Frontier comeback bid falls short against East squad

By Kevin Scott

ANN ARBOR, Mich., February 24, 2015 — After defeating the NA3HL 18U Selects 3-2 in a shootout on Monday afternoon, the Frontier Division squad challenged the NA3HL’s East Division on the second day of the NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament.

The Frontier squad tried to mount a comeback in the final period but fell just short in a 5-4 loss to the South Division on the final day of the tournament on Tuesday night in Michigan.

Gunnar Mogck (Bozeman Ice Dogs) converted the first goal fifteen minutes into the first period while Gillette’s Bryce Mitzel and Great Falls’ Arseny Ivanov were each credited with the assist. A few minutes later, the East would strike and tie the contest (1-1) before the first intermission. Tim Weisgerber (Southern Tier Express) and Cody Estrel (Toledo Cherokee) provided the assist to Estrel’s teammate Mark McGee.

The East team scored three out of the five goals during the following period. The Frontier team took their only lead (2-1) of the contest 21 seconds into the period on a successful scoring opportunity by Great Falls’ Lucas Lomax. Matt Gamblin (Glacier Nationals) and Lucas Stover (Great Falls Americans) received the assists on the third goal of the game. Hunter Schneider (Cincinnati Swords), Pearce Vance (Metro Jets) and Tyler Zalecki (Toledo Cherokee) netted three consecutive goals in a five minute span to increase the East advantage to 4-2. Gathering the assists for the East were Eli Lynn and Michael Straub (Pittsburgh Vengeance), Hunter Schneider and Brendan Williams (Cincinnati Swords) and Southern Tier Xpress’ Luke Sunde.  Ian Wiljanen (Billings Bulls) and Kendall Bolen-Porter (Helena Bighorns) found an open Lucas Lomax (Great Falls Americans) for the tally to cut the deficit to 4-3 for the Frontier team before the break.

After getting an assist in the final scoring drive for the Frontier Division before the second intermission, Kendall Bolen-Porter found the back of the net with help from Sawyer Scanlan of the Billings Bulls and Lance Pennington of the Gillette Wild to even the score (4-4) at the 11:42 mark of the final period. Tyler Zalecki broke the tie for the East off a pass from Cody Estrel with two minutes remaining. The go-ahead scoring opportunity proved to be the game-winner.

With the exception of the team from the West Division (2-0), each of the four other teams lost at least once during the two-day tournament.

Neither team sent a player to the penalty box or received any points off of any power plays.

Goaltender Brian Baker of the Pittsburgh Vengeance swatted away 25 shots on goal for the East. Grant Martens from the Helena Bighorns stopped 26 of the 31 shot attempts in the loss.


Period 1 Period 2 Period 3 Final
Frontier 1 2 1 4
East 1 3 1 5


First Period 1, Frontier, Gunnar Mogck (Arseny Ivanov, Bryce Mitzel), 15:30. 2, East, Mark McGee (Cody Estrel, Tim Weisgerber), 18:56.

Second Period – 3, Frontier, Lucas Lomax (Matt Gamblin, Lucas Stover), 0:21. 4, East, Hunter Schneider (Eli Lynn, Luke Sunde), 2:32. 5, East, Pearce Vance (Michael Straub), 4:06. 6, East, Tyler Zalecki (Hunter Schneider, Brenden Williams), 7:54. 7, Frontier, Lucas Stover (Ian Wiljanen, Kendall Bolen-Porter), 17:32.

Third Period – 8, Frontier, Kendall Bolen-Porter (Sawyer Scanlan, Lance Pennington), 8:18. 9, East, Tyler Zalecki (Cody Estrel), 17:53.

Shots on Goal – Frontier 29, East 31.

Power-play Opportunities – Frontier 0-for-0, East 0-for-0.

Attendance – Not Announced

Box Score: Frontier vs. East

Story Courtesy: North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL): West finishes on top at the NA3HL Top Prospects (February 25, 2015)