NAHL Showcase Wrap-up: Day 2
Janesville Jets 2 – Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings 1
Jets goaltender Tony Kujava had another strong performance stopping 28 of 29 shots as the Jets edged the Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings, 2-1. The game was scoreless the first two periods until Janesville’s Chris Cattivera scored an unassisted goal. Veteran forward Pijus Rulevicius made it 2-0 with a power play goal, but just a minute later Kalamazoo would cut the lead down to one with a goal from Kyle Gattelaro. The Jr. K-Wings outshot Janesville 29-21, but could not get any more pucks in the net, falling to 0-2 on the season, while Janesville stayed perfect with a 2-0 record. Kalamazoo goalie Zach Nagelvoort suffered the loss making 19 saves.
Michigan Warriors 1 – Corpus Christi 0
Warriors goaltender Brach Tiller stole the show, stopping all 43 shots as Michigan got a 3rd period goal from Cody Damon to post a 1-0 victory over the IceRays. Anthony Stolarz was also strong between the pipes for Corpus Christi making 20 saves. The IceRays outshot the Warriors 43-21. Zak Thompson assisted on the lone goal for the Warriors, which came with less than six minutes remaining in the game. Michigan stayed perfect on the season, while Corpus Christi dropped to 1-1.
Coulee Region Chill 4 – Dawson Creek Rage 2
Dawson Creek jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but Coulee Region would answer back with four unanswered goals, all in the 2nd period, to win 4-2. Ryan Matthews and Keenan Bradley would give the Rage the lead as they controlled most of the 1st period and early in the 2nd period. However, the Chill would score four goals in 10 minutes thanks to four different goal-scorers: Matt Bloomquist, Tommy Miller, Jakob Batcha and Ben Gislason. Aaron Davis got his second consecutive win in goal for the Chill, making 20 saves, while Rage goaltender Jack Surgenor played well in the loss, stopping 37 shots. The Chill moved to 2-0 on the young season, while the Rage fell to 2-0.
Port Huron Fighting Falcons 2 – Topeka RoadRunners 1 (SO)
Despite getting outshot 42-17, the Port Huron Fighting Falcons moved their record to 2-0 with an exciting 2-1 shootout win over the Topeka RoadRunners. The star of the game was Fighting Falcons goaltender Max Milosek, who made 41 saves for his first win of the season. Josh Hillegas also played well in goal for the RoadRunners, but only had to face 16 shots. The RoadRunners took a 1-0 lead in the 1st period with a goal from Linus Johansson. Port Huron would climb back in the 2nd period with a power play goal from Ian Miller, who took advantage of a Topeka turnover. The teams remained deadlocked going into the shootout where the Fighting Falcons scored two goals, while Milosek shut the door on all four Topeka shooters. Port Huron moves to 2-0, while the RoadRunners fall to 0-1-1.
Kenai River Brown Bears 2 – Wichita Falls Wildcats 1
In one of the tightest games of the day, Kenai River stayed perfect at the Showcase with a 2-1 win over the Wichita Falls Wildcats. In a very active 1st period, both teams traded goals as Austin Sture scored first for Kenai River, but that was answered late in the period by the Wildcats Tanner Fahlstedt. In the 2nd period, former Wildcat Keil Zornow, who was traded to Kenai a few weeks ago, scored the eventual game-winning goal. Austin Severson stopped 30 of 31 shots for the win, while Wildcats netminder Tyler Green also played very well stopping 32 of 34 shots.
Aberdeen Wings 2 – Wenatchee Wild 1
In yet another tight and back-and-forth game, the Aberdeen Wings got a late 3rd period goal from Steve Obarzanek to top the Wenatchee Wild, 2-1. Wenatchee would score first thanks to a goal from Ansel Duesenberg with an assist to Ben Carey. Alex Brooks would bring the Wings back to even with a power play goal. The 3rd period gave way to Obarzanek’s heroics. Wings forwards Cory Ward and Paul Prescott each had two assists in the winning effort. In goal, Frederick Leisner posted the win making 22 saves, while Greg Lewis suffered the loss making 20 saves. Aberdeen improved to 1-1, while Wenatchee fell to 0-2.
Traverse City North Stars 3 – Odessa Jackalopes 2 (SO)
The North Stars came from behind to beat Odessa 3-2 in a shootout, but the Jackalopes earned their first NAHL point in the team’s history. Odessa led most of the game behind two goals from Sheldon Taylor, who scored in the 1st and 2nd periods. Alec Shields tied the game early in the 1st period and Kyle Schemmp scored the game-tying goal in the 3rd period to send the game to a shootout. Shields and Schemmp again would factor in the shootout scoring both Traverse City goals, while North Stars goaltender Kyle Laslo would stop all the Odessa shooters. Connor Hellebuyck played well again in goal for Odessa making 35 saves in the losing effort. Traverse City moves to 2-0 with the win, while Odessa’s record stands at 0-1-1.
Bismarck Bobcats 4 – Alaska Avalanche 3 (OT)
Bismarck erased three different Alaska leads and defenseman Donald Olivieri scored the overtime winner as the Bobcats stayed perfect on the young season with a 4-3 overtime win over the Alaska Avalanche. Shane Omdahl had two goals for the Bobcats and Nicholas Miglio had the other regulation goal. Castan Sommer also chimed in with two assists. For the Avs, Joe Schmitz had the only multi-point night with two assists, while Mitch Kontny, Gage Christianson and Cobi Smith-Mass scored goals for Alaska, who fell to 0-1-1 for the season. Aaron Nelson was very good in goal for the Bobcats making 36 saves, while Blake Mendenhall made 18 saves for the Avalanche.
Texas Tornado 7 – Alexandria Blizzard 4
In the highest scoring game of the Showcase to date, the Texas Tornado jumped out to an early lead and got three points from veteran NAHL forward Jordan Greenberg as they defeated the Alexandria Blizzard, 7-4. Texas led 3-0 after the 1st period on goals from Jordan Lovick, Taylor Herndon and CJ Reuschlein. Each team scored two goals in the 2nd period as Tucker Coborn and Thomas Williams lit the lamp for Alexandria and Justin Greenberg and Marc Biggs scored for Texas. Coborn added his 2nd goal of the game in the 3rd period, but two more Texas goals by Biggs (2) and Jordan Greenberg negated a final Blizzard goal by Gage Torrel for the 7-4 final. Rookie Joakim Jutras got the win for Texas in his first NAHL start making 27 saves, while Jameson Shortreed suffered the loss for Alexandria, making 16 saves.
Amarillo Bulls 5 – Jamestown Ironmen 1
Amarillo took sole possession of 1st place in South Division with convincing 5-1 win. The Bulls dominated from start to finish, scoring one goal in the 1st period, one in the 2nd and three in the 3rd period. Jamestown spoiled Amarillo netminder Gregg Gruehl’s bid for a shutout with a goal with just :55 seconds remaining in the game. Karl Beckman, Joe Kozlak and Matt Johnson all had multi-point games for Amarillo, while Anthony Coles scored the lone goal for the Ironmen. Mitch Rogge, Michael Mazzotta, Darren McCormick and Mike Davis scored for Amarillo in addition to Kozlak. Joe Ballmer suffered the loss making 40 saves.
New Mexico Mustangs 3 – Chicago Hitmen 1
The New Mexico Mustangs posted their first win of the season with a 3-1 win over the Chicago Hitmen, who are still looking for their first win of the season. The teams traded goals in the 1st period as David Gandara scored for Chicago and Jimmy Peplinski scored for New Mexico. However, two 3rd period goals by the Mustangs Adam Chapie and Jarrett Stark gave New Mexico the 3-1 win. Randy Graham got the win for New Mexico as he was stellar in goal making 25 saves. Brad Roth suffered the loss, but did manage to make 34 saves in the effort. New Mexico improves to 1-1, while Chicago fell to 0-4.
St. Louis Bandits 5 – Minot Minotauros 2
The expansion Minotauros stayed close with the perennial powerhouse Bandits for the majority of the game, but a stingy St. Louis defense was the difference in the Bandits 5-2 win. The Bandits led 3-1 after the 1st period with goals from Joe Kalisz, Taylor Wolfe and Dakota Zaharichuk, while Clark Anderson scored for Minot. Zaharichuk added his second goal of the game in the 2nd period, but Jaden Martin would answer for the Minotauros to make it 4-2 after two periods. Josh Dangel scored an empty-net goal in the 3rd period to seal the game for St. Louis who stays perfect on the season with a 3-0 record. Minot fell to 0-2. Spencer Viele made 17 saves for the win, while Tim Shaughnessy suffered the loss surrendering four goals on 17 shots.
Fairbanks Ice Dogs 5 – Springfield Jr. Blues 2
The defending Robertson Cup Champion Ice Dogs stayed atop of the West Division with a 5-2 win over Springfield. Gabe Levin had three assists, JT Osborn had two assists and Fairbanks who got goals from Pete Spratte, Logan Wendling, Jakob Romo, Alec Hajdukovich and Evan Wilson in the win. Brett Skibba and Tyler Rehm scored the Jr. Blues in the losing effort. After a both teams scored a goal in the 1st period, Fairbanks broke the game open with four straight goals. Nick Heimer got the win in goal making 23 saves, while Caleb Neal suffered the loss, making 14 saves.
Fresno Monsters 4 – Austin Bruins 1
Fresno continued to prove they are for real with a 4-1 win over the Austin Bruins during the final game on the second day of the Showcase. Jeffrey McMinimy paced the Monsters offense for a second straight game, while other goals came from Zack Wallace and Jeffrey Pauluk. Tyler Bruggeman suffered the loss in goal for Austin, while Thomas Sholl stopped all but one shot to get the win for the Monsters.