Selects White team scores six unanswered goals to romp over Grey Team in tourney finale

By Kevin Scott

Grey (Frontier/West Division) vs. Selects White
Box Score Game Sheet Tourney Scoreboard  Rosters
Selects Red vs. Green (Northeast/South Division)
Box Score Game Sheet Tourney Scoreboard  Rosters

PLYMOUTH, Mich., February 28, 2018 — Each of the six teams finished out the two-day 2018 Top Prospects tournament on Wednesday morning by participating in one game after playing two games on the previous day.

The NA3HL Selects Red team, coached by Pittsburgh Vengeance coach Dave Dorsey and featured defenseman Kody Thomas, went 0-for-2 during Tuesday’s opening day. The Selects Red team managed one win and won loss. The Selects Red team edged the Grey team (Frontier/West Division) 3-2 but fell in their second game of the day to the Blue squad that featured players from the Central/ Coastal divisions by the score of 4-1. Kody Thomas made appearance in both games but didn’t gather any points.

The Grey team, featuring players from the Frontier and West Divisions, and coached by Yellowstone Quake mentor Ryan Theros, after suffering a 3-2 defeat to the Selects Red team let the Green team (Northeast/South) team come out on top, 3-2 in the nightcap. Forward Adam Vandenbos and goaltender Drew Scites each played in both games. Scites, a Plymouth, Minnesota native playing in his hometown, accrued 34 saves and played in 50 combined total minutes in Tuesday’s contests.

During the tournament finale, the Grey (Frontier/West Division) faced off against NA3HL Selects White team in an early morning contest and the NA3HL Selects Red squad played the Green team (Northeast/South Division) to finish the prestigious tournament on Wednesday morning.

Laudon Poellinger representing the Selects White team scored twice and dished out two assists to lead younger 18U selects team to a crushing 6-1 win over the Grey squad that featured many outstanding athletes from the Frontier and West Division team on Wednesday morning to conclude the 2018 Top Prospects Tournament.

The Grey team opened the scoring during the first stanza. Alexandria Blizzard standout Logan Nelson connected on a pass from Alex Nagel (New Ulm Steel) for the game’s opening score over Select White’s goaltender Ryan Kenny (New Ulm Steel). The score coming in the first three minutes was the only time the Grey team found the back of the net. Despite trailing early, the Selects White led by an 11-4 margin in the shots-on-goal category.

The second period saw a trio of goals made by the Selects White team. Nick Ventura (L/A Nordiques), Eric Vanderhoff (Skylands Kings), and Laudon Poellinger (La Crosse Freeze) all successfully racked up goals. Ventura’s scored his third goal in two days with assistance from Brody Nielsen (Atlanta Capitals) and Nick Panfen (Maine Wild) early. Vanderhoff and Poellinger scored their goals 31 seconds apart near the end of the period. Poellinger and Vanderhoff also earned assists as did Matthew Hohl (St. Louis Jr. Blues). The Selects White team went into the locker room with a 3-1 advantage and produced 17 of 28 total shots taken.

The Selects White squad achieved three more scoring opportunities in the third frame. Matthew Francois (La Crosse Freeze) and Jarod Blackowiak (North Iowa Bulls) during a six-minute span. Assisting on the goal by Francois were Vanderhoff and Poellinger while Blackowiak’s goal went unassisted. The final score by Laudon Poellinger came via an empty net play to seal the victory in the last moments.

The Selects White team took 35 of their total 46 shots during the final two periods when they scored on all six of their scoring plays. The Grey team never attempted more than 11 shots in a period and finished with 21.

The four power play chances went unanswered with each team spending four minutes apiece in the penalty box.

The Grey (Frontier/West Division) fell to 0-3 while the Selects White finished the three-game tournament with an undefeated 3-0 record.

Ryan Kenny (New Ulm Steel) started but Reid Waszczenko (Yellowstone Quake) was credited with the victory. Each netminder received 10 saves each. Drew Scites got the start for the struggling Grey team. Scites and Luke Fry, who took the loss, teamed up for 40 saves.

Green squad needs overtime to get past the Selects Red team, 2-1

PLYMOUTH, Mich., February 28, 2018 — Stephen Minichiello (Niagara Falls PowerHawks) of the Green (Northeast/South Division) team provided the game-winning goal in overtime against the Selects Red team on Wednesday morning as the 2018 Top Prospects Tournament at the USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan came to an end.

The 2-1 victory gave the Green squad two wins and one defeat at the two-day tournament. The Selects Red team fell to 2-0-1.

The Selects Red team jumped out on top 1-0 behind a goal by Josh Maucieri (Breezy Point North Stars) 2:39 into the first stanza. Marcos Zarragoitia (Oswego Stampede) and Helena Bighorns forward Hayden Seitz set up the early scoring drive for th Selects Red squad. Only one goal was scored with 15 shots taken during the 17-minute period.

A miscue by the Selects Red team six seconds into the middle period evened up the score (1-1) for the Green team. Tim O’Connor’s (Binghamton Jr. Senators) pass to Matt Goodman (Point Mallard Ducks) was successful and was the lone score of the second stanza. Shot attempts were hard to come by with the Green team taking three of the four total shots.

An overtime was needed after neither squad was able to get the puck in the net in the final period of regulation.

Niagara Falls PowerHawks standout Stephen Minichiello put the puck between the pipes for the game-winning score 4:56 into the overtime. The unassisted tally gave the Green team two wins in three games.

Seven total penalties were called but the Green team failed to capitalize on their lone power play chance.

Great Falls Americans defenseman Kody Thomas participated in all three games but didn’t garner any points.

Oswego Stampede goaltender Steven Kozikoski picked up the win by stopping all nine shots that the Selects Red team forced him to make. He worked 30 minutes in the net. Brady Anderson of the Binghamton Jr. Senators (Selects Red) finished with 19 saves while playing in all three tournament games.

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. View the final day of action (rosters/schedules/box scores) by clicking here for the NA3HL article. Click here to view the tournament standings.

NEXT CONTEST: The Great Falls Americans (31-10-2-0) have three more weeks of the regular season remaining. Great Falls will make the 90-mile trek to Helena, Montana for two games next weekend (March 2-3) against the Helena Bighorns. Both games begin at 7:05PM from the Helena Ice Arena.

Story Courtesy: North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL): NA3HL Top Prospects thrills on final day (March 1, 2018)