BYRN CENTER, Mich. — After nearly letting a national title slip through their fingers, Ashburn Xtreme defeated the Rogue Warriors, 5-4, in overtime at the 2A division to capture the 2021 USA Hockey-Chipotle Youth Tier II 16U National Championship.
The title game was a battle of unbeatens as the Xtreme came into the game winning all three tournament games, earning nine points to lead the American group of pool play. The Warriors also won all three of their tournament games and led the National group.
The Xtreme dominated the first two periods, taking a 3-0 lead into the third, but the Warriors pushed back to score four goals in the final frame to send the contest into overtime.
Ashburn looked to be running away with the game as the Xtreme scored in the first 20 seconds of the game and then scored again roughly three minutes later. Ryan Shiner scored the first goal off of an assist from Derek Zhou; Connor Gnatek followed with the second goal which was assisted by Zhou and Shiner.
Ashburn was able to bring pressure to the Warriors defense, shooting 16 shots on goal and also pressuring the Warriors offense, holding them to just six shots on goal in the first period.
Ashburn again added to its lead in the second as Kevin Shiner scored off assists from Zhou and Joshua Shewbridge to take a 3-0 lead over the Warriors. The Xtreme would take a 3-0 lead into the third period as they held the Warriors offense to just three shots on goal in the second.
The Xtreme came into the third period looking like they were playing relaxed hockey as the Warriors offense erupted and scored four goals off of 11 shots to tie the game, while on an extended power play.
The Warriors scored their first goal less than a minute into the third period to cut the deficit to 3-1, as Landon Cole got the puck to the back of the net off of an assist from Morley Phillips. Ashburn would, however, answer right back to give itself a 4-1 lead.
Following the goal from Ashburn, the Warriors would go on to score three consecutive goals. Christian Day, who scored on the power play, Chance Ferrell and Peter Mucciacco would all score to help the Warriors send the contest into overtime.
Both teams played well in the overtime period, however; the Warriors defense slipped up and allowed Ashburn to get a breakaway opportunity and Kyle Tinschert scored the game-winning goal to secure the 2A championship for the Xtreme.
Although the Warriors played a strong third period, they allowed the Xtreme to keep the puck in their zone constantly as Ashburn was able to generate 36 shots on goal.
The Xtreme played the contest while being shorthanded for 26 minutes off of five penalties. The Warriors went to the box six times and played 12 minutes shorthanded.
Zhou, Shiner and Tinschert were all key parts of Ashburn's success. Zhou was lethal with passing the puck as he led the team in assists on the day with three, which counted for all of his points. Shiner scored one goal and racked up two assists. Tinschert led the team in goals with two.
The Warriors did a solid job of distributing the puck as a different skater scored on each of their four goals. Riley Brady led the team in points on the day as he earned two on two assists.
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.