-24-0): The trade deadline gave Tri-City a lot to look to for future seasons, but by not trading its stars like Nick Lappin (Brown), it shows there is confidence in this team. Oh and here’s another reason, Josh Hauge. Since guy has taken over, this team has gone from cellar to relevant. It’s not by accident. They’ve only beaten Fargo three times in team history. Could that number grow by Sunday? Last Week: No. 14
13. Chicago Steel (13-24-1): Steel coach Scott McConnell has done a damn good job with the team there. It was hard for them to get players to be part of a team which only won nine games a season ago. Even if they don’t make the playoffs, this was a building year for sure. Last Week: No. 12
14. Des Moines Buccaneers (13-19-4): You’ve read our thoughts on their Deadline Day. They are clearly going full steam ahead for the Western Conference Playoffs. All hands on deck. Last Week: No. 13
15. Sioux Falls Stampede (12-21-3): At least they’re in the running for a playoff spot…for now. Last Week: No. 15
16. Muskegon Lumberjacks (11-19-4): They’ve been looking better as of late but it might be too late for the Lumberjacks.