Two teams - the St. Louis Bandits and the Wenatchee Wild - remain undefeated heading into the final day of the NAHL Showcase Tournament as both clubs improved to 3-0 with victories on Friday at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minn.
Jeff Jubinville recorded a hat trick and Chris Rumble added two assists as the Wild celebrated a 5-1 win over the U.S. Under-17 Team. Shawn Pauly and Nathan Sliwinksi struck for the other Wenatchee goals, and netminder Mac Carruth made 22 saves.
"It's great to have the start like we have, but it's early and what's more important than wins and losses is that we continue to improve everyday," said Wild assistant coach Ryan McKelvie.
John Houston’s third-period goal lifted the Bandits to a 3-2 win over the Bismarck Bobcats. Dan Olszewski and Christopher Eick also scored for the Bandits, and netminder Erick Cinotti made 18 saves.
“That was a nice win for us,” said Bandits head coach Jeff Brown. “We’re happy with our performance here so far, now we need to finish it off strong tomorrow.”
The Wild takes on the Topeka RoadRunners on the final day of the Showcase, while the Bandits face off against the U.S. Under-17 Team.
"The Showcase has been a great experience for our players," McKelvie added. "They've been able to showcase their abilities in front of a large amount of pro and college scouts."
Michael Hill and Patrick Kirtland (game-winner) each recorded a goal and an assist as the RoadRunners downed the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, 5-3. Erik Higby chipped in two assists for Topeka, and Evan Karambelas stopped 16 shots between the pipes.
The Motor City Metal Jackets improved to 2-1 with a 4-0 victory over the Kenai River Brown Bears. Goaltender Randy Willis made 27 saves to pick his second shutout of the Showcase, and Cody Wydo and John Scorcia each tallied a goal and an assist.
Jared Rickord rang up a hat trick and an assist as the Springfield Jr. Blues picked up their first win of the season with an 8-5 triumph over the Traverse City North Stars. Nick Curry added four assists for the Jr. Blues, and netminder Andrew Martin turned back 23 shots.
Kevin Crowe connected for two goals, including the game-winner, and an assist as the Alpena IceDiggers doubled up the North Iowa Outlaws, 4-2. Jonas Vassalli added a goal and an assist for Alpena, while Nick Holmes made 23 saves in goal.
Brent Bain notched a pair of goals in the Marquette Rangers’ 4-2 victory over the Wichita Falls Wildcats. Garrett Ladd put home the game-winning marker and three assists, and goaltender Kevin Kissaw stopped 48 shots.
The Alexandria Blizzard doubled up the Janesville Jets on Day 3 of the Showcase, 4-2. Tommy Westmark connected for two goals in the win, with Chris Franks, Kyle Clay and Michael Pieper each recording a pair of assists. In goal, Chris Kamal made 27 saves.
Cory Thorson’s overtime goal - his third of the game - propelled the Owatonna Express to a 6-5 victory over the Texas Tornado. Marian Fiala notched a goal and two assists in the win, and Dylan Porter added three assists. Netminder Mike Shibrowski steered aside 35 shots in net.
The Alaska Avalanche bested the Albert Lea Thunder, 2-1, with Blake Huppert and Nardo Nagtzaam lighting the lamp in the win. Netminder Kale Robertson made 47 saves for the Avs.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com)