NA3HL 18U Selects overcome deficit to defeat the South, 5-4

By Kevin Scott

ANN ARBOR, Mich., February 24, 2015 — The NA3HL 18U Selects team was hoping to go 1-0-1 at the 2015 Top Prospects Tournament on Tuesday morning when they faced the NA3HL’s South Division in the final day of the Michigan tournament.

The 18U Selects team suffered a 3-2 setback in a game that featured a shootout against the Frontier squad on Monday.

The NA3HL 18U Selects team dug themselves out of a three-goal deficit to defeat the South Division 5-4 on the second and final day of action at the Top Prospects Tournament on Tuesday morning. Both teams finished with one loss at the tournament with South falling to the West 7-1 on Monday.

Travis Kothenbeutel (Granite City Lumberjacks) put the NA3HL 18U Selects ahead 1-0 after the first period of action. His goal with 13:41 left in the opening period was assisted by Kohei Sato (North Iowa Bulls) and Jake Cox (Point Mallard Ducks). Each team took six shots on goal.

The 18U Selects team quickly found themselves down 4-1 to the South in the middle period with goals by Kyle Van Wyk (Nashville Jr. Predators), Matthew Jung (Sugar Land Imperials), Hank Roers (Topeka Capitals) and Kyle Rimbach (Topeka Capitals). Eight different players chipped in assists on those four goals including Mykyta Sheptytsky, Ryan Dunner and Nick Nitta (Texas Jr. Brahamas), Tyler Valentin (Dallas Jr. Stars), Justin Dunn and Jake Cox (Point Mallard Ducks), Matthew Jung (Sugar Land Imperials), Trent Kulczyk (Nashville Jr. Predators), and Colin O’Connor (Topeka Capitals),. Bozeman Ice Dogs standout Devin Panzeca began the rally for the 18U Selects by scoring with eight seconds left before the second intermission thanks to Adam Havener (St. Louis Jr. Blues) and Jake Cox, who added his second of three assists on the day.

The 18U Selects team prevented the South from obtaining any points in the final period. Two member of the Frontier Division (Yellowstone’s Max Doner and Bozeman’s Devin Panzeca) each registered goals to pull the Selects team even (4-4) with less than seven minutes on the clock. The 18U Selects came away with a dramatic finish as Kohei Sato, who assisted on the first goal of the game in the first period, got the game-winning score with 16 seconds to ensure the victory for the young Selects squad. Sam Maddox (St. Louis Jr. Blues) assisted on two scoring plays while teammate Jake Cox added one in the period to finish his day with three.  Also assisting on scoring opportunities in the final period were Nashville Jr. Predator teammates Dominic Costello and Zack Greenwood.

The South Division squad failed to convert any points on their one power play opportunity.

The 18U Selects had the only one (minor) penalty of the game.

Both Frontier Division goalies saw action for the 18U Selects team with Lauren Massie (Great Falls Americans) making nine saves before being replaced by Bozeman’s Denijs Romanovskis who added 13 saves in the win.  Despite the loss, Chris Mallon (Dallas Jr. Stars) stopped 24 of the 29 shots he faced for the South.

FUN FACTS: The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) Top Prospects Tournament is played in conjunction with the North American Hockey League’s (NAHL) and the Americans Prospects Hockey League’s (NAPHL) Top Prospect Tournament. The event has many scouts in attendance from junior colleges to the NCAA and professionals from the National Hockey League (NHL). All three leagues will showcase their talent in front of many scouts and coaches in the two-day event. To learn more about the Top Prospects Tournament, you can view all of the information by clicking here.

NEXT CONTEST: The Great Falls Americans will finish out their 2014-15 season with two home games at the Great Falls Ice Plex against the Glacier Nationals (Fri, Feb. 27th, 7:30PM) and the Billings Bulls (Sun. March 1st, 4:00PM).


Period 1 Period 2 Period 3 Final
South 0 4 0 4
NA3HL 18U Selects 1 1 3 5


First Period 1, NA3HL 18U Selects, Travis Kothenbeutel (Kohei Sato, Jake Cox), 13:41.

Second Period –2, South, Kyle Van Wyk (Mykyta Sheptytsky, Tyler Valentin), 5:00. 3, South, Matthew Jung (Justin Dunn, Nick Nitta), 5:18. 4, South, Hank Roers (Matthew Jung, Trent Kulczyk), 8:05. 5, South, Kyle Rimbach (Ryan Dunner, Colin O’Connor), 17:06. 6, NA3HL 18U Selects, Devin Panzeca (Jake Cox, Adam Havener), 19:52.

Third Period – 7, NA3HL 18U Selects, Max Doner (Sam Maddox), 7:36. 8, NA3HL 18U Selects, Devin Panzeca (Jake Cox, Adam Havener, Dominic Costello), 13:18. 9, NA3HL 18U Selects, Kohei Sato (Sam Maddox, Zach Greenwood), 19:44.

Shots on Goal –NA3HL 18U Selects 29, South 26.

Power-play Opportunities – NA3HL 18U Selects 0-for-0, South 0-for-1.

Attendance – Not Announced

Box Score: NA3HL 18U Selects vs. South

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