Wenatchee crowned Showcase champions
The Wenatchee Wild was crowned champions of the seventh annual Sherwood/NAHL Showcase Tournament after finishing the event with a perfect 4-0 record. Wenatchee edged out the St. Louis Bandits, who also finished with a 4-0 mark, in the total goal differential tie-breaker.
The Wild downed the Topeka RoadRunners on the final day of the Showcase, 2-1 in a shootout. Michael DiPuma scored in regulation and in the shootout for Wenatchee, and goaltender Brandon Jaeger stopped 24 shots.
“It’s great that we’ve started out the season strong,” said Wild assistant coach Ryan McKelvie, whose team improved to 6-0 on the year. “Now it’s important that we continue to work hard to improve every day so that we can be a championship-caliber team late in the season.”
Wenatchee goaltender Mac Carruth, a University of Minnesota Duluth (WCHA) recruit, was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. The 17-year-old from Shorewood, Minn., fashioned a 3-0 record at the event, including a 21-save shutout over the Alexandria Blizzard on Wednesday, turning aside 74 of 76 shots. Carruth was also named to the All-Tournament Team.
"We’re very happy and proud of Mac for receiving this award, and I think this early-season accomplishment is a direct result of the hard work he put in this summer,” said McKelvie. “As one of our returning players, Mac has mentally matured and has evolved into one of our team leaders. I'm excited to see him improve throughout this season into a big-time goaltender.”
Springfield Jr. Blues forward Jared Rickord, who led the Showcase in scoring with five goals and four assists, was also named to the All-Tournament Team, along with Fairbanks Ice Dogs forward Mark Pustin (four goals, four assists) and St. Louis forward Justin Kirchhevel (three goals, four assists).
Jr. Blues defenseman Denys Petrukhno (goal, four assists, plus-3) and Owatonna Express defenseman Marian Fiala (goal, three assists, plus-5) rounded out the All-Tournament Team.
St. Louis wrapped up the Showcase with a 4-2 victory over the U.S. Under-17 Team. Ryan Stouffer potted two goals in the win, with Michael Gunn connecting for the game-winning marker. In goal, Garrett Bartus stopped 15 shots.
The Express skated to a 2-1 victory over the Alaska Avalanche on the event's final day. Cory Thorson scored in regulation for Owatonna, with Chris Westin and Jake Youso connecting for goals in the shootout. Between the pipes, Mike Shibrowski made 40 saves in regulation and overtime and four of five in the shootout.
Eight different players scored for the Ice Dogs as they downed the North Iowa Outlaws, 8-1. Michael Juola tallied a goal and three assists, and netminder Mike Taffe turned back 25 shots.
Sean McKenzie struck for a goal and an assist and Alex Brooks added two assists as the Wichita Falls Wildcats wrapped up the Showcase with a 3-1 victory over the Janesville Jets. Phillip Graveline made 21 saves in goal for Wichita Falls.
Six different players scored for the Jr. Blues in their 6-1 triumph over the Blizzard. Cory Belisle, Nick Curry and Bryon Kozlowski each recorded a goal and an assist, and goaltender CJ Groh steered aside 38 shots.
Jack Prince and Scott Deur scored for the Texas Tornado as it bested the Alpena IceDiggers, 2-1. Dan Sullivan made 35 saves in goal for Texas.
The Motor City Metal Jackets finished the Showcase with a 4-1 win over the Albert Lea Thunder. R.J. Kleiman (goal, assist) and Steve Brancheau (two assists) each fashioned two-point games for Motor City, and goaltender Jason Turf stopped 33 shots.
Four different players lit the lamp for the Traverse City North Stars in their 4-1 victory over the Bismarck Bobcats. Sean Burke tallied the game-winning goal and an assist, and netminder Drew Strandberg steered aside 27 shots.
Andrew Kolb rang up the game-winning goal and an assist as the Marquette Rangers downed the Kenai River Brown Bears, 4-3. Scott Henegar added two assists in the win, and goaltender Lukas Hafner made 28 saves.
F - Justin Kirchhevel, St. Louis Bandits
F - Jared Rickord, Springfield Jr. Blues
F - Mark Pustin, Fairbanks Ice Dogs
D - Marian Fiala, Owatonna Express
D - Denys Petrukhno, Springfield Jr. Blues
G - Mac Carruth, Wentachee Wild