By Jim den Hollander
Home turf is proving to be a great advantage for both Wisconsin teams in the 2021 Chipotle USA Hockey Tier II 18U National Championship tournament in Green Bay so far.
The Green Bay Bobcats team pushed its record to 2-0 and punched its ticket to the playoff rounds with a 5-2 win against Cheektowaga (N.Y.) Rec Hockey while the Janesville Jets 18U squad rallied back from a one-goal deficit five times before settling the contest with a 6-5 win in shootout against the Minnesota Moose.
Green Bay Bobcats 5 Cheektowaga Rec 2
Lincoln Simons (’04 Ashwaubenon) turned in another strong effort in the blue paint, stopping all 19 shots he faced through the first two periods allowing the Bobcats to build a 3-0 cushion despite being outshot 19-13 through the stretch.
Two goals a little more than three minutes apart had the New Yorkers within a shot, but the Cats took over down the stretch with two insurance markers 38-seconds apart inside the final four minutes of the contest.
Grady Coppo, (’03 junior De Pere), Cooper Routheau (’03 Green Bay) and Dayne Deanovich (’03 junior Fond du Lac Springs) both collected a goal and a helper in the contest with other goals for Sean Samels (’03 senior Bay Port) and Alexander Freund (’03 Neenah-Hortonville-Menasha). Tanner Newton (’03 junior De Pere) and Tyler Brady (’03 senior Bay Port) both collected a pair of assists.
With the win, the Bobcats climb to 2-0 with one game left on its round robin schedule Saturday at 12:15 p.m. against the 0-2 Littleton Hawks from Colorado. The Cats have clinched a spot in Sunday morning’s quarterfinal matches but its opponent is still to be determined.
Janesville Jets 6 Minnesota Moose 5 (so)
Janesville Jets upped its record to 2-0 with a thrilling 6-5 shootout edge against the Minnesota Moose Friday at Cornerstone Ice Arena in De Pere.
The Jets never led in the contest but rallied back from one-goal deficits five times to force the five-minute overtime session which settled nothing, and the five round shootout that saw Mason Manglitz (’02 senior, Onalaska) firing the lone goal. Meanwhile Ian Hedican (’02, Madison West) added five more stops to the 30 he collected during the 56-minutes played in the four earlier periods.
Isaac Frenette (’02 senior Chippewa Falls) enjoyed another big game, scoring twice for a total of five points in the first two games of the tournament. Daniel Amberg (’03 Tomah) scored the goal that tied the game at 5-5 and sent it to overtime with other goals for Boone Mathison (’02 Tomah) and Jordan Degaetano (’03 Onalaska). Defenseman Connor Byrne (’03 Eau Claire Memorial) and forward Alexander Duchemin (’03 Madison West) both picked up two assists.
The Jets showed great resilience and intestinal fortitude, battling back and shrugging off a so-so first period that saw them trailing 2-1 and outshot 16-7. It was the Jets with a 12-6 and 12-8 margin through the final two frames, but the Moose grabbed control with a 5-1 advantage through the five-minute overtime frame.
Both the Moose and Jets were winners in opening day play at the tournament, so the Jets take the overall points margin in the pool with 5 of a possible six so far. But they will face a desperate Igloo Jaguars team that kept its own hopes of a playoff spot alive with a 4-1 win against the Pittsburgh Predators Friday.
Game time for the final round robin contest will once again be 12:15 p.m. Saturday at the Resch Olympic Pavilion once again.
All games can be viewed on HockeyTV.