The past week the Jr Generals made their way to the Windy City suburb of Darien for the important League Wide NA3HL Showcase. Leaving early Saturday morning on the bus the boys in blue made the 5 hour trip with anticipation. Getting there early was Coach Worlton and Coach Cronk's way of getting the message of its importance to the troops. Saturday although long was productive and fun. The troops meet as a team on Saturday to discuss the upcoming weeks events starting with the always tough Peoria Mustangs with a sense of detail. In recapping the weeklong event it was very apparent to all our rolling staff and players numbering 30 that these kids were focused and ready. Here as follows is the recap:
12-4-11 Peoria-The Mustangs jumped out to a lead late in the 1st period on a power play goal (it would prove to be the only chink in Ben Myers armor that day as he stopped all other 17 shots along the way). The Jr Generals countered with a great pass from linemate Eddie Osowski (Montclair, New Jersey) and an even better effort by Josh Kestner (Huntsville, Alabama) in deking the Mustangs goalie to even the contest. Then the Jr Generals got a fantastic goal Casey Barile (Ballwin, Missouri) finishing a great passplay from Luke Mc Diarmid (Alden, Michigan) to take the lead for good. More scoring from the potent Kestner, Osowski & Warren Carter (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) line finished the contest in style with Kestner garnering his 2nd and 3rd goals to complete the hat trick. The Generals defense on this day was led by Kenny Miloser (Brighton, Michigan) who chipped in with an assist. With the first game 4-1 win under their belts overall the kids made the 1st day memorable. Coach Worlton was pleased but focused on the next game with the hometown Chicago Hitmen.
12-5-11 Chicago-In a very highly contested, typical of most NA3HL games. The Jr Generals worked their way to a 6-4 win against the hometown squad. Players of note in this contest were Cody Damon (Grand Blanc, Michigan) with 1 goal and 1 assist (including the game winner), Richard Janssen’s (Gothenburg, Sweden) chipping in with a goal and an assist. Kenny Miloser contributed 2 assists also to the cause. Coach Worlton's troops were now highly anticipating Tuesday’s early AM game against the Granite City Lumberjacks. Coach Worlton was again focused and ready with a very keen eye on the opponent we were about to play.
12-6-11 Granite City-In a highly anticipated game the result didn't disappoint the huge crowd in attendance. The Granite City bunch proved to be a handful but the Jr Generals played equally well. In a see saw contest with great play from both squads the Jr Generals prevailed in a 5 player shootout 3-2. Players of note were Ben Myers rock solid in goal again for the 3rd straight day (Ben stopped 35 of 37 regulation shots and then stealing the show in blanking the Granite City team, stopping them on all 5 shooters in the shootout), Luke Mc Diarmid was again large in getting the Generals offense started scoring the 1st goal with Derek Compeau (Owosso, Michigan) getting the other marker in regulation. The Jr Generals defense was huge lead by Jake Taylor (Atlanta, Indiana), Nick Goettel (Davison, Michigan) and Hayden Hanson (Chagrin falls, Ohio) leading the charge. With the veteran Cody Damon getting the game winner in the shootout it made for an enjoyable day to be sure. A number of NAHL scouts and colleges stated that they had just viewed the game of the tournament making not only our GM/Coach Kelly Cronk proud but the coaching staff lead by Coach Worlton also beaming with pride.
On a side note the Lumberjacks had a player go down to a very serious injury. #15 Ezra Mc Phail was taken away via ambulance with what appeared to be a serious injury of an undisclosed extent. The Jr Generals management, staff, players and coaches are saying their prayers for this young man’s complete recovery.
12-7-11 Minnesota Flying Aces-In what proved to be another battle the Jr Generals prevailed 4-3 over the Aces. The game had an immense amount riding on it as we took the ice. Players of note in the finally were Andrew Lay (Swartz Creek, Michigan) potting a goal (shorthanded at that) along with an assist, Josh Kestner having a goal and an assist, Richard Janssen’s having 2 assists, Billy Kocher (Waterford, Michigan) chipping in with a goal. Dominic Orlando (Midland, Michigan) stopping 28 of 31 shots on goals in his 1st showcase start. Coach Worlton and his troops walked of satisfied on the day and week.
The Jr Generals coaches and management had to be proud in this event by the demeanor, class and actions of all the players. This lunch pail bunch of kids not only got the job done but did it right. The team’s leaders led by Captains Andrew Lay, and Warren Carter. Assistant Captains Jake Taylor, Nick Goettel were examples of great leaders and teammates. Along with the players leadership. The coaching staff lead by Coach Worlton's readiness, preparedness and demands along with Coach Cronk's help and guidance made for a memorable 4 days in this inaugural event in the NA3HL. With a happy bus ride back to Flint in store it was to say the very least a great and memorable week.
Many Scouts and General Managers along with colleges viewed this past week’s showcase with tenders in hand on the NAHL front along with college scholarship possibilities. In the next upcoming weeks more information will be brought out as a great number of the Generals were noticed and will be notified.