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Showcase once again thrills and exceeds expectations

September 23, 2017

Air Force recruit Jensen Zerban led his Philadelphia Rebels team to a perfect 4-0 record at the NAHL Showcase.

The 15th annual NAHL Showcase came to a close on Saturday, September 23rd at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minnnesota.

The annual event dubbed The Greatest Show on Ice, exceeded all expectations as fans and scouts were treated to some incredible hockey during the four days

The Shreveport Mudbugs, Philadelphia Rebels and Northeast Generals all finished with perfect 4-0 records at the event, while more than 350 scouts attend during the four day extravaganza.

Day 4 recaps:

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 3 vs. Corpus Christi 2 (SO) – The Knights clawed back from two one-goal deficits and ultimately won in a shootout to defeat the IceRays 3-2. The Knights finished the event with a 3-1 record, while the IceRays were winless at 0-3-1. After a scoreless 1st period, the team’s traded goals in the 2nd period with Matt Novo scoring for the IceRays and Matthew Kidney answering back for the Knights. In the 3rd period, Corpus Christi regained a one goal edge on a power play goal from Angus Scott, but Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tied things up at 2-2 with less than a minute to go thanks to a goal from Michael Morrissey. Kidney would add the lone goal in the shootout to secure the extra point for the Knights. Knights goalie David Tomeo made 22 saves in the win and Christian Stoever came in relief to make four saves. IceRays goalie Chad Veltri made 35 saves in the loss. Boxscore

Philadelphia 4 vs. Lone Star 3 – The Philadelphia Rebels completed a perfect run through the NAHL Showcase as they won their final game 4-3 against the Lone Star Brahmas in a rematch of last year’s Robertson Cup Championship Game. The Brahmas finished the event with a 1-2-1 record. The Rebels were paced by three goals in the 1st period, which included strikes from Auggie Moore, Aaron Maguyon and Mack Myers. The Brahmas kept things close with a pair of goals from Andy Willis and Drew Lennon. The Rebels took a 4-2 lead with a 2nd period goal from Hugh Quinn. The Brahmas tried for a late game comeback thanks to a goal from Julian Biondo, but could not find the equalizer. Jack Leavy had to make just 8 saves in the win, while Ajay Fernandez took the loss, making 12 saves. Boxscore

Odessa 5 vs. Johnstown 1 – The Jackalopes leave Blaine as a happy group after going 3-1 at the Showcase, which included a commanding 5-1 win over Johnstown on the final day. The Tomahawks finished the Showcase with a 1-3 record. Odessa scored early and often, jumping out to a 4-0 lead, which included two goals in the 1st period from Brenden Stanko and Petr Miko and two more goals in the 2nd period from Evan Somoza and Lucas Andersson. Johnstown would find the back of the net late in the 2nd period with their lone goal from Roman Kraemer. Miko would add his second goal of the game in the 3rd period with a power play goal to cement the 5-1 win. Alex Camarre made 24 saves in the win, while Vinnie Purpura made 40 saves in the loss. Boxscore

Aberdeen 1 vs. New Jersey 0 – Aberdeen goalie Daniel Pavlicko posted his first career NAHL shutout to lead the Wings to a close 1-0 win over the New Jersey Titans. The Wings finished the Showcase with a 2-1-1 record, while New Jersey suffered their first loss of the event and went 3-1. The lone goal of the game came midway through the 3rd period on Ricky Carballo’s first goal of the season with assists to Nathan Burke and Dusan Kmec. Matt Ladd took the loss, making 22 saves. Boxscore

Northeast 3 vs. Amarillo 2 (OT) – The incredible turnaround season for the Northeast Generals continued on the final day of the NAHL Showcase as they capped a perfect 4-0 record at the event with a 3-2 overtime win over the Amarillo Bulls. The Bulls finished the event at 2-2. After a scoreless 1st period, the Bulls took a 1-0 lead with a 2nd period goal from Stephen Rex. The Generals would then jump ahead 2-1 with back-to-back goals from Ryan Rowland and Mike Egan. The Bulls would tie the game with just 1:04 left in regulation as Jon Russell scored his second goal of the year. Just :13 seconds into the overtime, a turnover in the Bulls zone led to the game-winner from Brady Gaudette. Generals goalie David Fessenden made 35 saves in the win, while Bulls goalie Alexie Masanko made 19 saves in the loss. Boxscore

Topeka 4 vs. Fairbanks 0 – RoadRunners goalie Emil Gransoe was the star of the show as the netminder made 54 saves to help the RoadRunners shutout the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, 4-0. The win was the first of event for Topeka, who posted a 1-3 record, while Fairbanks suffered their first loss, going 3-1. Topeka opened the scoring midway through the 1st period with a goal from Adrian Elefalk, which would stand as the game-winner. Will Schlagenhauf added a 2nd period goal and Nigel Nelson and Nick Schultze scored in the 3rd period. Logan Neaton took the loss in goal for Fairbanks, making 19 saves. Boxscore

Springfield 4 vs. Austin 3 (SO) – The Jr. Blues finished the NAHL Showcase with a 3-1 record thanks to a 4-3 shootout win over the Austin Bruins. The Bruins finished the event with a 0-1-1 record. After an opening goal from Austin’s Lane Krenzen in the 1st period, the Jr. Blues scored three straight goals to take a 3-1 lead to the lockerroom after two periods, which included goals from Jordan Muzzillo, Ethan Stewart and Fletcher Fineman. The Bruins stormed back in the 3rd period, which included goals from Evan Cholak and Sviatoslov Kuchynski to make it 3-3. After a scoreless overtime, Aiden Beck netted the shootout-winner to earn the extra point for the Jr. Blues. Springfield goalie Jurja Ovecka made 34 saves in the win, while Owen Zdunski made 36 saves in the loss. Boxscore

Shreveport 3 vs. Brookings 2 – The Mudbugs completed a perfect 4-0 run through the NAHL Showcase, which included a 3-2 win on the final day over the Brookings Blizzard. The Blizzard finished the event at 2-2. Brookings took a 1-0 lead thanks to a 1st period goal from Max Sasson. The Mudbugs responded with a pair of goals in the 2nd period from Brendan VanSweden and Brendan Gysbers to take a 2-1 lead. In the 3rd period, the Blizzard would equalize thanks to an early goal from Andriy Denyskin, but the game-winner would come with less than six minutes remaining off the stick of Gabe Wahl. Mudbugs goalie Gustavs Grigals made 22 saves for his league-leading 4th win of the season, while Jeremy Forman made 34 saves in the loss. Boxscore

Janesville 1 vs. Minot 0 (OT) – In a goaltending battle, it was 28 saves from Janesville’s Garrett Nieto that led the Jets to a 1-0 overtime win over the Minotauros on the final day of the NAHL Showcase. The Jets finished the event with a 3-1 record, while the Minotauros finished at 2-2. Despite 60 combined shots, neither team could find the back in the net in regulation. :37 seconds into overtime with the Jets on a 4 on 3 power play, Janesville defenseman Alec Semandel snapped a shot home from the point that eluded Minot goalie Samu Lonkila for the game-winner. Kip Hoffman and Jakov Novak supplied the assists. Lonkila made 31 saves in the loss. Boxscore

Bismarck 7 vs. Coulee Region 2 – The Bobcats erupted for seven goals, including five goals in the 3rd period to beat the Coulee Region Chill, 7-2. The Bobcats finished the Showcase with a 2-2 record, while the Chill went winless at 0-3-1. The Chill had a 2-1 lead midway through the game thanks to two goals from Billy Duma, while the Bobcats had one from Ty Enns. However, in the last 22+ minutes of the contest, Bismarck scored six times, which included two goals from Grant Johnson and others from Jared Resseguie, Tanner Vescio, Jake Olson and Alex Pollock. Ryan Ullan made 23 saves in the win, while Mitchell James made 31 saves in the loss. Boxscore

NTDP 7 vs. MN Magicians 4 – In an exhibition match-up, the Minnesota Magicians hung tough, but three, 3rd period goals from the NTDP team secured a 7-4 win on Saturday night. The Magicians finished the event 0-2, which did not include the exhibition loss. The NTDP led 3-2 after one period thanks to goals from Alex Turcotte, Danny Weight and Cole Caufield. The Magicians stayed within one thanks to goals from Davis Kirkendall and Jackson Bauss. The Magicians went into the 2nd intermission tied at 4-4, thanks to two more goals in the 2nd period from Brendan Skarda and Andrew Kangas, while the NTDP had one goal in the middle frame from Cam York. In the 3rd period, Caufield scored his second goal of the game, which turned out to be the game winner. The NTDP added two late goals while on a five-minute major power play, which included goals from John Beecher and another from York. Magicians goalie Isaiah Saville made 38 saves in the loss, while Spencer Knight (12 saves) and Cameron Rowe (8 saves) split time for the NTDP. Boxscore

Kenai River 8 vs. MN Wilderness 2 – The Brown Bears picked up their first win of the season and first win of the Josh Petrich era thanks to a convincing 8-2 win over the Minnesota Wilderness. The Brown Bears finished the event 1-3, while the Wilderness were 0-4. The Brown Bears got four-point games from defenseman Cameron McDonald and Gil Garcia. Garcia had a hat-trick and an assist. The Brown Bears jumped out to a 4-0 lead, which included two goals from Garcia and others from Luke Radetic, Alex Klekotka and two from Garcia. They would add four more goals in the 3rd period, including Garcia’s third and others from Carter Wade, Michael Spethmann and Luke Posner. Wilderness goals came from Brennan Couet and Kosta Likourezos. Brown Bears goalie Artur Pavliukov made 23 saves in the win, while Trevor Micucci took the loss with 39 saves. Boxscore

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