2017 Top Prospects Tournament: Day 2 (Final Day)

White team suffers first loss at TPT, Selects Black team goes 0-for-3 in tournament

By Kevin Scott

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

PLYMOUTH, Mich., February 28, 2017 — During the final day of competition at the three games in two-days Top Prospects Tournament, each team finished by playing just one game.

The NA3HL Selects Black team, under the direction of Americans head coach Jeff Heimel and featured forward Payton McSharry, went 0-for-2 during Monday’s tournament. The Selects Black team only managed to score one goal in each of their games (a 7-1 loss to the White squad comprised of members of the Frontier and West Divisions and a 5-1 setback to the Gold team with members of the Central and Coastal divisions). Payton McSharry played in both games but did not register any points.

Meanwhile, the White team (Frontier/West Division team), after defeating the Selects Black team held on for an 8-5 victory over the Selects Red team. Americans standout Danny O’Donnell recorded two assists while goaltender Nick Nast won his second straight game at the tournament by stopping 16 of the 19 shots. In the previous matchup against the Selects Black team, O’Donnell had one assist and Nick Nast earned six saves.

During the tournament finale, the Selects Black team faced off against the Gold (Central/Coastal Division) team in an early morning contest and the tournament concluded with the White (Frontier/West Division) challenging the Green squad (East/Midwest Division).

The Gold team racked up a 3-1 lead after the first period and defeated the Selects Black team 7-4 to prevent them from tasting victory during the last day of the Top Prospects Tournament.

Lukas Motloch (La Crosse Freeze) and Chuck Costello (Cape Cod Islanders) each scored the first of their three goals (hat trick) during the opening period for the Gold team. Both players attracted the attention of the many scouts from the NCAA to the NHL that were in attendance. North Iowa Bulls forward Josh Arnold also scored for coach Todd Sanden’s team (North Iowa Bulls). Motloch’s teammate from the La Crosse Freeze, JP Eykyn added two assists and Ethan Sievek (Rochester Ice Hawks) chipped in one.  The Gillette Wild’s Jack Oberg put the puck in the net for the first points produced by the Selects Black team with help from Derric Trudeau (Northeast Generals).

Payton McSharry of the Great Falls Americans scored his first goal of the tournament in the second period to cut the Selects Black deficit to 3-2. Assists went to Cole Archambeault (New England Stars) and Missoula Jr. Bruins forward Misha Akatnov. After second goals by Motloch and Costello to increase the lead for the Gold to 5-2. Archambeault tallied an unassisted score before the second intermission for the Selects Black team.

The Selects Black team attempted to make a comeback in the third frame. Toledo Cherokee’s EJ Gilbert scored off the stick of Justin Bloomfield (West Michigan Wolves) to make the score 5-4. Costello and Motloch each scored for the third time in the contest to seal the victory for the Gold team.

The Gold team took 14 of their 32 total shots during the first period where they scored multiple goals. The Selects Black team attempted 25 shots-on-goal.

The Selects Black team could not convert their only one power play chance in the final period.

Goaltenders Brady Meyers (North Iowa Bulls) and Peter Ciccarelli of the Northeast Generals teamed up for 21 saves with Meyers picking up the win. Alex Cathcart (Wilmar WarHawks) prevented 11 of the 13 shots from going into the net for the Selects Black. Landon Anderson (Gillette Wild), who earned the start, had 14 saves.

Green squad downs the White team, 5-3

PLYMOUTH, Mich., February 28, 2017 — Samuel Maddox scored two goals and goaltender Andrew Kormos earned the 5-3 victory for the Green team over the White team, who lost for the first time in three games on Tuesday to close out the 2017 Top Prospects Tournament in Michigan.

Scoring was hard to come by during the first quarter between the Green teams (East/Midwest divisions) and the White team (Frontier/West Divisions) but Graham Day from the Metro Jets found an opening and put the puck in the goal for the first points of the game for the Green team. Cole Barney (Wooster Oilers) and Samuel Maddox (St. Louis Jr. Blues) assisted on the scoring drive.

Four minutes into the middle period, the White team found the back of the net. Defenseman Wyatt Stotts (Breezy Point North Stars) assisted on the Gavin Cline (Helena Bighorns) score to tie the contest at 1-1. Samuel Maddox and Dakota Ulmer (West Michigan Wolves) tacked on two more goals to put the Green team ahead 3-1 after the second stanza. Conor Cunningham (Nashville Jr. Predators) and Justin Bioni of the Cincinnati Thunder provided the assists.

The White team figured out a way to keep the game close during the third period. Max Doner (Yellowstone Quake) and Brady Dahl (Granite City Lumberjacks) with help from Luc Kreuser (New Ulm Steel), Wyatt Stotts, and Tristyn Sabina (Breezy Point North Stars) tied it up at 3-3 halfway through the period. An unassisted goal by Samuel Maddox, who recorded his fourth goal of the tournament, regained the lead for the Green squad and an extra goal by Cameron Trejchel (Southern Tier Xpress) carried the team to a two-point victory. Mathieu LaForest (Evansville Jr. Thunderbolts) gathered his second assist of the tournament on Trejchel’s score.

A total of three penalties were seen throughout the contest but neither team capitalized on the power play. The Green team was charged with two minor penalties.

Danny O’Donnell saw action in all three games and finished with three assists during the first two games on Monday.

Andrew Kormos (Metro Jets) played 25 minutes and accumulated 15 saves while teammate Joel De Simone (Pittsburgh Vengeance) ended the tournament with eight saves for the Green team. Nick Nast added 19 saves to his tournament total of 41 for the White squad. David Mulligan (Granite City Lumberjacks) swatted away 9 of the 12 shots in the loss.

NEXT CONTEST: The #2 Great Falls Americans (37-3-2-3) will travel to Cody, Wyoming to face the #1 seed in the Frontier Division, the Yellowstone Quake (39-3-0-3) for the final two games of the season for both squads. The Friday (March 3rd) and Saturday (March 4th) games both begin at 7:30PM from Wyoming’s Riley Arena. Both teams will receive a first-round bye and will face a yet-to-be-determined opponent in the Frontier Division Semi-Finals in the middle of March. Click here to view the playoff and the Silver Cup Tournament schedule format.

Story Courtesy: North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL): Gold Team captures NA3HL Top Prospects title (March 1, 2017)