By Jim den Hollander
A pair of Wisconsin-based teams made up primarily of junior and senior varsity players both had a successful opening to the 2021 Chipotle USA Hockey Youth Tier II 18U National Championship tournament in Green Bay Thursday (April 29) afternoon.
Of the 32 teams that opened play Thursday, half are in the 3A Division including both the Janesville Jets and Green Bay Bobcats 18U teams.
The opened at the same time at the Cornerstone Ice Arena in Green Bay, the Jets earning a 4-0 shutout win against the Pittsburgh Predators in the Resch Olympic Pavilion while the Bobcats earned a Hilliard/Weyers Arena. Teams are playing in all three ice surfaces there as well as the De Pere Ice Arena.
Janesville Jets 4 Pittsburgh Predators 0
Isaac Frenette, an ‘02 senior at Chippewa Falls opened the scoring for the Jets and added a set ups on a pair of middle period markers scored by Mason Manglitz (’02 senior, Onalaska) and Calvin Grass (’03 senior Fond du Lac Springs) at the Resch Olympic Pavilion.
The final nail came from Cade Janecke an ’02 senior from Monroe who also played a couple games at the end of the season with the Oregon Tradesmen of the NA3HL.
Goaltenders John Schroeder (’03 University School) and Ian Hedican (’02 Madison West) split the work in goal, sharing a 21-save shutout as the Jets outshot the Preds by a 38-21 margin. The Jets keepers both made some impressive stops, in particular Hedican at the start of the third period as the Predators followed the game’s only intermission with some inspired play in the opening minutes looking for a goal that would vault them back into the contest.
Hedican made the early saves and an early goal, although disallowed shifted momentum back in the Jets’ favor as they went on to outshoot the Preds 17-10 through the final 17 minutes.
The Jets are one of four teams in the Olympic Division and will play its second round-robin game against the Minnesota Moose at 12:15 p.m. Friday. The Moose also won its first contest, 7-2 against the Igloo Jaguars from New Jersey. This game will be played in the Hilliard/Weyers Arena.
Green Bay Bobcats 2 Team Ohio 1
The host Cats rallied back from a 1-0 first period deficit at the Hilliard Weyers Arena thanks in part to a standout effort between the pipes from Lincoln Simons (’04 Ashwaubenon) who handled 31 of 32 shots against, including everything he saw after Team Ohio hit the mesh 14 seconds into the contest.
Teig Dreisen (’03 Ashwaubenon) evened the score with his goal 6:22 into the middle period from Thoms Vandelist from De Pere.
Teams were even at the second period break and the Bobcats captured its first and only lead 5:04 into the final 17-minute session as Dayne Deanovich (’03 Fond du Lac Springs) sank the game winner from Grady Coppo from De Pere and Cooper Routheau from Green Bay.
The Bobcats hope to carry the momentum from its comeback win into its second round-robin contest in the USA Division at 2:30 p.m. Friday at the Hilliard/Weyers rink against the Cheektowaga Rec Hockey team from New York.
Round-robin matches will wrap up Saturday with half the field eliminated there. The top two teams in each of the four divisions will return to play Quarterfinals and semis Sunday and the National Championship will be decided at 11:15 a.m. Monday.
Anyone who can’t make it to Green Bay can follow the action on HockeyTV. Also, for more information go to http://www.nationals.usahockey.com and follow the links for the Tier II 18U Nationals.