Close games highlight Day 1 of 2018 NAHL Showcase
September 19, 2018
The opening day of the 2018 NAHL Showcase showed why it is truly the Greatest Show on Ice. Parity reigned supreme as all 12 games on the opening day were decided by three goals or less, including eight games that were decided by just one goal.
Over 200 NCAA, NHL, and other scouts checked in on Day 1 of the event.
The NAHL Showcase continues on Day 2 on Thursday, September 20th at the Super Rink in Blaine, Minnesota. All 24 NAHL teams will play four regular-season games at the Showcase, which is one of hockey's most prominent and popular events of the entire season and has become the 'Greatest Show on Ice.'
MN Magicians 3 vs. Aberdeen 0 – 17-year-old Ethan Haider stopped all 34 shots in his season debut as the Magicians blanked the Wings, 3-0 in both team’s season-opening game at the NAHL Showcase. The Magicians jumped out to a 2-0 lead with 1st period goals from Moritz Wirth and John Keranen. Valentino Passarelli added a goal in the 2nd period, which was all the Magicians would need. Matt Vernon made 28 saves in the loss.
Bismarck 4 vs. Kenai River 2 – John Roberts made 26 saves and four different players scored as the Bobcats beat the Brown Bears, 4-2. After a 1st period goal from Mitch Walinski, the Bobcats scored three more times in the 2nd period, which included goals from Sam Malinski, Dan Chladek, and Hunter Olson. Zach Krajnik and Logan Ritchie scored for Kenai River, who also got 21 saves from Gavin Enright in the loss.
Johnstown 4 vs. MN Wilderness 1 – Kade Phipps stopped 18 of 19 shots and four different players scored as the Tomahawks improved to 3-0 on the season with a 4-1 win over the Wilderness on Day 1 of the Showcase. It was all Johnstown in the 1st period as goals from Christian Gorscak and Oliver Benwell put them ahead 2-0. After the Wilderness cut the deficit to one goal in the 2nd period on a tally from Aaron Myers, the Tomahawks responded with two more goals from Bennett Stockdale and Mitchell Hale to win 4-1. Ryan Fanti made 28 saves in the Wilderness loss.
Topeka 4 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 3 (OT) – In a see-saw game, the Pilots moved their record to 3-1 thanks to an overtime win over the Knights. Topeka got goals in regulation from Dallas Tulik in the 1st period and 3rd period goals from Zeke Zeier and another from Tulik. The Knights scored once in each period, which included goals from Davis Pennington and two goals from Gabe Temple. In the overtime, Brendan Schultz got free down the win and fired a low shot that beat Knights goalie Zach Stejskal to the far side. Sam Metcalf made 25 saves in the win, while Stejskal made 25 saves in the loss.
Shreveport 4 vs. Fairbanks 3 (SO) – The Mudbugs moved their record to 3-0 on the season thanks to a come-from-behind 4-3 shootout win over Fairbanks. Fairbanks was in control early with two 1st period goals from Ty Proffitt and Jax Murray. The Mudbugs came back in the 2nd period with goals from CJ McGee and Andrew Jackson to tie the game at 2-2. Fairbanks would answer late in the period to regain the lead as Martin Jonsson scored. In the 3rd period, the Mudbugs tied the game at 3-3 with a goal from Matt Stoia. Both Stoia and Conor Witherspoon scored in the shootout to secure the extra point. Leo Chuard made 16 saves in the win, while Nate Reid took the loss, making 29 saves.
Janesville 2 vs. Lone Star 1 – Jets goalie and Arizona State recruit Cole Brady made 24 saves in his NAHL to help the Jets to a 2-1 win over the Brahmas. The Jets took a 1-0 lead in the 1st period thanks to a goal from Andrew Hicks. The Jets lead increased to 2-0 as Tommy Middleton scored in the 2nd period. The Brahmas got their lone goal in the 3rd period thanks to the 2nd goal of the season from Michal Stinil. Harrison Feeney took the loss for the Brahmas, making 14 saves.
Austin 4 vs. Odessa 3 – Kyle McClellan made 29 saves in his NAHL debut and four different players scored to lift the Austin Bruins to a 4-3 win over the Odessa Jackalopes. After an opening goal from Odessa’s James Crossman, the Bruins scored three straight goals, including markers from Hugh Larkin, Dante Sheriff, and Lane Krenzen. The Jacks came back with goals from Eric Huss and Rex Moe, but a goal in early in the 3rd period from Austin’s Carson Riddle would prove to be the game-winner. Odessa goalie Alex Camarre made 25 saves in the loss.
New Jersey 4 vs. Corpus Christi 3 – The Titans survived a big comeback attempt by the IceRays to move their record to 3-0 on the season thanks to a 4-3 win. New Jersey jumped out to a 3-0 lead thanks to goals from Mac Wiseman, Kyle Jeffers, and Ryan Naumovski. The IceRays stormed back to tie the game at 3-3 thanks to 2nd period goals from Kyle Moore and Jordan Randell and a 3rd period strike from Santeri Hartikainen. 5:44 into the 3rd period Evan Shoemaker would net the game-winner for New Jersey. Titans goalie Matt Ladd made 28 saves in the win, while IceRays goalie Ethan Petterson made 32 saves in the loss.
Jamestown 3 vs. Chippewa 2 – Jake Felker scored twice as the Rebels jumped out to a 3-0 lead and held off a 3rd period comeback attempt by the Steel in the 3-2 win. Felker would score twice in the 1st period and Joe McGrath also had a goal to give the Rebels a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes. After a scoreless 2nd period, the Steel mounted a comeback in the 3rd period with goals from Jacob Dirks and Josh Langford, but the Rebels would hold on to win, 3-2 thanks to 29 saves from Ryan Keane. Josh Langford made 19 saves in the loss.
Northeast 7 vs. Minot 5 – Matt Rutigliano and John Jaworski each scored twice as the Generals put up an NAHL Showcase-high 7 goals in a 7-5 win over Minot. The Generals got three goals in the 1st period including the first from Jaworski and Rutigliano, along with a goal from Alex Choen. Ryan Bogan and Rutigliano scored in the 2nd period and Joseph Nagle and Jaworski would add 3rd period goals. Minot got two goals in the 1st period from Taylor Lantz and Andrew Kangas, two goals in the 2nd period from Lincoln Erne and another from Kangas and a 3rd period goal from Keenan Lund. David Fessenden made 40 saves in the win, while Nick Grabko took the loss for Minot.
Maryland 4 vs. Springfield 3 – The Maryland Black Bears picked up their first ever NAHL win as they came from behind to defeat the Springfield Jr. Blues, 4-3. The Jr. Blues went up 2-0 in the 1st period with goals from Ben Schmidling and Giovanni Carabelli. The Black Bears stormed back in the 2nd period to take a 3-2 lead with three goals in a seven-minute span with two goals from Connor Pooley and another from Luc Salem. Springfield briefly tied the game at 3-3 with a goal from Ryan Reid, but a goal from Maryland’s Luke Posner late in the 2nd period proved to be the game-winner. David Tomeo made 15 saves in the win, while Jack Williams made 16 saves in the loss.
Amarillo 5 vs. Brookings 4 – The Bulls jumped out to an early lead and held off a furious comeback attempt by the Blizzard in a 5-4 win to end Day 1 of the NAHL Showcase. Five different players scored for the Bulls, which included four goals in the 1st period from David Ojamae, Brett Abdelnour, Chris Conway, and Alex Peterson. The eventual game-winner came early in the 3rd period on a power play goal from Ryan Lautenbach. The Blizzard stormed back into the game with goals from Dylan Schuett in the 1st period, Sam Antenucci and Tom Magnavite in the 2nd period and Joe Alexander in the 3rd period. Jason Grande picked up the win in goal for the Bulls, making 21 saves, while Alex Mosquera was saddled with the loss.