GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Gamblers scored six unanswered goals to top the Central Illinois Flying Aces, 6-1, on Saturday night at the Resch Center.
Trenton Bliss and McKade Webster each registered multi-goal games and Josh Dunne added three assists to give the Gamblers (28-22-5, 61 points) the win over the Flying Aces (14-36-5, 33 points) in the final meeting of the regular season between the two teams.
Flying Aces forward Lynden Breen (University of Maine) started the scoring with his first USHL goal less than four minutes into the game. Off a feed from Brady Smith, Breen sliced his way through the slot and ripped a wrist shot over the blocker of Green Bay goaltender Maksim Zhukov to give the Flying Aces a 1-0 lead.
But Green Bay scored the final six goals of the night, including three goals in the first period to take the lead for good. Bliss tied the game at one with a power-play goal, ripping a shot from the left circle that beat Central Illinois goaltender Zach Stejskal. Webster then found the back of the net twice in a span of less than four minutes to give Green Bay a 3-1 lead with 8:48 to play in the first.
The Gamblers added two more tallies in the second period to increase their lead to four goals. With the Gamblers on the penalty kill, Brock Caufield forced a turnover in the Gamblers’ defensive zone and finished off the coast-to-coast play with a breakaway goal. Later in the middle stanza, Bliss beat Stejskal five-hole with a backhand shot for his second power-play goal of the night.
Robert Hermann finished off the scoring in the first five minutes of the third period with an even-strength tally, blasting a one-time pass from Ethan Frisch past Stejskal.
Central Illinois returns home next weekend for a Friday night matchup with the Muskegon Lumberjacks. Faceoff is slated for 7:07 p.m. at Grossinger Motors Arena. Friday night is Miller Park Zoo Night, and fans will have the chance to interact with various animals from the zoo. Fans can then use their ticket stub from the game to receive free admission to Miller Park Zoo on Saturday, April 7.
Known as the Bloomington Thunder from 2014-17, the newly-rebranded Central Illinois Flying Aces are a member of the top junior hockey league in the United States, the United States Hockey League (USHL). The only Tier I junior hockey league in the country, the USHL has become renowned for developing the next stars of both Division I college hockey and the NHL. At the start of the 2017-18 season, there were 128 active USHL alumni on NHL rosters, with at least one USHL alumnus playing for each of the 31 teams. In total, there have been 253 USHL players who have gone onto NHL careers, including Patrick Sharp, David Backes, Johnny Gaudreau, and Joe Pavelski, among others. The players in the USHL range in age from 16-20 years old, 95 percent of whom will go on to play college hockey at the Division I level. For more information, visit flyingaceshockey.com or ushl.com or download the USHL Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.