Day 1 of NA3HL Showcase thrills big crowds and scouts
Louisiana 4 vs. Wausau 3 (OT) – The opening game of the NA3HL Showcase was a thrill ride as the Louisiana Drillers erased a 3-1 deficit to come from behind and beat the Wausau RiverWolves, 4-3. Two goals from Owen Routheut and another from Matt Irwin gave Wausau a 3-1 lead midway through the 3rd period. The Drillers stormed back off the stick of Brandon Vukasin, who scored all three Drillers goals in regulation. In the OT, Drew Wotta tipped home a shot from the point to give Louisiana the win. Drillers goalie Griffin Varricchio made 30 saves in the win, while Christian Sanzottera made 35 saves in the loss.
Toledo 4 vs. College Station 1 – Ricardo Gonzales had a solid game between the pipes for the Cherokee in their 4-1 win over the Spirit. Toledo took a 1-0 lead thanks to a 1st period goal from Michael Papaioannou. The Cherokee went up 2-0 early in the 2nd period thanks to a goal from Darren Carter. The Spirit drew to within one goal thanks to their lone tally from Gannen Erickson, but the Cherokee would get two more goals from Ryan Makowski and Dalton Cummings in the 3rd period to secure the 4-1 win. Ryan O’Toole took the loss in goal for the Spirit.
Pittsburgh 6 vs. Peoria 2 – The Vengeance stayed on their recent hot streak with a convincing 6-2 win over the Mustangs as six different players scored. It was all Vengeance in the first two periods as they opened up a 4-0 lead on 1st period goals from Austen Zimmerman, Antonio Filippello and Dominick Glavach. A goal from Zachary Servidio in the 2nd period made it 4-0. In the 3rd period, the Mustangs got their two goals from Braden Stewart and Jack Healy, but more goals from Vengeance players Jacob Friedman and Justin Bioni secured the win. Joel De Simone made 18 saves in the win, while Zack Freiburger made 20 saves in the loss.
Southern Tier 7 vs. Cape Cod 0 – It was a dominant performance from the Xpress and forward Joey Gerace, who scored four of his team’s seven goals in a 7-0 shutout win over the Islanders. Gerace scored three of the Xpress’ first four goals, which also included a goal from Stuart Pearson. Later in the 2nd period, Gerace would add his 4th goal along with goals from Tristan Mock and Mickenzie Restle. Xpress goalie Ryan Pascarella made 17 saves in the shutout win, while Noah Bird took the loss in goal for the Islanders.
Atlanta 5 vs. Wooster 3 – Capitals goalie Elijah Gibbons made 49 saves to help his team to a 5-3 win over the Wooster Oilers. Five different players scored for the Capitals, which included 1st period goals from Austin Smith and Trent Markley, 2nd period goals from Talon Medure and Tanner Opie and a 3rd period goal from Gunner Moore. Meanwhile, the Oilers goals came from Zach Zwierecki in the 1st period and two goals in the 3rd period from Matthew Kesto. Michael Hubbard took the loss in goal for the Oilers, making 22 saves.
La Crosse 8 vs. Niagara Falls 2 – Freeze forward Clayton Lackey had a hat-trick to lead his team to a convincing 8-2 win over the PowerHawks. It was all La Crosse for the first two periods as they opened up a 5-0 lead thanks to two goals from Lackey and two more from Alec Seeger and another from Thomas Magnavite. The PowerHawks showed some spunk in the 3rd period getting two goals from Stephen Minichiello, but the Freeze put the game on ice thanks to another goal from Lackey and others from Laudon Poellinger and Keaton Caplis. Freeze goalie William Graves made 12 saves in the win, while PowerHawks goalie Kris Augustine took the loss.
Point Mallard 8 vs. Skylands 5 – Eight different players scored for the Ducks in an offensive showcase win over the Kings by a score of 8-5. The Kings jumped out to a 4-1 lead thanks to goals from Mike King, Eric Vanderhoff, Lionel Landry, and Dylan Dinzik. The Ducks stormed back after an opening goal from Regnars Udris, the Ducks scored four straight in the 2nd period to take a 5-4 lead, which included goals from Tyler Trombly, Mason Evans, Yuval Halpert, and Fletcher Chun. Before the 2nd period was up, the Kings tied the game on a goal from Stephan Sizov. The 3rd period was all Ducks as they scored three times to pick up the 8-5 win, which included goals from Stephen Herbel, Jesse Stepp, and Collin Brown. Chris O’Shaughnessy picked up the win in goal, while Mathias Yttereng was credited with the loss.
Wisconsin 2 vs. Oswego 0 – Behind 16 saves and the first shutout of the season from Whalers goalie Alex Hufford, the Wisconsin Whalers defeated the Oswego Stampede on Day 1 of the NA3HL Showcase by a score of 2-0. All the scoring by the Whalers came in the 2nd period as Alex Gille opened the scoring with his 3rd goal of the season. That was followed up by a goal from Carter Grobstick, who scored his 20th goal of the season. Steven Kozikoski took the loss in goal for the Stampede, making 24 saves.
Long Beach 5 vs. Bozeman 2 – Three, 3rd period goals were the difference as the Sharks beat the Icedogs, 5-2 in the opening game for both teams at the NA3HL Showcase. The game was even at 2-2 through two periods as Beckett Patten and Gabe Huntley scored for Bozeman, while Jackson Wellmeyer and CJ Smith answered for Long Beach. The Sharks pulled away in the 3rd period thanks to two goals from Ben Bergman and another from Charlie Bedard, which would stand as the game-winner. Long Beach goalie Ryan Cortez made 32 saves in the win, while Icedogs goalie Carver Thompson made 24 saves in the loss.
New Ulm 4 vs. Yellowstone 2 – In a battle of #1 seeds, the New Ulm Steel scored two goals late in the 3rd period to break a 2-2 tie to defeat the Yellowstone Quake, 4-2. The Steel jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to a 1st period goal from Nickolas Wieben and a 2nd period goal from Trevor Woytcke. The Quake responded with a pair of goals from Mason Stewart and Riley Buller to tie the game at 2-2 early in the 3rd period. The Steel then took control late in the 3rd period as goals from Alex Nagel and Kirk Coppock secured the 4-2 win. Steel goalie Ryan Kenny made 28 saves in the win, while Jonatan Persson made 29 saves in the loss for the Quake.
Lansing 5 vs. Rochester 0 – Wolves goalie Sean Finstrom stopped all 24 shots as the Wolves blanked Rochester. Lansing got goals from five different players, which included Bear Ross in the 1st period, Cameron Zucker and Michael Schramm in the 2nd period and Noah Piper and Brendan Smith in the 3rd period. Rochester goalie Jake Levinski made 36 saves in the loss.
Metro 3 vs. Binghamton 2 (SO) – Robby Flannery scored the shootout winner as the Metro Jets edged the Binghamton Junior Senators in a battle of a couple of the top teams in the NA3HL on Sunday. All the scoring in regulation came in an active 2nd period as Kyle Gierman and Mathieu LaForest scored for the Jets, while Eric Melso and Brad Becker answered for the Sens. Flannery was on the only one of the 10 combined shooters for each team to score in the shootout. Metro goalie Andrew Kormos made 25 saves in the win, while Sens goalie Brady Anderson made 30 saves in the shootout loss.
Great Falls 5 vs. Mid Cities 1 – Michael Fary scored twice and Bryan Sharp made 18 saves as the Americans beat the Stars, 5-1. Fary provided Great Falls with a fast start as they jumped ahead 2-0 on his two goals in the 1st period. Mid Cities drew to within one goal later in the period on a tally from Matthew Taylor. The Americans would then seize control with a goal from Michael Houlihan in the 2nd period, which made it 3-1 and then two more goals in the 3rd period from Jens Juliussen and Cody Dearing, which secured the 5-1 win. Stars goalie Jake Ange made 20 saves in the loss.
Helena 4 vs. Evansville 3 – Four different players scored for the Bighorns as they edged the Jr. Thunderbolts, 4-3. Things were even after two periods at 3-3 as the Bighorns got goals from Shawn Mitchell, Luc Cross, and Jarett Scheibel, while Evansville got goals from Brandon Rozema and two goals from Rory Scott. The game-winner came late in the 3rd period off the stick of Helena forward Hayden Seitz, who scored his 17th goal of the season. Bighorns goalie Cody Brewer made 21 saves in the win, while Evansville goalie Bryson Linenburg made 28 saves in the loss.
Alexandria 12 vs. Missoula 1 – It was all Blizzard as they stormed their way to their 6th straight win, thanks to a 12-1 win over the Junior Bruins. Two different players, Logan Nelson and Brett Meister, each had hat-tricks. The Blizzard scored four goals in the 1st period thanks to two goals from Meister and others from Michael Behl and Ryan Worley. The Blizzard added two more goals in the 2nd period as Worley scored again along with a goal from Nicholas Lindgren. The Blizzard then put the game away in the 3rd period with six more goals, including three from Nelson, one more from Meister and others from Riley Scanlon and Peter Johnson. The lone Missoula goal came from Misha Akatnov, his 27th of the season. Blizzard goalie Brady Meyers made 17 saves in the win.
Willmar WarHawks 4 vs. Northeast Generals 1- A pair of goals from Max Oelkers helped the Willmar WarHawks to a 4-1 victory over the Northeast Generals. Brandon Holt and Peyton Polstad also scored for the Generals, while Tyler Rudek notched one for the Generals. Willmar's Kaden Ericson made 25 saves, while Lucas Souza stopped 43 shots for Northeast.
Texas Brahmas 3 vs. St Louis Jr Blues 6 – The St Louis Jr Blues scored five unanswered goals to rally back and defeat the Texas Brahmas, 6-3. Ivan Galaguzov (2), Jake Cox, Daniel Dunaway, Dylan Carroll, and Dante Jones scored for the Jr Blues, while Kyle Cote and Vincent Dekumbis (2) found the back of the net for the Brahmas. St Louis' Blake Bjella made 14 saves, while Tyler Myers stopped 30 shots for Texas.
Breezy Point North Stars 8 vs. Maine Wild 1 – The Breezy Point North Stars took the lead early, resulting in an 8-1 win over the Maine Wild. Alex Flicek, Dawson Kram (2), Erik Gadbois, Noah Kruger, Danny Wieber, Josh Maucieri, and Austin Langworthy scored for the North Stars, while Jake Sullivan notched the lone Wild goal. Breezy Point netminder Bronson Moore made 31 saves, and Nicholas Vardon stopped 39 shots for Maine.
Granite City Lumberjacks 5 vs. New England Stars 2 – After a scoreless first period, the Granite City Lumberjacks defeated the New England Stars, 5-2. Braden Altena, Owen Sikich, Ryan Pearson, Seth Towers, and Chase DiBari found the back of the net for the Lumberjacks, while Ian Gately notched both goals for the Stars. In net, David Mulligan made 4 saves for Granite City, while Greg Moon stopped 6 shots for New England.
North Iowa Bulls 5 vs. L/A Nordiques 2 – The North Iowa Bulls grabbed an early lead to defeat the L/A Nordiques, 5-2. Tyler Bump, Dayton Honkanen, Mitch Dolter, Cameron Fagerlee, and Matt Dahlseide scored for the Bulls, while Colby Audette scored twice for the Nordiques. North Iowa's Drew Scites made 13 saves, while Michael Errico stopped 30 shots for L/A.
Gillette Wild 8 vs. Roc City Royals 2 – The Gillette Wild scored seven consecutive goals on their way to an 8-2 victory over the Roc City Royals. Cody Walters, Brooks Mitzel (2), Nick Stockert, Jack Oberg, Gage Thompson (2), and Russell Conti scored for the Wild, while Chris Crowley and Dylan Candleana found the back of the net for the Royals. In net, Gillette goaltender Rasmus Pilely made 17 saves, while Shane Phillips stopped 34 shots for Roc City.