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Boys NIT: Day 2 Recap

By Minnesota Hockey, 04/21/17, 5:00PM CDT


Michigan Juniors (blue) defenseman David Breazeale (3) moves the puck out of the slot in a hurry to squash a North Dakota scoring chance in the second period. Michigan's ability to transition onto the attack fueled its 6-1 victory. Photo by Drew Herron

Transitions fuel Michigan Juniors mastery of North Dakota in 6-1 win

Three goals in the second period helped spark the Michigan Juniors team to a thorough 6-1 victory over North Dakota in Friday’s nightcap at Plymouth Ice Center.

It proved to be a bounce back victory for the sky blue squad, who answered last night’s four-goal loss to Wisconsin Seniors with a route to their own to balance their record in pool play. 

A tight opening period broke open in the second, when Michigan was able to apply steady pressure and capitalize on its scoring chances to seize control of the game. Michigan transitioned well and moved the puck vertically in a hurry, which presented a tough nut to crack for North Dakota (green). 

Tyler Haydu (Livonia Churchill) broke the scoring drought with 11:07 left in the second to get the blue team started, and two minutes later Michigan added to its lead with a goal from Sam Brennan (BRon). Later in the period, Josh Albring (Hartland) converted with 3:39 left, and Michigan was on its way, while North Dakota was left spinning its wheels.

Three more goals came in the third as Michigan convincingly closed out the green team and finished with six different goal scorers. Jordan Kovacs (Warren De La Salle), Jacob Behnke (Hartland) and Dawson Mckay (Houghton) all added third period scores for blue. 

North Dakota’s lone score came with 6:28 remaining when Max Johnson (Grand Forks Red River) fired home a wrist shot from the right edge of the slot to ensure the green team would not be shutout.

Kaleb Johnson (Grand Forks Central) played all three periods for North Dakota, and stopped 35 of 41 shots he faced. His counterpart, Fletcher Bolda (Big Rapids) made 30 saves and allowed one goal in the victory.

Michigan improves to 1-1-0 after two days, while North Dakota drops to 0-1-1.

Minnesota Seniors forward Carter Breitenfeldt (gold) fights for a loose puck while the Michigan Seniors defense and goalie Logan Neaton scramble for the rebound. Michigan defeated Minnesota 5-2. Photo by Drew Herron

Michigan Seniors edge Minnesota Seniors 5-2
The Michigan Seniors scored the game’s final four goals to knock off Minnesota Seniors 5-2 in a tightly contested game Friday night at Plymouth Ice Center.

Michigan (dark blue) jumped out early with a goal from Jaron Pangborn (Liggett) just 1:07 into the opening period, but entered the second trailing after Minnesota (gold) answered quickly with a score from Noel Parker (St. Paul Academy) less than a minute and a half later, followed by a goal from Matt Valure (Hermantown) with 6:09 left in the frame.  

In the second, Michigan would score early and late, first with a goal by Rory Anderson (Calumet) at 3:46 of the period, then with 1:26 left, when Blake Tosto (Detroit Catholic Central) notched the go-ahead goal for the blue squad.

Just 12 seconds into the third, Jed Pietila (Hartland) added a quick score, and Minnesota was left to chase in vain.

For good measure, Michigan added an empty net goal from Blake Johnson (Cranbrook Kingswood) with 40 seconds left to ice the victory.

In net for Michigan, Logan Neaton (BRon) played the entire game, and stopped 34 of 36 shots he faced.

Between the pipes for Minnesota, Justin Evenson (Minnehaha Academy) started the game, and turned away 12 of 14 shots he faced. Relieving him midway through the second, Reid Waszczenko (Wayzata) allowed two goals on 17 shots.

Wisconsin Seniors (red) and Minnesota Juniors (white) skated to a 1-1 tie during Friday's pool play at Plymouth Ice Center. Photo by Drew Herron

Minnesota Juniors and Wisconsin Seniors skate to a 1-1 tie

Minnesota Juniors forward Cole O’Connell rifled home a low wrist shot from the right circle midway through the third period to pull the white squad even with the Wisconsin Seniors 1-1.

A frantic finish from both sides would settle nothing as the Minnesota Juniors and the Wisconsin Seniors (red) skated a draw Friday evening at Plymouth Ice Center on the second day of pool play.

For Minnesota, it’s the second tie in as many days.

Wisconsin was the first to score when Nick Techel (Wausau West) scored on the power play with 3:01 left in the second period. A single assist went to his high school teammate Kellen Tharaldson (Wausau West).

Later, Minnesota would answer with a power play goal of its own when O’Connell (Moorhead) converted with 10:19 left, assisted by James Marooney (Holy Family Catholic) and Jack Olsen (Lakeville South).

That’s where it would finish as solid goaltending on both ends kept a cap on offense.

In net for Wisconsin, Sam Dunn (Sun Prairie) played all three periods, stopping 19 of 20 shots he faced.

For Minnesota, Lance Leonard (Moorhead) turned away 25 of 26 shots in playing the whole game, as well.

The Wisconsin Juniors celebrate after Eric Sinson's (second from left) third period goal that notched his hat trick in the team's 9-2 win over Massachusetts. Photo by Drew Herron

Wisconsin Juniors too much for Massachusetts in 9-2 final

Wisconsin Juniors overwhelmed Massachusetts with three strong periods in a tidy 9-2 triumph Friday against Massachusetts.

The Grays from Wisconsin struck first just 20 seconds in, when Eric Sinson (Brookfield) scored the first of his three goals of the afternoon. Midway trough the period, Sinson converted again with a power play goal that put the Grays on top for good. Wisconsin followed that up with a six-goal third period, and Massachusetts was buried.

Physicality played a role as well, with 13 minor penalties issued, more than have of them coming in the third period.

Dillon Arno (Natick) would score twice for Massachusetts in the loss and Jack Gorniak (West Salem) finished with a goal and two assists for Wisconsin.

In net for Wisconsin, Colin Ahern (St. Mary’s Springs) and Peter Genatempo (Arrowhead) combined for 13 saves, and each allowed one goal. 

For Massachusetts, Owen O’Brien (Marlboro) and Corey Splaine (St. Johns) split time between the pipes. O’Brien turned aside 18 of 23 shots he faced, and Splaine stopped 19 of 23 shots.