2023-24 USHL Power Rankings

USHL Power Rankings: Fargo Headed To Playoffs, Tops Rankings

Writer Ryan Sikes provides his view on the league every other week with our USHL Power Rankings.

Welcome to FloHockey's bi-monthly power rankings for the USHL. Find out which of the league's 16 teams rise and fall over the course of the long regular season.

1. Fargo Force / Last Ranking: 1

Record: 36-5-2-0

Over the weekend, Fargo became the first team to punch its ticket to the Clark Cup Playoffs.

The Force have won seven straight games and have tallied points in nine of their last 10.

Mac Swanson (2024) has been an offensive machine lately, collecting 13 points (4-9-13) over his last five games, including a seven-point night against Sioux Falls.

2. Dubuque Fighting Saints / Last Ranking: 2

Record: 29-9-3-3

Dubuque’s offense has been lethal all year, averaging 4.43 goals per game.

The Saints have points in nine of their last 10 games.

Jake Sondreal remains atop the leaderboard in scoring, riding a four-game point streak, including multi-point games in his last three appearances.

3. Sioux City Musketeers / Last Ranking: 4

Record: 26-13-6-0

With two more goals, including the winner in overtime this past weekend, Kaden Shahan now has a league-leading 31 goals.

Sioux City continues to connect on the power play at an absurd rate (31.2%), with eight skaters recording at least two goals on the man advantage this season.

Meanwhile, the Muskies have turned to Dylan Silverstein in net in place of the injured Samuel Urban. The Boston College commit has picked up wins in three of his last four games since taking over.

4. Green Bay Gamblers / Last Ranking: 3

Record: 25-10-4-2

Green Bay has kept its foot on the gas pedal and remains within striking distance of Dubuque.

The Gamblers have won three consecutive games, with points coming in seven of their last 10 games.

Since moving to center, Jayson Shaugabay (TBL) has been a goal-scoring machine, finding the back of the net six times over his last eight games.

5. Muskegon Lumberjacks / Last Ranking: 5

Record: 27-14-1-1

Tied in the standings with Green Bay, the Muskegon Lumberjacks are on fire right now, having won five straight and eight of their last 10.

Matvei Gridin (2024) has picked up his goal-scoring touch again after going four games without a goal. The University of Michigan commit has four goals over his last three games.

Meanwhile, Shikhabutdin Gadzhiev continues to turn heads in net, racking up six straight wins, and nine overall, since making his USHL debut in early January.

6. Waterloo Black Hawks / Last Ranking: 7

Record: 27-15-0-1

The Black Hawks continued their ascent in the Western Conference and now trail the Sioux Musketeers by only three points for second place with two games in hand.

Gavyn Thoreson is having himself a month, racking up 12 points in eight games, including a multi-goal game in Waterloo’s shootout win on Sunday.

Calvin Vachon has strung together four straight wins between the pipes and is tied for the third among USHL goaltenders in wins (18).

7. Youngstown Phantoms / Last Ranking: 6

Record: 23-13-4-3

The Phantoms dropped two of their three games over the weekend but remain comfortably in fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

Forward Grant Young’s emergence in the second half has been a pleasant surprise. He has collected eight goals over his last five games.

After winning his first three games, goaltender Aiden Wright has dropped two of his last three.

8. Tri-City Storm / Last Ranking: 9

Record: 21-14-4-4

Despite splitting their two-game series with the Chicago Steel over the weekend, the Tri-City Storm have points in seven of their last 10 games.

Trevor Connelly (2024) extended his point streak to 13 games and ranks third in the league in points with 52.

Meanwhile, Cameron Korpi owns the most wins (20) among USHL goaltenders, picking up wins in four of his last five starts.

9. Sioux Falls Stampede / Last Ranking: 8

Record: 21-21-3-1

It has been a difficult couple of weeks for Sioux Falls, which has dropped six straight contests.

Beckett Hendrickson (BOS) continues to litter the scoresheet, accumulating points in all but three games in the second half.

Michael Chambre is struggling in net right now, having dropped four of his last five, while allowing 25 goals over that stretch.

10. Chicago Steel / Last Ranking: 11

Record: 19-19-3-3

The Steel collected three of a possible four points against Tri-City and leapfrogged Madison in the standings with a head-to-head win Sunday.

Michael Hage (2024) returned from his two-game suspension with a vengeance, recording three points, including his sixth multi-goal game of the season.

The newly-acquired Quentin Sigurdson picked up his first win in his USHL debut, stopping 38 of 39 shots on goal.

11. Madison Capitols / Last Ranking: 10

Record: 18-18-4-2

The Caps continue to slide in the wrong direction, dropping two straight and eight of their last 10.

Austin Burnevik has six points (2-4-6) over his last four games and ranks second in the league with 27 goals.

Carsen Musser (ARI) has struggled in the second half, winning only three of his 10 starts.

12. Lincoln Stars / Last Ranking: 12

Record: 19-20-1-2

Lincoln holds firms in the power rankings after going 1-1-1 in three games over the weekend.

Blake Montgomery tallied another multi-goal game in Friday’s win over Sioux City and has six points in his last four games.

The Stars will try to get back on track this weekend with a visit to USA Hockey Arena for a two-game set against the U18s and U17s.

13. Cedar Rapids RoughRiders / Last Ranking: 13

Record: 17-21-4-2

RoughRiders head coach Mark Carlson remains one win shy of tying the all-time wins record, so he will have to wait until next weekend to potentially break the record.

Rudy Guimond (DET) split his back-to-back over the weekend, stopping an impressive 22 of 24 in the Riders' win against Waterloo.

14. Des Moines Buccaneers / Last Ranking: 14

Record: 16-24-4-0

The Bucs salvaged the weekend with a 5-1 win over Cedar Rapids on Sunday, but they have just four wins in their last 10 games.

Liam Watkins has strung a nice stretch of games together lately, recording goals in five of his last six games.

However, netminder Ethan Dahlmeir has dropped three of his last four games.

15. USNTDP / Last Ranking: 15

Record: 13-23-1-1

The U17s rallied to claim the gold medal in the 2024 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament.

Jack Murtagh (2025) tallied three points in the tournament and scored twice in the U17s first game back in USHL play. The 16-year-old is up to 32 points (14-18-32) in 39 games for the NTDP this season.

The U18s were not as fortunate, falling to Sweden in the gold-medal game with the deciding goal coming with 1.6 seconds left on the clock.

Cole Eiserman (2024) recorded five points, including four goals, and needs 21 more goals to break Cole Caufield’s record for most goals (126) in NTDP history.

16. Omaha Lancers / Last Ranking: 16

Record: 7-33-3-0

The Lancers have dropped 13 straight games and traded forward Justin Stupka to Sioux City.

Who else might Omaha part with in advance of the USHL’s trade deadline?