The middle day of the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament featured three big match-ups in front of another impressive showing of scouts at the event. Parity is shining through at the event as all the teams who won on Monday, ending up losing on Tuesday. However, it is the NAHL 18U Selects team that leads the way after two days of competition with a win and a shootout loss, much to the delight of all the NHL scouts in attendance who are keeping a close eye on all the draft eligible players.
Here is a recap of all the games on Day 2:
NAHL 18U Selects 3 vs. Dakota 2 – Brandon Hawkins had a goal and an assist to pace the 18U Selects to a 3-2 win over Dakota. Dakota started out fast with a goal from Patrick Moore (Bismarck) less than five minutes into the game with assists to Adam Knochenmus (Bismarck) and Drew Brevig (Brookings). The Selects tied the game on the goal from Brady Ferguson (Amarillo) with assists to Brandon Smith (Corpus Christi) and Ruslan Pedan (Janesville). Texas Tornado forward Scott Conway then gave the 18U’s their first lead with the only goal of the 2nd period as Hawkins and Tyler Andrew (Topeka) assisted. Brandon Wahlin knotted the game up at 2-2 late in the 3rd period with assists to Aberdeen Wings forwards Justin Parizek and Peter Krieger. However, it would be Hawkins striking back with under four minutes remaining with an unassisted goal, which came with less than four minutes to go in regulation. Boxscore
Frontier 9 vs. Midwest 3 – Max McHugh (Wenatchee) shined for the Frontier team, as the forward had five points (1 goal, 4 assists) in a 9-3 win over Midwest. The game was close in the 1st period as Matt Seidel (Kenai River), Jayson Angus and Zack Rall (both Fairbanks) scored for Frontier, while Luc Boby (Kalamazoo) and Brandon Brossoit (Topeka) scored for Midwest. Frontier broke the game open in the 2nd period with three goals from Chris Kerr (Wenatchee), Zac Lazzaro (Kenai River) and Blake Roubos (Amarillo). The onslaught continued in the 3rd period as Kyle Sucher (Fresno), Nick Hinz (Fairbanks) and McHugh lit the lamp. Cory Lushanko (Coulee Region) rounded out the scoring. Frontier outshot Midwest 64-29. Fresno’s Macauley Haight made 26 saves in the win, while Topeka’s Spencer Viele made 5 saves in the loss. Boxscore
Great Lakes 4 vs. Texas 2 – In the nightcap, Great Lakes scored the final three goals of the game to come from behind to top Texas, 4-2. Johnstown’s Mitch Kontny was the offensive star for Great Lakes as he had the first and the last goals of the game. After Kontny scored early in the 1st period, Texas came back seconds later with a goal from Jackson Leef (Texas) to tie the game at 1-1 as Lawrence Cornellier (Fairbanks) and Gage Christianson (Amarillo) assisted. Texas took a 2-1 lead as Wayland Williams (Corpus Christi) scored with assists to Amarillo’s Omar Mullan and Odessa’s Zane Popilock. The rest of the way out was all Great Lakes as Cody Gylling (Johnstown) scored in the 2nd period to tie the game at 2-2 with assists to Soo’s Sean Murphy and Michigan’s Martin Gruse. Two 3rd period goals from Murphy and Kontny put the game on ice for Great Lakes. Michigan’s Trevor Gorsuch made 41 saves in the win, while Hayden Stewart (Corpus Christi) took the loss, making 43 saves. Boxscore
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)