NA3EHL Prospects earn experience and respect
December 12, 2014
The NA3EHL Prospects Team that played in the NA3HL Showcase this past weekend comes away from the event with some valuable experience and some new found respect from their NA3HL colleagues.
After posting a win over defending NA3HL Silver Cup Champion the North Iowa Bulls on Sunday, the NA3EHL Prospects Team lost their next two games, a 7-0 loss to the Metro Jets on Monday and a 4-2 defeat to the Granite City Lumberjacks on Tuesday.
However, the NA3EHL Prospects came away with valuable experience and a newfound respect from their peers. The NA3EHL sat down with commissioner Wayne Sheehan, who on the trip and on the bench for the team and shared his thoughts:
“As a league, we were thrilled to receive that invitation to participate in the NA3HL Showcase in Blaine, Minnesota. Naturally, we were interested to learn how our players would "stack up" against the NAHL teams. We were perhaps a bit apprehensive going in, knowing that we were facing three of the very best and teams with rich traditions in North Iowa, Metro and Granite City.”
“We spoke with our players prior to the North Iowa game about playing simple hockey and concentrating on defense first. We spoke on an emotional level as well, telling the boys that they were the first players from our league to take on the NA3HL and that they were in a position to establish and earn respect for our teams. They were so very focused for the first game and it showed with a 3-1 lead after the 1st period and ultimately a 6-5 win.”
“Leading the way all weekend was our league's top goaltender, Tyger Howat of the Jersey Shore Wildcats. He backstopped us to the win vs. North Iowa and kept us in the Granite City game allowing only 3 goals in a 4-2 loss (the last an empty netter).”
“Offensively, Matt Henderson (Maine Wild) centered a line with Wes Austin (Roc City Royals) and Chris Harris (Cape Cod Islanders) that scored 3 goals and had 3 Assists vs. North Iowa (1G & 1A for each player). Matt would score our first goal vs. Granite City to start the 3rd Period, making the game 2-1 at the time. This was a big goal and provided the boost for our players to believe would could possibly upset the Lumberjacks and win.”
“Defensively, we were led by Brendon Walch (Wilkes-Barre Miners) whose strong play, despite his youth, was critical in our games vs. North Iowa and Granite City.”
“We were flat vs. Metro and as good teams do, they jumped on us and kept the foot on the gas pedal. They were big, fast, disciplined and hit everything that moved.”
“Overall, we were thoroughly impressed with the competition and even more impressed with the leadership of the teams we played. We look forward to the growth of our continued relationship with the NA3HL.”