2017 Top Prospects Tournament: Day 1

White team easily defeated the Selects Black team, 7-1 in first game of Top Prospects Tourney

By Kevin Scott

White (Frontier/West Division) vs. Selects Black (Rosters)
Box Score Game Sheet Tourney Scoreboard  Rosters
Green (East/Midwest Division) vs. Selects Black (Rosters)
Box Score Game Sheet Tourney Scoreboard  Rosters
White (Frontier/West Division) vs. Selects Red (Rosters)
Box Score Game Sheet Tourney Scoreboard  Rosters

PLYMOUTH, Mich., February 27, 2017 — The North American Tier 3 Hockey League’s top prospects in all four combined divisions plus two younger Selects squads came together to take part in the NA3HL’s Top Prospects Tournament in Plymouth, Michigan. The two-day tournament takes place today (Monday) and Tuesday from the USA Hockey Arena.

The 2017 NA3HL Top Prospect’s Tournament along with the North American Hockey League (NAHL) Top Prospects Tournament provides an opportunity for both leagues to showcase their best hockey players in front of coaches and scouts from the junior and NCAA college levels to the National Hockey League (NHL).

The Great Falls Americans had two players representing the White team (Frontier/West Divisions) including Nick Nast (goaltender) and defenseman Danny O’Donnell and one player (forward Payton McSharry) on the NA3HL’s Selects Black team. Americans head coach Jeff Heimel guided the Selects Black team.

Each team played twice on the first day of competition at the prestigious tournament. Click here for the full two-day tournament schedule and results.

The White team, comprised of member of the Frontier and West Division teams in the NA3HL, scored four goals in the second period to easily defeat the NA3HL Selects Black squad, 7-1 during the first of two games at the 2017 Top Prospects Tournament in Plymouth, Michigan on Monday. Great Falls Americans defenseman Danny O’Donnell dished out one assist for the White team.

Defenseman Nick Grupp (Lockport Express) scored off a feed from Matt Allen (Syracuse Stampede) to give the Selects Black team the early lead 4:54 in the opening period. The White team’s offense lit up the lamp three times during the final 15 minutes of first period action. Brady Dahl (Granite City Lumberjacks), Danny Nugent (Willmar WarHawks), and Riley Holwegner from the Gillette Wild each scored for coach Ryan Theros’ (Yellowstone Quake) White team. Five players assisted on the four tallies on the White team including Keenan Lund (Granite City Lumberjacks), Tristyn Sabina and Wyatt Stotts (Breezy Point North Stars), Caleb Anderson (Alexandria Blizzard) and Great Falls Americans standout and team assist leader Danny O’Donnell. The White team took 11 of the 16 total shots.

After taking a 3-1 lead after the first intermission, the White squad went on a 4-0 scoring spree during the middle period. Tristyn Sabina, Keenan Lund, and Luc Kreuser (New Ulm Steel) each record a goal and had one assist. Billings Bulls forward Gage Thompson added a goal too. The other players setting up the points included Brady Dahl (Granite City Lumberjacks), Riley Holwegner, and Yellowstone Quake teammates Max Doner and Jesse Lawman. The White team held the Selects Black team to just seven shots while they attempted 17 in the second frame. No penalties were called during the first two periods.

Both teams failed to gather any successful scoring drives in the third period.

Zach Ahlers of the Bozeman Ice Dogs committed the only penalty of the game for tripping. The Select Black team failed to convert on the power play opportunity.

Great Falls Americans goaltender Nick Nast played the first 31 minutes swatting away 6 of the 7 shots before being replaced by Granite City Lumberjacks net-minder David Mulligan, who finished the contest with seven saves. Landon Anderson (Gillette Wild) and Alex Cathcart (Willmar WarHawks) combined for 29 saves despite the loss.

Green squad earns a 5-1 victory over the Selects Black team

PLYMOUTH, Mich., February 27, 2017 — The Green team, made up of players from the East and Midwest divisions in the league, scored four consecutive goals in the first and second periods to top the Selects Black team in the second game of the day for each team.

Dakota Ulmer (West Michigan Wolves) and Tristin Snyder (Toledo Cherokee) each registered goals to give the Green squad a two-goal advantage after the first twenty minutes. Assists went to Tristin Snyder on Dakota Ulmer’s score while St. Louis Jr. Blues defenseman Andrew Froese picked up the assist on Snyder’s tally.

A pair of goals by Samuel Maddox (St. Louis Jr. Blues) 52 seconds apart each assisted by Conor Cunningham of the Nashville Jr. Predators increased the lead for the Green team to 4-0. Maddox’s teammate Jack Hatton also picked up one assist. The Selects Black team finally found the back of the net when Bradley Estrada (Helena Bighorns) and Cole Archambeault (New England Stars) passed the puck to Justin Bloomfield of the West Michigan Wolves for the team’s first and only points of the contest. The Green team would close out the period as Cole Barney of the Wooster Oilers scored off a pass by Metro Jets forward Matthias Tellstrom at the 16:08 mark before the second intermission. The Green team dominated the shots-on-goal category with 43 while holding the Selects Black team to 11 after both periods.

Both teams combined for 27 shots during the final stanza but could not convert any points thanks to solid production by the goaltenders.

Payton McSharry of the Great Falls Americans saw action in the contest.

The Selects Black team had two minor penalties called on them with no penalties in the middle period.

Metro Jets goalie Andrew Kormos picked up the win by stopping all six shots. Kormos was replaced by Joel De Simone (Pittsburgh Vengeance), who allowed one goal in 17 attempts. Alex Cathcart (Wilmar WarHawks) and Landon Anderson of the Gillette Wild recorded a team total of 53 saves for the Selects Black team.

O’Donnell and Nast contribute in White squad’s 8-5 win

PLYMOUTH, Mich., February 27, 2017 — Americans defenseman Danny O’Donnell and goaltender Nick Nast each helped the White team defeat the Selects Red squad, 8-5 during the nightcap of the first day of the Top Prospects Tournament on Monday evening.

The 6’2” O’Donnell dished out two assists on both goals in the second period while goaltender Nick Nast secured his second win of the day by redirecting 16 shots.

Brady Dahl, a forward for the Granite City Lumberjacks, led seven players in scoring for the White squad coached by Yellowstone Quake mentor Ryan Theros. Dahl scored twice followed by one goal apiece by Jesse Lawman (Yellowstone Quake), Caleb Anderson (Alexandria Blizzard), Tristyn Sabina (Breezy Point North Stars), Luc Kreuser (New Ulm Steel), Austin Azzinnaro (Missoula Jr. Bruins), and Riley Holwegner (Gillette Wild).

The Selects Red team scored two goals in the first and three in the third period. Performing the successful scoring drives for the Selects Red squad were Ryan Edgar from the St. Louis Jr. Blues who contributed two goals. Emil Lindfors (Alexandria Blizzard), Connor Clemons (North Iowa Bulls), and Sam Dabrowski (La Crosse Freeze) had one apiece.

The penalty-free game saw the White squad finish with 45 shots while the Selects Red team took 38.

David Mulligan (Granite City Lumberjacks) started the contest for the White squad and recorded 17 saves while Nast finished the contest allowed three goals but was credited with another victory. Hunter Smith played the entire contest for the Selects Red team ended his night with 37 saves.

TOURNAMENT NOTES: For more information about the Top Prospects Tournament, please click here. Fans can also follow the action live at HockeyTV and see the stats updated live on the NA3HL Tournament Scoreboard.

NEXT CONTEST: The Selects Black team featuring Payton McSharry of the Americans challenges the Gold (Central/Coastal Division) team at 7:30AM (MST). The White (Frontier/West Division) team consisting of American players Nick Nast and Danny O’Donnell will play at 11:30AM (MST) against the Green (East/Midwest Division) team during the final day of the tournament.

Story Courtesy: North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL): Day 1 of NA3HL Top Prospects impresses scouts (February 28, 2017)