MUSKEGON, Michigan (January 23rd) – It was a gritty defensive slugfest in this year’s 2013 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game as the defenses from both teams went toe-to-toe against some of the best offensive talent in the league. However, one team had to come away with the victory and it was Team West that walked away by the slimmest of margins winning 2-1 at the L.C. Walker Arena.
The first period saw Team West take control early and would get the game’s first goal at the 4:45 mark of the opening frame with a goal from Sioux City’s Conor McGlynn that was assisted by his teammates, Jake Guentzel and Jake Montgomery, to make it a 1-0 game. Team East had a great opportunity to tie the game at 1-1, but Lumberjacks own Michael Brodzinski was robbed on the back door by Waterloo Black Hawks Goaltender Eamon McAdam, who stoned Brodzinski with the glove. Team West would take the 1-0 lead into the first period while outshooting the East, 10-6.
Early in the second period, the West would double their lead to 2-0 at the 1:53 mark of the frame with a goal by Tri-City’s Jason Cotton that was assisted by teammate Garrett Gamez and Omaha Lancer Drew Melanson. No scoring would be tallied through the rest of the period as starting goaltenders Charlie Lindgren (Team East) and Eamon McAdam (Team West) would be pulled at the halfway point, respectively, for Alex Sakellaropoulos and Cal Petersen. Team West was still outshooting the East through two periods, 19-17.
Both defenses would continue to buckle down into the third period as Team East would finally pull through at the 15:08 mark with a goal by USNTDP’s John Hayden, who slammed home a rebound past Petersen to cut the deficit to 2-1. Lumberjacks own Ben Storm and Chicago’s Christian Heil were credited with the assists on the Hayden goal. The score would remain the same late into the game, but Team East would not get the equalizer as they would pull Sakellaropoulos for the extra attacker, but would come up empty as Team West escaped with the hard-earned victory.
Team East ended up outshooting the West for the game, 32-24, and both teams were combined 0 for 5 on the power play. The most valuable player awards were credited to John Hayden of Team East (USNTDP), who scored the lone goal for the team, and Eamon McAdam of Team West, who stopped all 11 shots he faced in his 30 minutes of action.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)