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Shattuck-St. Mary's overpowering in title clincher

By John Raffel, 04/04/07, 5:00PM MDT


FRASER, Mich. -- Shattuck-St. Mary's peppered the net with a 41-17 shots advantage and came away with a 5-2 victory against the Cape Cod Whalers in USA Hockey's Tier I 18 & Under National Championship game on Sunday.

That shots advantage was built early, too, as Shattuck held a 33-8 advantage over the first two periods, though it held only a 3-2 lead. After a scoreless first period, the two teams combined for five goals in
the second period.

The scoring started early in the frame when Ben Blood scored on the power play for Shattuck-St. Mary's, assisted by David Carle and Jeff Smith.

Cape Cod scored moments later, just five seconds into a power play, on a goal by Brian Gibbons, assisted by Tim Corcoran and Paul Carey.

With 11:50 to play in the second, Shattuck again extended its lead, to 2-1, when Stephan Novotny
scored, assisted by David Toews and Jordan Murray.

At 8:08, Cape Cod answered on a goal by Mike Griffin, assisted by Matt McCollem and Derrick Rallis.

Less than five minutes later, however, Shattuck jumped ahead for good when Jeff Smith converted on a goal assisted by Toews and Novotny for the 3-2 lead.

Late in the game and trailing, 3-2, Cape Cod was working on a five-on-three power play for 90 seconds. But a breakaway chance for Toews forced a penalty from Cape Cod. Derek Stepan scored with 4:07 to play, assisted by Ben Younds. Minutes later, Stepan scored into the empty net, assisted by Eli Zuck, to clinch the victory.

"The first goal when it was 3-2 was really huge," Stepan said. "I've been in a slump. It was great to score and help us out. It was great to put the puck in the net. We knew we had to finish up the game."

"We gave up a lot of penalties today," said Cape Cod head coach Rob Griffin. "When you play shorthanded a lot, you give up a lot of shots. The penalties against us were too much to overcome. We weren't disciplined enough.

"We lost to Shattuck twice this week," Griffin continued. "I have a special bunch of kids. They're going to go to schools and do good things at the next level."

Said Shattuck head coach Tom Ward: "We were defending them very well. We played better as the weekend went on."

In preliminary round action, Shattuck-St. Mary's lost, 6-5, to Belle Tire and then defeated the Buffalo Saints, 6-5, and Cape Cod, 5-1. In the quarterfinals, Shattuck-St. Mary's prevailed, 3-1, against Colorado and won, 3-1, against Russell Stover.

Cape Cod started the tournament with a 10-2 win against the South Florida Golden Wolves and then beat Honeybaked, 4-0, before the first loss to Shattuck. In the quarterfinals, the Whalers won, 6-3, against Anaheim and beat the Philadelphia Junior Flyers, 5-3, in the semifinals.

Story courtesy Red Line Editorial, Inc.