After trailing 2-0 heading into the third period, Sioux Falls scored three unanswered goals, including the game-winner in overtime, to upset Shattuck-St. Mary's, 3-2, in their opening game of the 2021 Chipotle-USA Hockey National Championships. Jayden Perron earned an assist on the game-tying goal in the third and notched the overtime game-winner to secure the win for Sioux Falls.
“I’m really proud of our group,” said Noelle Needham, head coach of the Sioux Falls Power 16U team. “Their ability to stay even-keeled and to have confidence in themselves after we got down and to battle back like that and win and score three unanswered goals. It really shows the character of this team and I’m really proud of that.”
Following a scoreless first period, Shattuck-St. Mary's jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead, scoring back-to-back goals to start the second period.
Noah Eyre opened up the scoring just over two minutes into the second period, netting a power-play goal to put Shattuck-St. Mary's up 1-0.
Two minutes after Eyre’s goal, Kazimier Sobieski added another tally to Shattuck’s lead off an odd-man-rush to put the Minnesota-based team ahead, 2-0, going into the third period.
Sioux Falls got on the board early in the third when Ethan Hull scored two minutes in to cut Shattuck’s lead in half. Ryan Johnson backhanded the puck out to Hull from behind the net and Hull buried it home.
With less than 10 minutes left to play in regulation, Johnson evened the score, 2-2, when he capitalized on a one-timer on the back doorstep to send the game into overtime. Johnson finished the day with two points (1G, 1G) after picking up the assist on Hull’s goal.
Sioux Falls secured the victory 1:24 into the overtime period. Adam Armijo skated the puck up the ice and passed it off to Perron who held it across the crease and slid it into the back of the net for the win.
Needham added that this was the first time the team had won on the first day of tournament and while they were certainly going to relish the win, they were eager to start preparing for tomorrow’s game.
“Our whole focus this season has been on us primarily and what we can do and achieve,” Needham said. “Our philosophy of how we play and train is so important us and we’re pretty centered on our game and our group. We’ll enjoy it like everyone else, but we will also get together to watch film and prepare for tomorrow.”
With the game tied 3-3 in the third period, Elouann Lemonnier scored the game-winning goal with 12:39 left to play in the game. Lemonnier (1g, 2a) and Julian Beaumont (2g, 1a) finished with three points apiece for Dallas.
In a back-and-forth battle, Jack Ohanisain scored the game-winning goal for the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies with less than 10 minutes to go in the third period to give the Grizzlies a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Saints. Travis Bryson picked up the assist on Ohanisain’s game-winning goal.
Three players boasted multi-point performances to help the NJ Avalanche past the Seacoast Spartans 5-1. Zachary Wagnon (2g), Edward Romano (1g, 1a) and Jason Gallucci (2a) each recorded two points in the Avalanche’s 5-1 victory.
Cameron Briere notched the game-winning goal and Colin Roberts scored twice to give the Nashville Jr. Predators the victory over the NJ Avalanche. Kal Essenmacher led the Predators with three points after tallying assists on Nashville's first three goals.
Three different goal scorers highlighted the Colorado Thunderbirds 3-1 victory against Fox Motors. Fisher Scott, Patrick Raftery and Borya Valis each collected a goal for the Thunderbirds. Ryan Brick took credit for Fox Motors’ lone goal.
After trailing the Ducks 3-1 in the second period, the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite scored four unanswered goals to secure a 5-3 win against the Anaheim Jr. Ducks. Braedon Ford led Pittsburgh with three points (2g, 1a).
Nolan Abraham and Michael Mesic both tallied a goal and an assist to help Honeybaked defeat the NE Wisconsin Jr. Gamblers 5-2. Zachary Cline and Justin Varner recorded two assists apiece.