East and Central win on Day 1 of Top Prospects
The 2021 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament got underway on Saturday, June 19th at Fogerty Arena in Blaine, Minnesota. The NAHL Top Prospects Tournament is one of the most highly scouted events of its kind. The event continues to provide the hundreds of NHL and NCAA scouts in attendance with a look at the best uncommitted players the NAHL has to offer, as well as some potential NHL Draft picks.
In the opening games of the event, the teams from the East and Central Divisions came away with wins.
Only those NAHL players without an NCAA commitment are eligible to participate in the 2021 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, with the exception of those who have been identified by NHL Central Scouting as potential prospects for the 2021 NHL Draft.
Day 1 Recaps
Team East 5 vs. Team South 1 – Jonathan Young (Northeast) and Gabe Dombrowski (Danbury) each had a goal and two assists as the East Division topped the South Division in the opening game of the 2021 Top Prospects Tournament, 5-1. The East jumped out to a 3-0 lead with three goals in the 1st period with Daniel Tkac (Johnstown) opening the scoring. That was followed by a goal from defenseman Owen Baumgartner (Wichita Falls) to make it 2-0 and then a goal four minutes later from Dombrowski to make it 3-0 after one period. The East lead increased to 4-0 thanks to a 2nd period goal from Reed Stark (Johnstown). The South got their lone goal midway through the 3rd period as Carter Korpi (Wichita Falls) scored to make it 4-1. Young would add an empty-net goal late in the period to go along with his two assists in the win. Michael Morelli (Maryland) stopped all 12 shots that he faced in the win and Anton Castro (Northeast) stopped 20 of 21 shots in the win. Owen Parker (New Mexico) stopped 17 of 21 shots in the loss and Owen Bartoszkiewicz (Wichita Falls) stopped all 15 shots he saw.
Team Central 5 vs. Team Midwest 3 – Ryan Taylor (Bismarck) scored twice to lead Team Central to a 5-3 win over Team Midwest in the second game of the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament. Taylor scored the first two goals of the game with his first coming midway through the 1st period as he one-timed a shot from the low slot to make it 1-0. He second goal came on a 2-on-1 in the second 2nd period as he held onto the puck and fired a shot over the glove of Midwest goalie Sam Evola (Johnstown). The lead increased to 3-0 later in the 2nd period as Peter Jacobs (Austin) tipped home a shot. Before the period was over, Team Midwest got on the board thanks to a give-and-go goal from Austin Becker (Fairbanks). In the 3rd period. Central took a 4-1 lead early in the 3rd period as Jacob Herter (MN Wilderness) converted off a defensive turnover. The Midwest stormed back with two goals in less than two minutes from Adam Szubert (Kenai River) and Brendan Murphy (Fairbanks) to cut the lead down to 4-3, but an empty-net goal from Ryan O’Neill secured the 5-3 win. For the Central Division, Andrew Takacs (Amarillo) stopped 5 of 5 shots in the win and Josh Langford (St. Cloud) made 11 saves on 14 shots. For the Midwest, Owen Millward (Janesville) stopped 15 of 16 shots and Sam Evola (Johnstown) stopped 13 of 16 in the loss.