NAHL Showcase Wrap-up: Day 1
Springfield Jr. Blues 2 – Odessa Jackalopes 1
Jr. Blues forward Josef Pontasch scored the game-winning goal with less than eight minutes remaining in the 3rd period as the Springfield Jr. Blues edged out the Odessa Jackalopes, 2-1 in Odessa’s NAHL debut. Ben Kramer scored the first goal of the game for Springfield, but that was quickly answered with the first goal in Odessa NAHL history by Sheldon Taylor. The Jackalopes outshot the Jr. Blues 34-32 with both goalies, Connor Girard from Springfield and Connor Hellebuyck from Odessa, putting up solid performances.
Amarillo Bulls 4 – Alaska Avalanche 2
The Amarillo Bulls never trailed as they jumped out to a 3-1 lead and held on for a 4-2 win over the Alaska Avalanche. Joe Kozlak, Alex Carey, John Gustafson and Brooks Behling had the goals for Amarillo while forward Evan Janssen had both goals for Alaska. The Bulls scored an empty-net goal with :21 seconds remaining to secure the win, outshooting Alaska 31-23. In goal, Greg Gruehl got the win for Amarillo, while Nick Kulmanovsky suffered the loss for the Avalanche.
St. Louis Bandits 4 – Wichita Falls Wildcats 2
St. Louis got two assists from Russell Finch and goals from Joseph Birmingham, Bryan Watt, Frank Dichiara and Joe Kalisz en route to a 4-2 win, to stay perfect on the young 2011-12 season. Wichita Falls, who won last year’s Showcase, got goals from Dennis Kravchenko and Brennan Parker and managed to outshoot St. Louis 27-26. Tyler last got the win in goal for St. Louis, while Tyler Green suffered the loss for the Wildcats, making 22 saves.
Coulee Region Chill 4 – Jamestown Ironmen 0
Chill second-year goaltender Aaron Davis posted the first NAHL shutout of the year, making 28 saves in a 4-0 win over the Jamestown Ironmen, who suffered their first loss of the year after sweeping Chicago last weekend. All Coulee Region goals came in the 3rd period as the teams were deadlocked in a scoreless tie after two periods. James Hughes scored two of the goals including the game-winner on a breakaway and Tommy Miller and David Ripple added the other two. Joe Ballmer made 23 saves in the loss for Jamestown.
Port Huron Fighting Falcons 2 – Alexandria Blizzard 1 (SO)
After posting just six wins a season ago, the Port Huron Fighting Falcons won their first game of the year in dramatic fashion, as they defeated the Alexandria Blizzard in a shootout. Both goaltenders, Peter Megariotis for the Fighting Falcons and Jameson Shortreed for the Blizzard, were stellar in goal the entire game. Port Huron quickly jumped out to a 1-0 lead just :26 seconds into the game as Zach Mohr scored. Alexandria answered back with a goal five minutes into the 3rd period from Connor Johnston. In the shootout, three of the five Port Huron shooters scored to secure the win.
Austin Bruins 3 – Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings 2
Brandon Wahlin had two goals and Charlie Adams had two assists as the Austin Bruins spoiled Kalamazoo’s return to the NAHL with a 3-2 win. Austin Nelson had the other goal for the Bruins while Anthony Appleyard and Chris Hughes scored the goals for Kalamazoo. The Jr. K-Wings outshot the Bruins 27-19, but Tyler Bruggeman was the difference in goal as he settled down from a rough start to get his first win in the NAHL since the 2009-10 season when he was with the St. Louis Bandits. Alex Okicki made 16 saves in the loss.
Fairbanks Ice Dogs 4 – Minot Minotauros 3
The expansion Minot Minotauros gave the defending Robertson Cup Champion Fairbanks Ice Dogs all they could handle in their opening game, but thanks to three 2nd period goals, the Ice Dogs would edge the Minotauros, 4-3. Wilson Housley, son of former NHL defenseman Phil Housley, scored the first goal in Minotauros history, as he scored the only goal of the 1st period. However, goals from Eric Carlson, Garret Clemment and Gabe Levin in the 2nd period gave the Ice Dogs a 3-2 lead. Michael Cummings would score the eventual game-winner in the 3rd period for Fairbanks. Cote Dickerson and Hans Drawbert had the other goals for Minot. Alex Fons got the win in goal for Fairbanks, while Jake Hebda suffered the loss for Minot.
Janesville Jets 2 – Wenatchee Wild 0
Veteran goalie Tony Kujava stopped all 19 shots, while forward Jordan Bancroft scored both goals for Janesville as the opened up with a 2-0 shutout win over the Wenatchee Wild. Greg Lewis got the loss for Wenatchee in goal, but stood strong in net making 25 saves on 27 Janesville shots. Bancroft, 20, played for Janesville during the 2009-10 season, but last year attended college. He returned to the Jets this season and scored goals in the 1st and 3rd periods in their win. The regulation loss was the first for Wenatchee, who through the pre-season with an impressive 4-0-2 record against Canadian junior A teams.
Corpus Christi IceRays 5 – Dawson Creek Rage 4
In one of the highest scoring games of the day, the Corpus Christi IceRays got a 3rd period goal from Perry DArrisso to break a 4-4 deadlock, as they edged the Dawson Creek Rage, 5-4. IceRays defenseman Frank Misuraca had three points to lead the way, including a goal and two assists. Eric Purcell, Josh Obregon and Beau Walker had the other goals for Corpus Christi. Tyson McCallum led the way for the Rage scoring two goals and Scott Fellnermayr also had a multi-point night. The teams were tied three different times before the IceRays game-winner in the 3rd period. In goal, the IceRays Kale Robertson made 20 saves for his first win of the season, while Edward Dyson suffered the loss making 23 saves.
Michigan Warriors 4 – Chicago Hitmen 2
The Robertson Cup Finalists from 2011, the Michigan Warriors, scored the game’s first four goals as they went on to defeat Chicago by a score of 4-2. Michigan had four different goal scorers including: Tyler Perpich, Zach Badalamenti, Robert Mantha and Joseph Ferriss. Chicago managed to make the game a little closer with two goals in the 3rd period from Jace Childs and Joey Haydock, but had trouble getting the puck past Warriors goaltender Brach Tiller, who made 43 saves. Brett Kilar suffered the loss in goal for the Hitmen, making 31 saves.
Kenai River Brown Bears 5 – Aberdeen Wings 2
After a back and forth 1st period, the Brown Bears opened up the game in the 2nd period with three goals to take a lead they would never lose. Chris Nuth scored twice and added an assist and Jacob Davidson, Alex Frere and Zac Lazzaro also scored for Kenai River. Steve Obarzanek and Shigenobu Kakudate both scored on the power play in the losing effort for the Wings. Brown Bears goaltender Austin Severson was one of the stars of the game for Kenai River as he faced 40 shots, stopping 38 of them. Frederick Leisner suffered the loss for Aberdeen making 27 saves.
Bismarck Bobcats 7 – New Mexico Mustangs 3
Donald Olivieri and Daniel Zawacki each had three points as the Bismarck Bobcats defeated the New Mexico Mustangs, 7-3. Bismarck opened up a 5-1 lead after two periods with goals from Grant Mindt, Francis DeAugustine, Nikolaj Rosenthal , Caston Sommer and Olivieri. Olivieri, who led all NAHL defensemen in goals last season, scored his second of the game in the 3rd period along with Bryce Schmitt. New Mexico got goals from Nolan Valleau, Patrick Anderson and rookie Jordan Boucher-Gould. Evan Johnston also assisted on two of the three New Mexico goals. Bismarck outshot the Mustangs 34-23 in the high scoring NAHL game of the 1st day of the Showcase.
Traverse City North Stars 4 – Texas Tornado 1
Goaltender Kyle Laslo made 28 saves and the North Stars got multi-point nights from Will Badner, Chris Leibinger, Mitchell Snider and Alec Sheilds as Traverse City opened the Showcase with a 4-1 win over the Texas Tornado. Drew Allen had the lone goal for Texas in the loss. Kyle Loridon had the other marker for the North Stars who jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first portion of the game and scored two more goals in the 3rd period for the win. Tornado goaltender Jake Stafford suffered the loss, making 26 saves on 30 shots.
Fresno Monsters 4 – Topeka RoadRunners 2
A late 3rd period power play goal and an empty-net goal from Jeffrey McMinimy which was the difference as the Fresno Monsters edged out the Topeka RoadRunners 4-2 in the final game of Day 1 of the Showcase. Jeffrey Pauluk and Brendan Bradley had the other goals for Fresno, who went 3 for 4 on the power play. Zack Wallace added three assists for Fresno. Andrew O’Leary and Dan Dupell had the two goals for Topeka in the loss. Fresno goaltender Macauley Haight had 21 saves in the win while the RoadRunners Eric Rohrkemper suffered the loss, making 15 saves.