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Central and East shine on Day 1 of NAHL Showcase

September 14, 2023

Central Stars: Bismarck goalie Klayton Knapp (above) posted the only shutout on Day 1 of the NAHL Showcase, while North Iowa forward Nolan Grier (below) had two goals in a 5-4 win.

It was a jam-packed Day 1 of the 20th annual NAHL Showcase. Big crowds, hundreds of scouts, and exciting games were the story on the first day as 32 teams took the ice.

The other big story on Day 1 was the success of the Central and East Divisions, as they went a combined 11-4-0 on Wednesday.

Day 2 is on Thursday, September 14th as all 32 teams will again take to the ice. The action begins at 11am (central).

Click here for the 2023 NAHL Showcase Schedule

Click here for 2023 NAHL Showcase Scores

All 64 NAHL Showcase games will be broadcast live and in HD through NAHLTV.

For more information on the NAHL Showcase including schedule, ticket prices, hotels, rental cars and arena information, visit www.nahl.com/showcase

Divisional Records

Central Division: 5-1-0

East Division: 6-3-0

South Division: 5-4-0

Midwest Division: 0-5-3

Day 1 recaps

Oklahoma 4 vs. Kenai River 3 – The Warriors erased a 3-0 1st period deficit and scored four unanswered goals to top the Brown Bears in the opening game of the NAHL Showcase, 4-3. The Brown Bears jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the 1st period with goals from Carson Triggs, Blake Norris, and Hayden Walters. The Warriors started their comeback in the 2nd period with goals from Brayden Berg, Bryce Howard, and Max Dronen to tie the game at 3-3. In the 3rd period, Kaden Nelson netted a short-handed breakaway goal, which would stand as the game-winner. Daniel Duris made 33 saves in the win, while Peter Wickstrom Stumer made 24 saves in the loss.

Rochester 5 vs. Anchorage 4 (OT) – Massimo Gentile had two goals, including the overtime-winner and two assists as the Jr. Americans picked up a 5-4 overtime win over the Wolvernines. Anchorage was bolstered by a hat-trick from Fyodor Nikolayenya and a goal from Taisetsu Ushio. In addition to Gentile’s two goals, Rochester also got tallies from Landon Brownlee, Matteo Disipio, and Sawyer Boulton. Florian Wade made 29 saves in the win, while Jozef Zilinec took the loss with 23 saves.

Colorado 5 vs. Springfield 3 – The Grit posted their first ever NAHL win as they got two goals and an assist from Wilder Jacober in a 5-3 win over the Jr. Blues. The Grit opened up a 3-1 lead after one period as Jacober scored twice and Nicholas Paone added a goal while Joel Kinnander scored for the Jr. Blues. In the 2nd period, Springfield tied the game at 3-3 with goals from Alex Fendler and Logan Ganz. In the 3rd period, the Grit pulled away with goals from Bowen Burke and Brock MacDonald. Jack Erickson made 20 saves in the win, while Nick Bunch made 32 saves in the loss.

Amarillo 2 vs. Janesville 1 (OT) – Alex Papaspryopoulios scored both goals for the Wranglers, including the overtime-winner as Amarillo picked up the first win for Head Coach Ryan Anderson with a 2-1 win over the Jets. Papaspryopoulios opened the scoring in th 1st period. That was answered by Janesville’s lone goal from Jake Merens in the 2nd period. Papaspryopoulios then ended the game just over a minute into overtime with a wrist shot from the slot. Amarillo goalie Connor McDounough made 19 saves in the win, while Matthew Alberti made 31 saves in the loss.

Bismarck 2 vs. New Hampshire 0 – Bismarck and goalie Klayton Knapp spoiled the NAHL debut of the Mountain Kings as Knapp made 22 saves in a 2-0 shutout. The Bobcats took a 1-0 lead in the 1st period with the eventual game-winning goal from Evan Hunter. Luke Roelofs would add an insurance goal in the 3rd period. New Hampshire goalie Aiden Wright made 35 saves in the loss.

Austin 4 vs. Philadelphia 2 – The Bruins scored three times in the 3rd to break open a 1-1 tie as they opened their season with a 4-2 win over the Rebels. After a scoreless 1st period, each team scored once in the 2nd period as Max Marquette scored for Philadelphia while Alex Laurenza answered for Austin. In the 3rd period, the Bruins got three straight goals from Austin Salani, Gustav Noren, and Matys Brassard to pull away. Marquette would add his second of the game later in the 3rd period. Matthew MacArthur made 15 saves in the win, while Jack Fialkoff made 34 saves in the loss.

Maryland 6 vs. Odessa 3 – Kareem El Bashir and Jeremi Tremblay each scored twice as the Black Bears doubled up the Jackalopes, 6-3. After an opening goal from El Bashir, the Jackalopes took a 3-1 lead with three straight goals from Braden Pietila, Michael Kadlecik, and Cameron Dunn. It was all Maryland after that as the Black Bears scored five unanswered goals to end the game which included 2nd period goals from Tamas Toth, Tremblay and Bashir, and 3rd period goals from Payton Miller and Tremblay. Colin Ronan made 26 saves in the win, while Kael Depape made 31 saves in the loss.

Minot 2 vs. Lone Star 1 – Minot goalie Erik Chaffe made 20 saves to lead his club to a 2-1 win over the Brahmas on Wednesday. After a scoreless 1st period, the Minotauros took a 1-0 lead early in the 2nd period with a goal from Colby Woogk. The Minotauros lead increased to 2-0 in the 3rd period on a goal from Joel Lehtinen. The Brahmas would score their lone goal later in the period off the stick of Charlie Masek. Lone Star goalie Deivs Rolovs made 27 saves in the loss.

Aberdeen 4 vs. Corpus Christi 3 – The Wings erased a 2-0 deficit and opened their season with a come-from-behind 4-3 win over Corpus Christi on Day 1 of the Showcase. The IceRays opened up a 2-0 lead with goals from Nils Forselius and Anthony Cafarelli. The Wings made it 2-1 on a 2nd period goal from Isak Holmstrom. The IceRays regained their two-goal lead with a tally from Mathieu Bourgault. The Wings then stormed back to score three unanswered goals as Logan Gravnik scored late in the 2nd period and Simon Pollock and Jaxson Murray added 3rd period goals. Gage Stewart made 29 saves in the win, while Bryant Marks made 27 saves in the loss.

New Mexico 2 vs. Danbury 1 – Ice Wolves goalie Andy Vlaha made 30 saves to lead his team to a 2-1 win over the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks on Wednesday. After a scoreless 1st period, the Ice Wolves took a 2-0 lead with 2nd period goals from Dillon Kuntz and Jack Dalton. The Jr. Hat Tricks made it 2-1 in the 3rd period with their lone goal from Emerson Molas, but that’s as close as they would get. Danbury goalie CJ Kier made 31 saves in the loss.

Maine 7 vs. Chippewa 2 – Nick Romeo scored twice as the Nordiques scored six unanswered goals to beat the Steel, 7-2. Chippewa opened up a 2-1 lead in the 1st period on goals from Tomas Trunda and Cam Davis, while Kellen Murphy scored for Maine. The Nordiques then stepped on the gas pedal and scored six straight as Cody Pisarczyk made it 2-2. In the 2nd period goals from Kai Dunits and David Helledy made it 4-2 and then in the 3rd period Romeo scored twice and Laurent Trepanier also added a goal to make it 7-2. Thomas Heaney made 33 saves in the win while Carter Wishart made 27 saves in the loss.

Johnstown 4 vs. El Paso 1 – Zach Aben scored twice and Jacob Osborne made 25 saves as the Tomahawks picked up a 4-1 win over El Paso on Wednesday. The Rhinos, who came into the game with a 3-0 record, scored first on a 1st period goal from Paavo Hiltunen. The Tomahawks answered back in the 1st period with a goal from Justin Gibson. Isaac Holt would score in the 2nd period to make it 2-1 for the Tomahawks and then Aben would put the game away with two goals in the 3rd period. Joey LoVullo made 26 saves in the loss.

North Iowa 5 vs. Fairbanks 4 – The Bulls won their season opener as they edged the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, 5-4 as the Ice Dogs dropped to 0-3. The Bulls got two goals from Nolan Grier and one from Justin Mexico, which put them ahead 3-1. Lance Mengel scored in the 1st period for Fairbanks. The Ice Dogs tried to make a game of it with two goals from Jake Cameron and another from Marc Lund, but the Bulls pulled it out with gaosl from Hayden Siegel and Nolan Abraham. Connor Graham made 49 saves in the win, while Beau Altman made 35 saves in the loss.

Shreveport 2 vs. St. Cloud 1 – Mudbugs goalie Carson Dorfman made 29 saves to lead his team to a 2-1 win over the Norsemen on Wednesday. After a scoreless 1st period, St. Cloud was first on the board in the 2nd period with their lone goal from Wes Berg. The Mudbugs tied the game at 1-1 later in the 2nd period as Hayden Nichol scored. In the 3rd period, Logan Heroux netted the game-winner. Norsmen goalie Max Weilandt made 22 saves in the loss.

Northeast 6 vs. Wisconsin 3 – Will Reardon scored twice and added an assist to pace the Generals to a 6-3 win over the Windigo. The Windigo opened up a 2-0 lead on goals from Erick Comstock and Daniil Dolzhenko. The Gens then rattled off five straight goals to take a 5-2 lead as Jacob Wilson, Nick Recupero, Ryan Remick, Thomas Klochkov, and Reardon all scored. Tylr Grahme added a 3rd period goal for the Windigo to make it 5-3, but a late tally from Reardon secured the win. Toby Hopp made 38 saves in the win, while Linards Lipskis made 25 saves in the loss.

New Jersey 5 vs. Minnesota 4 (OT) – New Jersey forward Dominick Rivelli had a hat-trick, including the overtime-winner as the Titans edged the Wilderness, 5-4. The Wilderness opened up a 2-0 lead on goals from Aidan Shirey and Peteris Purmalis. Rivelli answered twice and Jack Hillier also scored to make it 3-2 Titans after two periods. In the 3rd period, the Wilderness got goals from Oliver Stumpel and Logan Nagle, while the Titans saw Ethan Wongus score to make it 4-4, setting up Rivelli’s heroics in OT. Zakari Brice made 20 saves in the win, while Loris Uberti made 20 saves in the loss.

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