On Day 1 of the 2013 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, over 120 scouts showed up on the first day to see some intense competition between the six NAHL teams that took the ice. Each of the three games was decided by two goals or less as Day 1 saw some great individual performances.
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Here is a recap of the Day 1 games:
Dakota 3 vs. Great Lakes 1 – Bismarck Bobcats goaltender Aaron Nelson was the star of this game as the netminder from Bismarck, ND made 49 saves to lead Dakota over Great Lakes, 3-1. Things were looking up for Great Lakes as late in the 1st period Martin Gruse (Michigan) cruised up the ice and fired a low shot that beat Nelson. After that it was all Dakota in the second half of the game. After Max Milosek (Port Huron) was subbed in goal half way through the game, new goaltender (Trevor Gorsuch) found it much tougher sledding as Dakota peppered the net. Austin’s Brandon Wahlin tied the game at 1-1 with an assist to Thomas Williams (Brookings). The three minutes later AJ Reid’s (Austin) shot found its way through traffic for the eventual game-winner. In the 3rd period, Scott Dornbrock (Minot) added an insurance goal with assists to Patrick Moore (Bismarck) and Reid, who picked up his second point of the night. Boxscore
Midwest 4 vs. NAHL 18U Selects 3 (Shootout) – The 18U Selects gave Midwest all they could handle as the climbed back from a two-goal deficit only to fall in a shootout, 4-3. It didn’t take long for the 18U Selects to get on the board as Brian Williams (Wenatchee) struck for the opening goal with assists to Tyler Andrew (Topeka) and Eric Brenk (Brookings). Kalamazoo’s Kyle Gattelaro tied the game three minutes later and at the end of the period Mike Fazio (Kalamazoo) gave Great Lakes the lead with a power play goal . Midwest looked like they were in control as early in the 2nd period, Coulee Region’s Derek Smith lit the lamp as Fazio assisted. But, the 18U Selects didn’t back down and got two quick goals from NAHL goal scoring leader Brandon Hawkins (Texas) and Minot’s Mason Morelli. After a scoreless 3rd period, the game would be decided in the shootout. Gattelaro, Brett Skibba (Springfield) and Fazio scored for Great Lakes, while Hawkins and Williams scored for the 18U Selects. Evan Cowley (Wichita Falls) faced 51 shots in regulation for the 18U Selects while Spencer Viele (Topeka) and Brock Kautz (Janesville) faced 48 combined shots in the Midwest net. Boxscore
Texas 5 vs. Frontier 3 – Fairbanks forward Lawrence Cornellier scored twice for Texas as they jumped out to a 5-1 lead and held on for a 5-3 win over Frontier. The game was probably the most physical of the day with players from both sides not holding back on the hard hits. The early goaltending greatness from Paul Berrafato (Amarillo) and Tyler Parks (Minot) kept both teams at bay. However, Cornellier struck first in the 2nd period off a scramble in front. He then started the 3rd period with another goal to make it 2-0 and Justin Greenberg (Texas) picked up his second assist of the night. Conor O’Neil (Wichita Falls) made it 3-0 with assists to Kyle Bauman (Wichita Falls) and Zane Popilock. Minutes later Amarillo’s Omar Mullan made it 4- with an assist to fellow Bulls teammate Mike Davis. Frontier struck back to make it 4-1 as Brad Duwe (Kenai River) slipped a shot past Hayden Stewart (Corpus Christi) with assists to Matt Seidel and Zack Rall (Fairbanks). Bauman struck right back to make it 5-1 with assists to Eliot Grauer (Wichita Falls) and Michael Hoy (Texas). Frontier finished the game with two goals from Fairbanks’s Jayson Angus and Wenatchee’s Noah Nelson. Boxscore