West team goes undefeated at Top Prospects Tourney with an 8-1 win over the Frontier Division

By Kevin Scott

West Division vs. Frontier Division
Box Score Game Sheet Tourney Scoreboard  Rosters

ATTLEBORO, Mass., February 18, 2019 — On Tuesday, the 2020 North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) closed out their 2020 NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament with each team squaring off one last time after playing two games each on Monday.

The Frontier Division’s offense struggled throughout their three-game tournament run. The Frontier Division was coached by Andy Scheib of the Sheridan (WY) Hawks and assisted by Bozeman Ice Dog’s mentor Elliot Bates. The Frontier team finished last in the six divisional teams that participated with a record of 0-2-0-1 while Tuesday’s opponent, the West Division team (3-0-0-0) was the only squad to win all three of its contests.

In Monday morning’s game, the South quickly built a five-goal lead and went on to defeat the Frontier Division squad, 5-2. All seven goals came in the second and third periods. Atlanta Capital’s Matthew Macumber scored two goals, his teammate in Atlanta, Brandon Morgan added one goal and three other players including Butte Cobras standout Kyler Garsjo, and Gunner Moore, who started the season with the Atlanta Capitals before receiving a promotion to the North American Hockey League’s (NAHL’s) Odessa Jackalopes, produced one goal apiece. The Frontier Division managed to score their two goals in the third period as Will Kutch (Bozeman Ice Dogs) and Dylan Rumpke (Yellowstone Quake) lit up the lamp. Frontier goalies James Downie (Sheridan Hawks) and Michael Allman from the Yellowstone (WY) Quake combined for 30 saves. Their counterparts on the South team, Bryce Runyan (Texas Brahmas and Patrick Egdorf (Atlanta Capitals) registered 22 saves. Egdorf has also been promoted to the Odessa Jackalopes (NAHL).

Also, on Monday, the Frontier squad held a slim lead (3-2) over the Coastal Division squad after two periods of play but had to mount a small comeback to even the score after trailing 4-3 with 1:38 remaining in the afternoon session. After a scoreless overtime period, the Coastal Division team led by Joe Clark and Sam Frechette of the Lewiston-Auburn (L/A) Nordiques, who each scored once to defeat the Frontier team 2-1 in the shootout and a 5-4 win. Luke Hartge of the Bozeman Ice Dogs made the only successful goal in the best-of-three shootout for the Frontier. Michael Lempiainen (New England Stars) and Nolan Murphy (New England Knights) each scored three points (1 goal, 2 assists) in the victory. Hartge scored two goals while netminders James Downie and Michael Allman finished with a combined total of 30 saves.

In the third and final game of the two-day Top Prospects Tournament on Tuesday, the West dominated throughout the 51-minute contest picking up an 8-1 win to go undefeated in the prestigious tournament watched by many college scouts (NCAA and junior colleges) and the National Hockey League (NHL) too.

The early morning contest, played at 8:00AM (EST) or for those of you in Montana and Wyoming, a 6:00AM (MST) start, saw the West Division bring an explosive offensive attack throughout the game.

Logan Syrup, one of five members of the Sheridan (WY) Hawks on the Frontier roster, scored the first goal for the Frontier with 2:57 remaining in the opening period to give them the early lead after one period. Blake Billings (Sheridan Hawks) and Luke Hartge (Bozeman Ice Dogs) each collected their first assists in the tournament. The Frontier had six of the 16 total shots taken during the first frame.

After spotting the Frontier squad one goal, the West Division team erupted for eight unanswered scoring drives including five in the third stanza.  Jacob Schuldt (Granite City Lumberjacks) scored four points (1 goal, 3 assists) followed by Lucas Wahlin from the North Iowa Bulls (2 goals, 1 assist) and the Willmar WarHawks forward Brandon Holt with two goals for the West team.

Netminders Lukas Haugen (Willmar WarHawks) and Evan Babekuhl (North Iowa Bulls) each contributed 11 saves for the West. James Downie and Michael Allman had 16 saves and 19 saves, respectively.

There was only one minor penalty created by the West team that resulted in a two-minute minor penalty and no power plays were awarded.

The West team reached double digit shot attempts in all three stanzas to finish with 43. The most shots in one period by the Frontier Division came in the second as they ended the frame with 10 while finishing the game with 23.

Forwards Jake Hayes and Jack Olson  and defenseman Logan Rachow all participated in this year’s Top Prospects Tournament representing the Great Falls Americans but didn’t acquire any points.

TOURNAMENT NOTES: For more information about the Top Prospects Tournament, please click here. View the final day of action (box scores) by clicking here for the NA3HL article. Click here to view the tournament standings.

NEXT CONTEST: The Great Falls Americans and the rest of the Frontier Division have two weeks remaining in the 2019-20 North American Hockey League (NA3HL) regular season before the playoffs begin. Great Falls has three of their final four contests away from the Great Falls Ice Plex.

On Friday, February 21st, Great Falls will travel to Missoula, Montana to challenge the Missoula Junior Bruins, who are looking to gain a playoff spot, at 7:05PM from the Glacier Ice Rink. The Americans will return to the Great Falls Ice Plex on Saturday, February 22nd for the final home date of the regular season when they host the #1 Bozeman Ice Dogs at 7:30PM.

The final week for the teams in the Frontier Division (the rest of the league has another week remaining) will see the Great Falls Americans visiting the Missoula Junior Bruins on Friday, February 28th followed on Saturday, February 29th with the final regular season finale contest against the Butte Cobras from the Butte Community Ice Center. Both games begin at 7:05PM.

Story Courtesy: North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL): West Division goes undefeated at NA3HL Top Prospects (February 19, 2020)