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Boys NIT: Day 1 Recap

By Minnesota Hockey, 04/20/17, 4:30PM CDT


Minnesota HP 18 goaltender Matt Fitzgerald (Bemidji) stops a scoring chance by North Dakota's Eric Pladsen (Bismarck) during the third period of Thursday's game at Plymouth Ice Center. Photos by Drew Herron

Minnesota HP 18 and North Dakota skate to a 3-3 tie in opener

Offense came alive in the third period of the weekend’s opening game Thursday afternoon as each side erupted with three scores before Team North Dakota and Minnesota HP 18 skated to a 3-3 tie.

North Dakota jumped out first, scoring two goals over a span of 26 seconds early in the period. Boe Bjorge (Grand Forks Central) got things started 4:20 into the frame when he scored an even strength goal, assisted by Jerzy Martin to set the table. A very short time later, Grand Forks Central teammate Cameron Olstad added another (assisted by Seth Towers) as the green squad from North Dakota looked like it might roll.

But Minnesota HP 18 would answer when Garrett Worth (Duluth East) got things started for the white squad with 10:09 to play. Assisting on the goal was Michael Heitkamp and Max Marvin to help get Minnesota started.

Following North Dakota’s score from Trea Irey (Bismarck) with 6:16 left that pushed green ahead by two scores, Minnesota HP 18 went to work.

Ben Almquist (Holy Family Catholic) scored an even strength goal with 3:33 left to draw within one at 3-2 before the final push leveled the game. Ray Christy and Griffin Ness were credited with assists on Almquist’s goal.

With a little more than a minute remaining, Blake Brandt (Lakeville North) netted the equalizer on the power play (assisted by Jeron Hirschfeld) to settle things at 3-3.

In goal for North Dakota, Ethan Peterson (Park River) turned aside 32 of 35 shots he faced. At the other end, Matt Fitzgerald (Bemidji) made 24 saves on 27 shots.

Minnesota Seniors forward Jarrett Cammarata (Maple Grove) knocks a shot past Wisconsin Juniors goalie Peter Genatempo (Arrowhead) for a goal during the second period.

Minnesota Seniors too much for Wisconsin Juniors in 8-5 victory

Minnesota Seniors scored the game’s first four goals, then weathered Wisconsin Juniors’ third period surge to pick up an 8-5 win Thursday evening at Plymouth Ice Center.

Dan Sandvig (Burnsville) and Brady Tatro (Bemidji) both finished with a pair of goals and three points in helping lead the gold squad to victory. Six different skaters scored for Minnesota.

Sandvig got things started midway through the opening period when he scored an even strength goal at 7:46, and followed that up by assisting on a goal by Austin Heidemann (Breck) about eight minutes later. Early in the second, Sandvig scored again, with assists to Heidemann and Noah Ganske as gold grabbed the early momentum.

In the third, Wisconsin scored the first two goals to trim the deficit to two goals at 4-2, though Minnesota would answer with two more of its own as four goals were netted over a three-minute span. The gray team from Wisconsin would tighten things up over the final period, but ultimately could not catch gold.

Josh Brolin (Wausau West) scored twice for Wisconsin, and Dylan Brown (Reedsburg) added two assists. 

In net for the victorious Minnesota team, Reid Wasczczenko (Wayzata) played the first period and a half, and stopped all 14 shots he faced, before yielding to Justin Evenson (Minnehaha Academy), who closed things out by stopping 11 of 16 shots.

For Wisconsin between the pipes, Colin Ahrem (St. Mary’s Springs) made 10 saves on 13 shots, while Peter Genatempo (Arrowhead) made eight saves on 13 shots.

Michigan (blue) forward Jared Pangborn fights for a loose puck on the doorstep while Massachusetts goalie Corey Splaine and defenseman Ian Wilson look to clear. Pangborn finished with a goal and an assist in Michigan's 6-0 win.

Michigan Seniors hammer on Massachusetts for 6-0 shutout victory

The Michigan Seniors team dictated the tempo and possessed the puck at an overwhelming ratio to bury Massachusetts 6-0 Thursday evening at Plymouth Ice Center.

The dark blue team broke the ice with a goal from Jed Pietila (Hartland) midway through the opening period, and Michigan was in control from then on. 

Michigan outshot their opponents 54-11 for the game as Massachusetts struggled to apply any consistent pressure.

After taking a 1-0 lead into the second period, Michigan added two more in the second with a pair of goals from Brendan Smith (Flint Powers) just 1:20 apart as blue found its form. 

In the third, Michigan scored early and late to finish off Massachusetts, and kick off the tournament with a victory.

Conor Witherspoon (Flint Powers) finished with three assists for blue, and Jaron Pangborn (Liggett) added a goal and an assist.

In net for Michigan, Brent Miller played all three period and pitched the shutout, stopping 12 shots.

At the other end, Owen O’Brien (Marlboro) started the game for Massachusetts, and played the first period-and-a-half, where he stopped 29 of 31 shots he faced. Corey Splaine (St. Johns).

Third period rally drives Wisconsin Seniors past Michigan Juniors, 4-1

The seniors from Wisconsin made the most of their scoring chances late to roll past the Michigan Juniors (HP18) via 4-1 final Thursday night at Plymouth Ice Center.

The nightcap on the opening day of the tournament saw a fast and physical game unfold with the first and second periods playing out tight and tense.

But in the third, Wisconsin (red) got rolling with four goals in the frame, tearing open a 1-0 advantage and handing control to the Reds.

Matt Gruber (Appleton United) scored Wisconsin’s first goal late in the second period (13:25), then hit again late in the third (15:27) to help spark the win.

Gruber is the only Red player to finish with more than one point as eight different Wisconsin players found their way onto the score sheet. Hunter Schwehr (Xavier) and Sam Hanson (Eau Claire Memorial) each contributed a second period goal.

With 1:42 remaining, Michigan (sky blue) broke the shutout with a Justin Song (Cranbrook) goal, assisted by Brendan West (Detroit Catholic Central).

In net for the winning Red team was Ryan Kenny (Madison Memorial), who stopped 19 of 20 shots. For Michigan, Will Tragge (Livonia Stevenson) played roughly the first half and turned away all nine shots he faced. Fletcher Bolda finished the game and made 20 saves on 24 shots.