Central and Midwest finish 2-0 at Top Prospects
The 2015 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament concluded on Tuesday at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Over the course of the two days, over 200 NHL and NCAA scouts were treated to some great hockey and great competition.
In the end, the teams from the Central Division and the Midwest Division finished the event at 2-0, while the North and South teams went 0-2. The NAHL Selects, who were a group of younger players that had been identified by NHL Central Scouting, went 1-1 at the event, which included an exciting 3-2 shootout win over the USNTDP 17 team on Tuesday.
Game 4, Midwest 5 vs. North 3: Fairbanks defenseman Johnny Mueller had three assists and five different players scored as the Midwest defeated the North on Tuesday, 5-3. The two clubs traded goals in the 1st period. Darian Romanko (Minnesota Wilderness) started the scoring just two minutes into the game, but that was answered three minutes later by the goal from Springfield forward Kyle Meeh. Coulee Region’s Adam Lovick gave Midwest the lead back at 2-1, but Johnstown’s Joe Drabin would answer to tie the game at 2-2. The Midwest took control in the 2nd period with goals from Sam Becker (Minnesota Magicians) and Jack Gessert (Kenai River). In the 3rd period, Janesville forward Brandon Schultz scored to cut the lead to 4-3, but an empty-net goal from Fairbanks forward Yannick Vedel secured the win. Fairbanks forward Lonnie Clary had two assists for Midwest, while Janesville forward Dan Kucerovy also assisted twice for Team North. In goal, Odessa’s Tanner Creel picked up the win, making 21 saves, while Keystone’s Alex Blankenburgmade 28 saves in the loss. Boxscore
Game 5, Central 5 vs. South 1: Austin forward Trevor Boyd scored twice as the Central stayed perfect at the event with a 5-1 win over South. Other multi-point games went to Bismarck forward Jarod Spooner and Rio Grande Valley forward Cam Bleck. The Central opened the scoring with a 1st period goal from Minot’s Johnny Walker, his 3rd goal of the event. Boyd added his first goal early in the 2nd period to make the score 2-0. The South cut the lead to 2-1 before the period was over as Topeka’s Sam Rennaker scored with assists to teammate Sly Sutter and Corpus Christi forward Tanner Lomsnes. The Central blew the game open in the 3rd period as Minot forward Christian Mohs scored to make it 3-1 with assists to Aberdeen’s Kyle Haak and Brookings defenseman Kristoffer Brun. Boyd scored his second goal midway through the period with assists to Spooner and Bleck and Zach Glienke (Brookings) ended the scoring with Central’s 5th goal with assists to Luke Dietsch (Austin) and Cullen Willox (Bismarck). Chad Catt from the Soo Eagles made 19 saves in the win, while the South goalies split the loss with Zach Quinn (Wenatchee) making 11 saves and TJ Black (Lone Star) making 19 saves. Boxscore
Game 6, NAHL Selects 3 vs. USNDTP 17-Team 2 (SO): Johnstown goalie and NHL prospect Ryan Bednard made 28 saves to lead the NAHL Selects to a 3-2 shootout win over the NTDP 17-Team in the final game on Tuesday. The NAHL Selects started the scoring in the 1st period with a goal from Odessa forward and Sacred Heart recruit Kenny Hausinger with an assist to Wichita Falls forward Austin Beaulieu (Alabama-Huntsville). The NTDP had a big 2nd period with two goals to take a 2-1 lead as Max Jones scored and :34 seconds later Clayton Keller scored on the breakaway. The Selects were able to tie the game late in the 3rd period with a goal from Wenatchee forward and Cornell recruit Donovan Ott with assists to Fairbanks forward Chandler Madry (MSU-Mankato) and Minnesota Wilderness dman Ivan Chukarov (UMass). After a scoreless five-minute overtime, Bednard shut the door on the NTDP in the shootout, stopping all four shooters he faced while goals for the Selects came from Madry and Beaulieu. NTDP goalie Jake Oettinger finished with 19 saves in the loss. Boxscore