USHL: Des Moines 6, Madison 2

Rookie forwards Trey LaBarge and Ludwig Stenlund put the team on board this season as the Madison Capitols fell short to the Des Moines Buccaneers, 6-2, at Bob Suter’s Capitol Ice Rink on Friday night.

“It’s a pretty disappointing start,” assistant coach Blake Hietala said following the loss. “Obviously, it’s not what we wanted for the night, but we’re hoping the boys can learn from this and be able to bounce back tomorrow.”

Just 36-seconds into the third period, Buccaneers center Nikolas Werbik buried a rebound to bring the score to 3-1, and tally the eventual game-winning goal.

Opening up the scoring for the Buccaneers, right wing Erik Urbank connected with a feed from defenseman Will MacKinnon and skated past Madison defenders. Urbank pushed the puck past the left leg of Capitols goaltender Dryden McKay at 13:18 of the first period.

At 10:48 of the middle frame, center Eric Otto took a shot from the right side of McKay. The puck bounced off  Mckay’s pads allowing left wing Braden Costello to bury the rebound leaving the Capitols trailing by two.

For the Capitols first regular season goal this year, Labarge picked up a turnover and buried the puck shorthanded with 2:57 remaining in the second period to cut the lead in half, 2-1.

Leaving Madison trailing by three, left wing Sam Hentges skated from the Madison blueline on a breakaway and backhanded the puck over Mckay’s left skate.  Defensemen Chris Lipe and MacKinnon were credited with assists.

Left wing Reed Lebster made the score 5-1 at 8:07 of the third period when he chased a turnover past the Capitols defense and wristed a shot past McKay.

Giving the Capitols their final goal of the night, center Ludwig Stenlund took a slapshot from the right face-off circle that flew past goaltender Jake Kucharski at 16:27 of final frame.

Giving a final score of 6-2, defenseman Colin Ugbekile, skating on the power play, one-timed a pass from defenseman Scooter Brickey past McKay at 18:45 of the final frame.

McKay (0-1-0-0) suffered his first loss this season stopping 24-of-30 shots.  Kucharski (1-0-0-0) took win of the season with 23 saves on 25 shots.

Madison went 0-for-4 on the power play.  Des Moines was 1-for-4 with the man advantage.

The Capitols will take on the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders at Bob Suter’s Capitol Ice Arena on Saturday, October 7 at 6:05 p.m.  For ticket information, call the Capitols at (608) 257-CAPS or visit 

Photo: Justin Nuoffer, Madison Capitols

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