South Division’s offense puts up five goals in 5-2 win over the Frontier squad

By Kevin Scott

2020 NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament: Frontier Division Team

South Division vs. Frontier Division
Box Score Game Sheet Tourney Scoreboard  Rosters
Coastal Division vs. Frontier Division
Box Score Game Sheet Tourney Scoreboard  Rosters

 ATTLEBORO, Mass., February 17, 2020 — The two-day 2020 Norther American 3 Hockey League’s (NA3HL) Top Prospects Tournament got underway today (Monday) and will finish on Tuesday (Feb. 17-18)  from the New England Sports Village, home of the NAHL and NA3HL’s Northeast Generals. with top prospective players coming together from all six divisions (Central, Coastal, Frontier, Northeast, South and West) playing in a total of three ‘all-star like’ setting contests.

Each division team consists of 18 players (10 forwards, 6 defensemen, 2 goaltenders) that will play (3) 17-minutes periods with two games set for Monday and one being played on Tuesday. All NA3HL standings were frozen on Monday, January 20th and then teams were seeded in each division and the number of players was based on their team’s winning percentage. Click here to see the press release that announced the schedule, rosters and coaches for this prestigious tournament.

The 2020 NA3HL Top Prospects 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, the third-ranked team in the Frontier Division behind the Bozeman Ice Dogs (36-6-0-1) and Sheridan (WY) Hawks (34-8-1-0),  with a record of 29-9-4-1, had three players represented on the Frontier Division squad including forwards Jack Olson and Jake Hayes and defenseman Logan Rachow. Andy Scheib, the Sheridan Hawks head coach, and Elliot Bates from the Bozeman Ice Dogs will serve as coaches for the Frontier Division squad.

All six teams (108 players) played twice on the first day of competition. The Frontier Division team met the South Division top prospects in the third game of the day that took place at 9:00AM (MST) followed by a 3:00PM (MST) matchup with the Coastal Division team. Click here for the full two-day tournament schedule and results.

The South Division squad led by Atlanta Capitals forward Matthew Macumber, who scored two goals and Kyler Garsjo, who plays for the Butte Cobras in the Frontier Division and lists his hometown as Sidney, Montana, scored once and dished out two assist to elevate the South Division squad to a 5-2 win over the Frontier Division team in the first of two games today for each team at the 2020 Top Prospects Tournament in Attleboro, Massachusetts.

After a scoreless first period that came with 14 total shots and two minor penalties called on the South Division team, the South Division squad came out of the first intermission with scoring on their mind. The South team jumped out to a 2-0 lead 2:45 into the middle period as Matthew Macumber (Atlanta Capitals) and Brandon Morgan (Louisiana Drillers) scored the first goals for head coach Ryan Anderson’s (Texas Brahmas) team. Jason Smith of the Atlanta Capitals served as the assistant coach. Before the period ended, Texas Brahmas forward John Ogeka and Matthew Macumber (Atlanta Capitals) gave their team a 4-0 lead. The assists went to Kyler Garsjo (Butte Cobras), who had two and Michael Thomas Junior (Texas Brahmas) who assisted on Ogeka’s goal. Despite trailing by four goals, the Frontier Division attempted three more shots (25-22) than the South but couldn’t put together any scoring drives.

As the third frame unfolded, Kyler Garsjo (Butte Cobras) score on an unassisted play 87 seconds into the period to increase the lead to 5-0 in favor of the South. The Frontier Division did get on the scoreboard with two goals before time expired. Will Kutch (Bozeman Ice Dogs) and Dylan Rumpke from the Yellowstone Quake claimed the first and second goals, respectively, for the Frontier team. Dylan Rumpke also assisted with the first scoring drive by Kutch and Will Kutch and Sheridan Hawks defenseman Alex Kesler helped create Rumpke’s goal.

The Frontier Division led the South Division in the shots-on-goal category during the first two periods but the South produced 13 in the final period to edge the Frontier Division, 35-34 during the 51-minute (17-minute periods instead of 20 minutes per period) contest.

The exhibition game displayed just five minor penalties that resulted in ten minutes in the penalty box. Findlay Wood of the Texas Brahmas finished with two minor penalties for tripping. Jack Royer, a defenseman from the Sheridan (WY) Hawks had the lone minor penalty for tripping for the Frontier team.

The Frontier’s Dylan Rumpke’s final goal in the third period was the only successful power play opportunity for either team. The Frontier went 1-for-4 and the South couldn’t convert on their one power play chance.

Texas Brahmas netminder Bryce Runyan got the green light to start for his own coach (Ryan Anderson, Texas Brahmas) and he didn’t disappoint. Runyan playing in his second season for the Brahmas and his second trip to the Top Prospects Tournament in as many years, blocked all 15 shots in 25 minutes of action in the net for the South. Patrick Egdorf also saw action for the winning team and recorded 17 saves.

James Downie (Sheridan Hawks) and Michael Allman (Yellowstone Quake) shared duties as goalkeepers for the Frontier squad. Downie, had ten saves but allowed three goals before his morning ended. Michael

Allman played the final 25 minutes accruing 20 saves in his second straight trip to the Top Prospects Tournament.

Coastal squad comes back to defeat the Frontier team 5-4 in a shootout

ATTLEBORO, Mass., February 17, 2020 — The Coastal Division (1-1-0-0) came back from a 2-1 deficit early in the first period to defeat the Frontier Division (0-1-0-1) squad, 5-4 in a shootout during the Monday afternoon session at the 2020 Top Prospects Tournament in Massachusetts. Lewiston/Auburn (L/A) Nordiques forward Sam Frechette tallied the game-winning goal in the shootout to lead the Coastal Division to their first victory of the tournament.

It took the Frontier Division team just 3:11 into the first stanza to take a two-goal lead over the Coastal Division team. Luke Hartge of the Bozeman Ice Dogs scored the first of his two goals on the unassisted tally to give the Frontier Division the early advantage. Nine seconds later, Mi-Kwan Tallman, the lone member from the Missoula Junior Bruins squad, scored on a pass from Declan Young of the Gillette (WY) Wild. The Coastal Division team cut the deficit to 2-1 before the period concluded thanks to the New England Knights connection of Andrew Palmiter to Nolan Murphy for the score. The secondary assist went to New England Stars forward Michael Lempiainen.

Luke Hartge and his Frontier Division teammates wasted just 17 seconds into the 17-minute middle period to regain their two-goal lead (3-1). Sheridan Hawks defenseman Alex Kesler registered his second assist of the day after having one assist in a 5-2 loss to the South Division in the morning contest. Connor Barter (New England Stars) pulled his team back to within a goal (3-2) with his second score of the tournament with help from Michael Lempiainen (New England Stars) and Nolan Murphy (New England Knights). Lempiainen collected his second assist in as many periods. After two periods of play, the Frontier Division team took 25 shots while the Coastal team attempted 22.

The Coastal Division team took their first lead of the contest in the third frame with back-to-back goals by Michael Lempiainen and Joe Clark (Lewiston/Auburn Nordiques). Nolan Murphy received his second assist on Lempiainen’ score with 8:24 remaining. Colin Day, playing on his home ice with the Northeast Generals, gathered his first assist on Joe Clark’s goal to break the tie with 98 seconds to go in regulation. The lead wasn’t as safe as the Coastal team thought and the Frontier team made sure the game would continue 47 seconds later when Alex Kesler (Sheridan Hawks) found  his Wyoming teammate Blake Billings for the score that would send the game into a five-minute overtime. Despite scoring one goal, the Frontier team took 20 of the 25 shots in the period.

Eight shots were taken in the five-minute unsuccessful overtime and a best-of-three shootout was necessary to produce a winning club.

Joe Clark and Sam Frechette, both members of the L/A Nordiques second place team in the Coastal Division, both scored to secure the first victory for the Coastal team in the shootout. Despite strong one-on-one attempts against the Coastal Division goaltender, Will Kutch (Bozeman Ice Dogs) and Jack Royer (Sheridan Hawks) couldn’t put the biscuit in the basket. Kutch’s teammate in Bozeman, Luke Hartge provided the lone goal in the shootout for coach Andy Scheib’s (Sheridan Hawks) team.

Only four of the 50 total shots by the Frontier Division lit up the lamp. The Coastal Division finished with five goals in 31 attempts. Only one two-minute penalty was issued in the game in the third period as Owen Dubois (Maine Wild) committed an interference penalty and was sent to the sin bin.

All four goaltenders on the roster saw action with the Coastal Divsiion’s Zach Roncarati of the New England Knights tasting victory. The Massachusetts native finished with 27 saves on 28 attempts in 30 minutes of ice time. Jason St. Pierre (L/A Nordiques) started for head coach Darryl Locke’s (Northeast Generals) team and finished with 19 saves. Michael Allman (Yellowstone Quake) and James Downie (Sheridan Hawks) each allowed two goals in the three periods. Allman and Downie combined for 26 saves with Downie getting the shootout loss (SOL).

Great Falls Americans forwards Jake Hayes and Jack Olson and defenseman Logan Rachow each made appearances in both contests.

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 first day of action (rosters/schedules/box scores) by clicking here for the NA3HL article.

NEXT CONTEST: The second and final day of the 2020 Top Prospects Tournament in Attleboro, Massachusetts takes place on Tuesday, February 18th with each team playing one game. The Frontier Division squad plays against the West Division standouts in the first game of the day at 6:00AM (MST)/ 8:00AM (EST). The West Division team was the only team in the six-team tournament to win both contests on Monday.

Story Courtesy: North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL): West and South Divisions take charge on Day 1 of Top Prospects (February 18, 2020)