The Kenai River Brown Bears moved to 2-0 at the NAHL Showcase Tournament with a 4-3 overtime win over the St. Louis Bandits at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minn.
“This was a good win for us, and overtime obviously made it that much more exciting,” said Brown Bears head coach Brent Agrusa. “A lot of guys stepped up and contributed for us today.”
Nick Simson rung up the game-winner for Kenai River in the extra session and added two assists, with goaltender Jimmy Hanby turning back 41 saves in goal.
Ryan Lemke, Ryan Goodmanson and Chris Annunziato scored the other Brown Bears goals.
“To be 2-0 is an encouraging start for us, but we know this is just the beginning,” said Agrusa. “We’re just going to work on finishing the Showcase strong before we head into the heart of the regular season.”
Jason Zucker potted two goals, including the game-winner, and Will Yanakeff made 17 saves as the U.S. Under-17 Team dropped the Owatonna Express, 7-1.
“The players came to the rink prepared and executed very well as a group,” said John Hynes, head coach of Team USA. “It was a good win for our team.”
The Mahoning Valley Phantoms picked up their second win of the season with a 4-1 victory over the North Iowa Outlaws. Stefan Salituro recorded two assists for the Phantoms, with Jordy Trottier scoring the game-winning goal. In net, Jordan Tibbett stopped 20 shots.
“The defense played great tonight,” said Tibbett. “I saw almost every shot that came my way and they blocked a lot of shots down in front of me that I didn’t have to worry about. It was a great 60 minutes from the D.”
Phantoms coach Bob Mainhardt said Tibbett’s solid outing was just what the doctor ordered.
“That’s what we need from [Tibbett],” said Mainhardt, “and if he can keep playing like that, it’s going to be a special year.”
Thomas Erlacher’s second overtime goal in as many nights lifted the Wichita Falls Wildcats to a 3-2 win over the Alexandria Blizzard. Kyle Delaurell struck for a goal and two assists for the Wildcats, while goaltender Phillip Graveline turned back 20 shots.
Cody Keefer’s hat trick propelled the Bismarck Bobcats to a 4-1 victory over the Motor City Machine. Josh Singer assisted on two of Keefer’s markers, and goaltender David Bosner turned aside 37 shots.
The Topeka RoadRunners moved to 2-0 with an 8-2 triumph over the Marquette Rangers. Andrew Blazek recorded a hat trick and an assist in the win, while Matt Hartmann struck for two goals and three assists. Between the pipes, Bryce Merriam made 31.
Brandon Kinnebrew tallied two goals as the Alaska Avalanche edged the Traverse City North Stars, 4-3. Robb Haider notched the game-winning marker, while netminder Garrett Tinkam stopped 20 shots.
A hat trick from Trent Frey lifted the Springfield Jr. Blues to a 6-4 victory over the Alpena IceDiggers. Mike Schaber chipped in a goal and an assist, and Matt Wichorek turned back 30 shots in goal.
Goals from Jack Nicoll and DJ Vandercook powered the Wenatchee Wild to a 2-1 win over the Albert Lea Thunder – the Wild’s first victory in franchise history. Goaltender Mac Carruth made 19 saves to preserve the Wentachee win.
In the late game of the day, Drew Shore tallied two goals and an assist as the U.S. Under-18 Team downed the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, 7-4. Jeremy Morin connected for a goal and and an assist, while netminder Brandon Maxwell turned aside 19 shots.