Photo Credit: David Romuald
After starting the CCM High Performance Youth 18U Fall League with only one win in their first four games, the Moose 18U squad went on a wild run that included only one more loss throughout the rest of the season. The Moose finished the year in first place and capped it off with a 4-2 win over the Green Giants in playoffs to secure a bid to USA Hockey’s Tier II National Championships.
In the HP Youth 18U League Playoffs this past weekend, which also served as the Minnesota District Tier II Playoffs, the Moose topped the Blue Ox 4-2 in the semifinals to advance to the finals against the Green Giants.
The Green Giants were the only team the Moose hadn’t beat during the regular season, but they hadn’t played each other in nearly a month either.
Nick Sherek, who led Eagan in scoring last year as a sophomore, gave the Moose a 1-0 lead late in the first period on assists from Zach Anderson (Eastview) and Lenny Nunn (Eastview).
The second period was a back and forth battle as the Green Giants tied the game on a goal by Derek Roberts (Champlin Park) and then pulled ahead 2-1 on a tally by Joe Simon (Holy Family). Late in the period though, the Moose stormed back with two goals in span of 53 seconds. First, Cole Jungwirth (Bloomington Jefferson) and Luke Landin (East Ridge) found Niko Castro (Cretin-Derham Hall) to tie the game at 2-2. Then, Anderson netted his second point of the night on an unassisted goal that would prove to be the eventual game winner.
The Green Giants pushed hard in the third period, but Sherek sealed the victory for the Moose with an empty net goal to make it 4-2.
Weston Gervais (St. Thomas Academy) and Ben Beattie (Eastview) combined to make 25 saves and backstop the Moose to the win.
With the win, the Moose earned the opportunity to be the Minnesota representative at USA Hockey’s Youth 18U Tier II National Championships in Green Bay, Wisconsin in April 2018.
Green Giants Claim Youth 16U Title
The CCM High Performance Youth 16U Tier I League also hosted its league playoffs this past weekend. The third seeded Green Giants used a goal scoring surge to capture a pair of 6-2 wins and claim the Youth 16U League Championship. They will play Shattuck-St. Mary’s for the chance to represent Minnesota at USA Hockey’s Tier I National Championships.
The Green Giants faced off against the Grey Ducks in the Youth 16U League Championship. The Grey Ducks led the season series 2-0-1 going into the game, but a relentless attitude helped the Green Giants emerge with the title.
The Grey Ducks applied pressure early in the game, jumping out to leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in the first period on goals by Michael Miller (Mahtomedi) and Jacob Klein (White Bear Lake). The Green Giants answered the bell each time though. Kaden Brazinsky (Blaine) evened the score at 1-1 a little over a minute after Miller opened the scoring, and Henry Sweeney (Hopkins) sent the teams to the first intermission tied at 2-2 with a tying goal late in the first period.
The Green Giants pulled ahead in the second period on a tally by Ben Murray (Minneapolis), and they didn’t look back.
Joel Matthews (Wayzata) extended their lead to 4-2 in the third period, and Tuli Eisenbeis (Minneapolis) added two more, including an empty net goal to seal a 6-2 win.
The victory earned the Green Giants an opportunity to faceoff against Shattuck-St. Mary’s in the Minnesota District Youth 16U Championship on Tuesday, November 7th at Schwan Super Rink. The winner of that game will represent Minnesota at the 2018 USA Hockey Tier I National Championships in Philadelphia, PA in April.