The NA3HL faced off on Thursday at the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, Minnesota with a set of four games that not only drew a large number of scouts, but also showed the parity and competitiveness between the eight 3HL teams that competed. Three of the four games were decided by just one goal and the other was a two-goal differential. Here is a look at the Day 1 results:
Chicago Hitmen 3 – North Iowa Bulls 1
The Hitmen spoiled the Bulls franchise debut with a 3-1 win, despite North Iowa having a 22-19 shots advantage in the game. Jeremy Edwards, Ben Boukal and Mike Lozano had the goals for Chicago, while Kevin Mansolill scored the lone goal for the Bulls, which was the first in franchise history. Joe Olen got the win in goal for the Hitmen, while Jackson Steltmann suffered the loss for the Bulls.
Peoria Mustangs 2 – Granite City Lumberjacks 1 (SO)
In one of the more exciting games of the day, the Peoria Mustangs bested the Granite City Lumberjacks in a shootout on Day 1 of the Showcase. The Lumberjacks, who were making their 3HL debut, scored first on a goal from Nick LaRue, but Peoria answered back in the 3rd period with a goal from Alexander Turin. The shootout then went to the 16th shooter as goaltenders Grant Holler (Granite City) and Tyler George (Peoria) stopped every breakaway until Dylan Canvoy scored for Peoria.
Quad City Jr. Flames 6 – Minnesota Flying Aces 5
In the most offensive game of the day, the Quad City Jr. Flames outgunned the Minnesota Flying Aces by a 6-5 score. Luke McCarthy and Tony Buchael led the way offensively for Quad Cty who also got goals from Anthony Caroselli, Shane Piggot, Corey Sikich and Jared Fielden. Minnesota goals came from Zach Randell, Steve Wrzala, Alex Lindenman, Tyler Pionk and Brett Jenkins. Both teams combined for 17 power play chances and 84 shots on goal.
St. Louis Jr. Blues 4 – Twin City Steel 3 (SO)
In another exciting game that ended in a shootout, the St. Louis Jr. Blues scored the final two goals of the game to send it into overtime then a shootout where they won 4-3 over the Twin City Steel, who made their debut in the 3HL. Daniel Rosse scored in regulation, recorded the shootout winner and added two assists for a 4-point night. Other goals for the Jr. Blues came from Matt Townsend and Adam Otten. Twin City got goals from Clayton Ludlum, Marvin Powell and Tyler Montgomery. Brock Vosburgh made 33 saves in the loss, while Mitchell Fernsler made 8 saves in the win.