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Boys NIT: Championship Sunday and Day 4 recap

By Minnesota Hockey, 04/23/17, 9:00AM CDT


Wisconsin Seniors capture title with 3-1 win over Michigan Seniors

The Wisconsin Seniors team poses for a group photo with their trophy after defeating Michigan Seniors 3-1 to win the tournament championship. Photo by Drew Herron

Wisconsin Senior forward James Furey celebrates a score that put his team up by three goals en route to a 3-1 win over Michigan. Photo by Drew Herron

Wisconsin Seniors knocks off Michigan Seniors 3-1 to capture title

Wisconsin Seniors used a fast and physical effort Sunday to knock off Michigan Seniors 3-1 and capture first place of this year’s CCM National Invitational Tournament at Plymouth Ice Center.

The red team opened up with a pair of first period goals, then added another early in the second as Wisconsin would lead virtually the entire way.

A little more than five minutes in, Wisconsin opened the scoring when Peter Verstegen (Oshkosh North) scored unassisted to drive the reds out front for good. A short time later, Hunter Schwehr (Xavier) would bury a centering pass from James Furey (Cedarburg) as Wisconsin capitalized early, and Michigan tried to follow.

Less than a minute into the second, Furey fired home a wrist shot from the high slot to make it a three-goal lead and keep Wisconsin rolling.

An up-tempo third period unfolded with Michigan turning up the pressure, but scoring chances didn’t stick and the blue team had little to show for its efforts.

With 53 seconds remaining, Michigan broke the shutout when Jed Pietila (Hartland) scored a short-handed goal unassisted. Clearly, it was too little and too late to allow Michigan to give chase.

Sam Dunn (Sun Prairie) earned the win between the pipes by stopping 20 of 21 shots for Wisconsin. Michigan’s Logan Neaton (BRon) made 25 saves on 28 shots in three periods of duty. - GAMEPAGE

- Drew Herron / Minnesota Hockey

Minnesota Seniors forward Carter Breitenfeldt (Breck) finished with two goals to help lead the gold team to a 5-3 victory over Michigan Juniors. Photo by Drew Herron

Third period surge lifts Minnesota Seniors past Michigan Juniors, 5-3


Minnesota Seniors strung together a run of three unanswered goals in the third period to rally past Michigan Juniors 5-3 and secure third place on Sunday at Plymouth Ice Center. 

Carter Breitenfeldt (Breck) netted two scores over the span of 15 seconds midway through the final frame to seal the win for Minnesota.

Minnesota opened the scoring at 8:26 of the first period when Alec Severson (Roseau) got things started, assisted by Noah Ganske (Bloomington Jefferson) and Brady Tatro (Bemidji).

Early in the second, Minnesota struck again when Austin Heidemann (Breck) added another, assisted again by Ganske and Bryden Stoskopf (Roseau).

Down by a pair of goals, Michigan answered with two straight of their own when Joseph Phillips (Marquette) and Dawson Mckay (Houghton) would both record unassisted goals to level the score at 2-2.

From there, Minnesota went on its run, scoring thrice in the first seven minutes of the third period to pull away down the stretch. 

In goal for Minnesota, Justin Evenson (Minnehaha Academy) started the game and faced just six shots, five of which he stopped. Over the latter period and a half, Reid Wasczezenko (Wayzata) faced more pressure and 16 shots, 14 of them he stopped.

For Michigan, Fletcher Bolda (Big Rapids) made 16 saves on 18 shots, before he was replaced by Tanner Beals (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s). Beals made nine saves on 12 shots.  - GAMEPAGE

- Drew Herron / Minnesota Hockey

The Minnesota Juniors and Wisconsin Juniors battle for the puck during a faceoff late in the third period. Minnesota defeated Wisconsin 2-1. Photo by Drew Herron

Minnesota Juniors forward Cole O'Connell fights for a loose puck in the crease with Wisconsin Juniors goalie Peter Genatempo. Photo by Drew Herron

Late goal lifts Minnesota juniors past Wisconsin Juniors, 2-1

Garrett Worth’s wrist shot from the right circle beat Wisconsin Juniors’ goalie Peter Genatempo low with 3:31 remaining to help lift the Minnesota Juniors to a narrow 2-1 victory in the fifth place game Sunday morning at Plymouth Ice Center.

Scoreless after one period, play and intensity picked up in the second, and came to a head in the third as both sides dug in.

Thirteen penalties were issued, nine of them to Minnesota who had to kill penalties in waves, but didn’t allow a power play goal despite the pressure. 

Jack Stetz (Moorhead) opened the scoring 4:02 into the second period, when he buried a wrister on a pass across the slot from Tyler Watkins (Hermantown) to get things moving. Carter Randklev (Moorhead) had the second assist on the goal.

Midway through the third period, Wisconsin would answer when Jacob Dirks (Onalaska) struck at 8:53 to level the score and raise the stakes down the stretch.

Both teams’ transitions were slowed late by a willingness from both sides to play the body, especially in the neutral zone.

With 3:31 left, Worth (Duluth East) connected for the game winner to lift Minnesota to the one-goal victory.

In net for Minnesota, Lance Leonard (Moorhead) faced 29 shots and stopped all but one of them, and his counterpart, Genatempo (Arrowhead) made 29 saves on 31 shots. - GAMEPAGE

- Drew Herron / Minnesota Hockey

North Dakota (green) defenseman Landon Haagenson collides with Massachusetts' Phillip Werner in the neutral zone during the first period Sunday morning at PIC. North Dakota defeated Massachusetts 6-1. Photo by Drew Herron

North Dakota scored early and often en route to a 6-1 win over Massachusetts. Photo by Drew Herron

North Dakota shuts down Massachusetts 6-1

North Dakota put up double digit shots in all three periods to finish the tournament strong with a 6-1 victory over Massachusetts Sunday morning.

It took just 24 seconds for North Dakota to grab the lead for good when Trey Irey scored to put the green team on top. It was the first of two goals on the day for the junior from Bismarck.

After another North Dakota score with three minutes remaining in the first period, Massachusetts scored its only goal when Brendan Ronen (Saugus) scored on a wrist shot from the edge of the slot with 2:27 left.

It trimmed the deficit to one goal, but that is as close as it would get as North Dakota rattled off four unanswered over the second and third periods to pull away. The green team outshot their opponents 46-18 for the game.

Irey led the charge with two goals, and Easton Bennett (Minot) finished with three assists. Zach Murphy (Grand Forks Central) added two points with a goal and an assist, including an unassisted short-handed goal early in the second period that rejuvenated the North Dakota effort after Massachusetts only score.

With the victory in the seventh place game, North Dakota wraps up the tournament with a 1-1-2 record. Massachusetts leaves town with a 0-4-0 mark.

In net for North Dakota, Kaleb Johnson (Grand Forks Central) played all three periods and stopped 18 of 19 shots. At the other end, Corey Splaine (St. Johns) and Owen O’Brien (Marlboro) split time, with Splaine stopping 23 of 26 shots over a period and a half before O’Brien finished out the game by stopping 23 of 26 shots as well.  - GAMEPAGE

- Drew Herron / MInnesota Hockey