MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. – A hat trick from Zachary Cline lifted Honeybaked past the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite, 4-3, in the final day of pool play at the Chipotle-USA Hockey 16U National Championship.
At the start of the first, Justin Varner had back-to-back scoring opportunities for Honeybaked on an early power play, including a puck that kicked out right out to him in front, but could not capitalize.
Honeybaked’s Owen West opened the scoring 6:45 into the game. West landed a wrist shot in the back of the net off a cross-ice pass from Nolan Abraham.
Five minutes later, the Penguins knotted the score up, 1-1, when Matthew Dimarsico nabbed his first goal of the game for Pittsburgh. Following a 3-on-2 rush for the Penguins, Dimarsico cleaned up a rebound from down along the goal line that found the back of the net. The score remained tied at 1-1 heading into the second.
Less than five minutes into the second frame, Honeybaked regained the lead when Cline scored his first of the day, giving Honeybaked the 2-1 advantage. Pittsburgh looked to even the score with 9:10 to play in the second during a commotion in front of Honeybaked’s net, but the scored remained 2-1.
Pittsburgh evened things up once again with just over five minutes to go in the middle frame. Dimarsico scored his second goal of the day when he scooped up the puck near the faceoff dot, curled around into the slot and buried the puck in the top left corner of the net.
With the clock ticking down in the second, Cline reclaimed the lead, scoring his second of the day to give Honeybaked a 3-2 advantage going into the second intermission.
Cline tipped his hat 3:10 into the third period, scoring a short-handed goal on a breakaway after Owen Dyer fed him the puck up the middle. Pittsburgh’s Adam Mahler cut Honeybaked’s lead in half with over 10 minutes remaining in the third, but the Penguins were unable to come all the way back and the score remained 4-3 at the end of regulation.
Honeybaked goaltender Trent Boryszczuk stopped 30 shots to back his team to victory, while Pittsburgh goaltender Justin Ennis finished with 24 saves.
Four-point performances from Mick Thompson and Quentin Musty boosted the NJ Avalanche to a 5-2 victory over the Colorado Thunderbirds in the final day of pool play. Musty registered two goals and two assists, while Thompson earned a goal and three assists.
After leading 5-1 heading into the third period, Fox Motors held off the Nashville Jr. Predators to win 6-5 to close out pool play. Brendan Lamb recorded two of the six goals for Fox Motors and Ryan Harris led Fox Motors with three total points (1g, 2a). Rylan Brady scored the game-winning goal in the third to secure the win for Fox Motors.
Merril Steenari scored a hat trick and added an assist on the game-winning goal to help the Anaheim Jr. Ducks defeat the NE Wisconsin Jr. Gamblers 4-3 in overtime. Russell Bustamante netted the game-winning goal in overtime and Ducks’ goaltender Miles Roberts backstopped Anaheim to victory with a 36-save performance.
The Buffalo Saints scored four-straight to push past the RI Saints 4-3 in their last pool play matchup. John Kneidel (1g, 1a) and Dylan Wegner (2a) each captured two points and Colin Winn made 25 saves for Buffalo.
Drake Nabozny netted the game-winning goal in overtime to lift the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies past the Dallas Stars Elite 3-2 in extra time. After trailing 2-0 after the first, the Grizzlies scored three unanswered goals to win it in overtime. Dallas goaltender Cameron Hollands racked up 39 saves for the stars, while Oakland goaltender Hayden Hurt finished with 22 saves for the Grizzlies.
After being tied 1-1 to start, the NJ Rockets scored four unanswered goals to claim a 5-1 victory over the Sioux Falls Power in their final game of pool play. Stepan Kuznetsov scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Rockets with three points. Joseph Cartigiano recorded 33 saves for the Rockets.
It all came down to a shootout for the Seacoast Spartans and Shattuck St. Mary’s on the final day of pool play and the Spartans came out on top 4-3. Kyle Smyth scored the equalizer 6:47 into the third period to force overtime. Jordan Bezio, Kim Hilmersson and Alexander Weiermair all scored for the Spartans during the shootout.