Defense shines on Day 1 of NAHL Showcase
September 19, 2019
Now in its 17th season, the North American Hockey League (NAHL) Showcase is truly the Greatest Show on Ice. The annual event continues on Thursday, September 19th with Day 2 and runs from September 18-21, 2019, at the Super Rink in Blaine, Minnesota.
All 26 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.'
Topeka 2 vs. MN Wilderness 1 – The Pilots got 27 saves from goalie Jakub Dobes as they stayed in 1st place in the South Division with a close 2-1 win in the opening game of the 2019 NAHL Showcase. After a scoreless 1st period, Topeka jumped ahead 1-0 on a goal from veteran forward Quinn Green. The Wilderness had an answer early in the 3rd period as Nate Horn scored on a nice give-and-go play. However, Topeka had an answer late in the 3rd period on a goal from Nick Nardecchia, which stood as the game-winner. Wilderness goalie Ryan Ouellette made 18 saves in the loss.
Maryland 2 vs. MN Magicians 1 – The Maryland Black Bears picked up their first win of the 2019-20 season during their first game at the NAHL Showcase as goalie Cooper Black made 28 saves in a 2-1 win over the Minnesota Magicians. Maryland took a 1-0 lead midway through the 1st period as defenseman Logan Kons fired a shot through traffic that found the back of the net. The Magicians equalized just three minutes later as Marko Reifenberger lit the lap to make it 1-1 at the end of one period. After a scoreless 2nd period, the Black Bears found the game-winner midway through the 3rd period as Jonathan Young got loose on a 2 on 1 and buried a shot up high. Magicians goalie Alexander Aslanidis mad 18 saves in the loss.
New Jersey 2 vs. Fairbanks 1 – The Titans moved their record to 3-0 on the young season as they got a great performance in goal from netminder Arseni Sergeev on way to a 2-1 win over the Fairbanks Ice Dogs. The Titans scored late in the 1st period as Zackery Diamont’s wrap-around attempt went in and out of the goal very quickly. After a discussion by the officials, it was confirmed to be a good goal. The Titans extended their lead to 2-0 as Cam Gendron scored midway through the 2nd period. The Ice Dogs made a game of things with a 3rd period goal from Parker Brown, but could not get the equalizer past Sergeev, who made 37 saves in the game. Ice Dogs goalie Mattias Sholl made 26 saves in the loss.
Amarillo 4 vs. Johnstown 2 – The Bulls jumped out to a 2-0 lead and added two more goals in the 3rd period as they fought off a Johnstown rally in the 2nd period to pick up their first win of the season thanks to a 4-2 win on Day 1 of the NAHL Showcase. It took less than two minutes for the Bulls to get on the board as Brendan West opening the scoring. Nick Trela made it 2-0 with a goal early in the 2nd period for the Bulls. However, Johnstown stormed back with two goals from Noah Basarab and Carson Grainer later in the 2nd period to tie the game at 2-2. In the 3rd period, the Bulls got goals from Jordan Venegoni and Matt Allen to pick up the 4-2 win. Bulls goalie Ethan Lahmon made 21 saves in the win, while Jack Caruso made 32 saves in the loss.
Austin 1 vs. Jamestown 0 – In his NAHL debut, Austin Bruins goalie Jaxon Friedman stopped all 20 shots that came his way for his first shutout of the season as the Bruins needed just one goal to defeat the Jamestown Rebels, 1-0 in the NAHL Showcase opener for both teams. The only goal of the game came off the stick of Bruins defenseman Devon Fields, as he got the puck in the high slot and wired a shot into the back of the net late in the 1st period. Rebels goalie Noah West played well in the loss, stopping 32 of 33 shots.
Janesville 5 vs. Northeast 0 – Nick Gonrowski scored twice and goaltender Cristian Wong-Ramos stopped all 21 shots that came his way in his NAHL debut as the Jets blanked the Generals on Day 1 of the NAHL Showcase, 5-0. The Jets took a 2-0 lead through one period on goals from Gonrowski and Jackson Sabo. The lead swelled to 3-0 in the 2nd period on a goal from Ivar Sjolund, and then the Jets would add two more goals in the 3rd period as Gonrowski added his second of the game and Philip Bjorkman would add Janesville’s 5th goal. Generals goalie Joey Stanizzi made 26 saves in the loss.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 3 vs. Kenai River 2 (SO) – Army recruit Lincoln Hatten scored both goals in regulation and Johnny Kaljian added the shootout winner as the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights moved their 2019-20 record to a perfect 3-0 with a 3-2 shootout win over Kenai River at the NAHL Showcase. Hatten scored in the 1st period to give the Knights a 1-0 lead. The Brown Bears answered back twice early in the 3rd period to take a 2-1 lead on goals from Theo Thrun and Kyle Valiquette. Hatten then tied the game at 2-2 with under nine minutes remaining setting up the shootout heroics from Kalijian, who was the only shooter from either team to score. Knights goalie Zach Stejskal made 23 saves in the win, while Landon Pavlisin made 31 saves in the shootout loss.
Bismarck 5 vs. New Mexico 1 – After an opening goal from New Mexico, the Bismarck Bobcats went on to score five unanswered goals in their 2019-20 season debut in a convincing 5-1 win over the Ice Wolves at the NAHL Showcase. New Mexico went up 1-0 midway through the 1st period thanks to a goal from Alex Dominique. Bismarck would then answer with five goals from five different players as Austin Schwartz and Tim Piechowski scored in the 1st period and Ethan Gauer, Dawson Klein, and Trea Irey all scored in the 2nd period. Bobcats goalie Ryan Ullan made his first NAHL start since March 3, 2018, and made 17 saves in the win, while Josh Graziano took the loss with 31 saves.
Maine 2 vs. Odessa 1 (OT) – Maine Nordiques forward Samuel Harris scored the game-winning goal with just :01 second remaining in overtime to give the Nordiques their second win of the 2019-20 season and first ever win at the NAHL Showcase with a thrilling 2-1 OT win over the Jackalopes. The Jackalopes were first to get on the board as midway through the game Aeden Drossos scored to put the ‘Jacks ahead 1-0. Maine would answer midway through the 3rd period to tie the game at 1-1 on a goal from Noah Kane. Maine goalie Connor Androlewicz made 23 saves in the win, while Aaron Randazzo made 16 saves in the OT loss for Odessa.
Lone Star 5 vs. Aberdeen 4 – The Brahmas scored four goals in the 2nd period and then survived a furious comeback attempt in the 3rd period by the Wings to pick up their first win of the 2019-20 season thanks to a 5-4 win over the defending Robertson Cup Champion Wings. Lone Star took a 1-0 lead thanks to a 1st period goal from Sam Brennan. Aberdeen would answer early in the 2nd period on a goal from Riley Murphy. Lone Star then broke out for four straight goals in the 2nd period, which included tallies from Noah Roofe, Michal Stinil, Matthew Rickard, and Thomas Daskas. In the 3rd period, the Wings got three straight goals from Natan Vertes, but it would not be enough as their comeback fell a goal short. Brahmas goalie Ludvig Persson made 22 saves in the win, while Jake Sibell made 14 saves in the loss.
Minot 3 vs. Springfield 2 – The Minot Minotauros opened their 2019-20 season with a close 3-2 win over the Springfield Jr. Blues at the NAHL Showcase. The 1st period featured plenty of scoring as both teams scored twice with Sam Skinner and Braeden Bartoo scoring for Minot, while Ginovanni Carabelli and Bobby Burns answered back for Springfield. The game-winner would come late in the 2nd period off the stick of Minot forward Ville Immonen. Minot goalie Ben Garrity was sold in the win, making 32 saves, while Jr. Blues goalie Ryan Wilson made 16 saves in the loss.
Shreveport 3 vs. Chippewa 0 – The Shreveport Mudbugs moved their record to a perfect 3-0 on the season as they got a 27-save shutout from goaltender Maiszon Balboa in a 3-0 win over the Chippewa Steel on Day 1 of the NAHL Showcase. The Mudbugs jumped ahead early thanks to two goals in 1st period from Timofei Khokhlachev and Davis Goukler. Defenseman Sam Miller would add a 3rd period goal to make it a 3-0 final. Steel goaltender Igor Samokhvalov made 13 saves in the losing effort.
Corpus Christi 4 vs. St. Cloud 3 (SO) – Cameron Knowlton had a power play goal in regulation and the lone shootout goal as the IceRays picked up a 4-3 shootout win over the Blizzard in the final game of Day 1 at the NAHL Showcase. The IceRays jumped up 1-0 on a 1st period goal from Ryan Coughlin. The Blizzard took a 2-1 lead in the 2nd period on goals from Ben Ward and Brady Bjork. Before the period was over, the IceRays equalized on a goal from Knowlton. In the 3rd period, the Blizzard regained the lead back on Ward’s second of the night, but the IceRays again fought back with a goal late in the 3rd period from Artur Turansky. Knowlton would then scored the only goal of the eight shooters in the shootout. Both goalies made 29 saves in the game on 32 shots which included Jeremy Forman for Corpus Christi and Travis Allen from St. Cloud.