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Yocum Locks Up Net; Wins in Shootout for Chesterfield

By Scott Alan Salomon, 04/08/17, 6:15PM MDT


Falcons rely on netminder in second game of 14U nationals

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. -- Andrew Yocum is knee-high to a grasshopper, but when he spreads his wings he can go from side to side with the best of them. He protects that net like a bird protecting its chicks and does not let anyone or anything near the goal line.

Yocum, 14, plays for the 14U Chesterfield Falcons and led his team to an impressive 3-2 shootout victory over the Hershey Bears Friday night in their second game of the 2017 USA Hockey Youth Tier II 14U National Championships.

“You gotta give our goalie credit, he did all the work tonight,” said Falcons coach Joe Watson. “He bore down and kept us in the game all night long. I thought he was just spectacular in the shootout.

“The goalie won us the game tonight, plain and simple.”

Yocum, not used to all the attention or the spotlight, was more matter of fact after the game and spread the glory among his defensemen.

“I made some big stops, but I have to credit the guys in front of me,” Yocum said. “They were up to the task every time the puck came down. They would not let anything get past them.”

Yocum said he was nervous heading into the shootout because he did not stop many in practice this week. He came up aces and stopped four of six shots.

“The butterflies were definitely there tonight heading into the shootout,” Yocum said. “It could have gone either way. I am just glad I was up to the challenge and I guessed right a few more times than I guessed wrong.”

Final/SO 1 2 3 OT1 T
Chesterfield Falcons 1 0 1 0 3
Hershey Jr Bears 1 0 1 0 2
/ Florida Panthers Iceden / MEZZ

Forward Dominic Kraus, who scored the goal to give the Falcons a brief 2-1 lead, gave Yocum all the credit.

“We were all leaning on Andrew tonight and he came up big for us,” Kraus said. “We were trying to do too much with the puck and turned it over too many times and left him in difficult situations and he came up big for us.”

Kraus said that on his goal, he took the puck on the right side of the goal and turned, fired and scored. He said that they were trying to be too fancy the whole night and that is why their sheet was cleaner than anticipated.

“We just did not do anything right tonight on offense,” Kraus said. “It was a sloppy game and we have to bounce back and play better. We can’t leave it up to Andrew again and hope that he plays like Superman again.”

Watson agreed.

“I did not like a whole lot of what I saw tonight outside of the goaltending,” Watson said. “It’s sad, but it’s true. We did not play well on offense and turned the puck over too much. We would not get it out of the corners and we struggled too much. We have got to play better.”

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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2017 USA Hockey National Championship Sites

Division Location Host Dates
Youth Tier I (14U) Scottsdale, Arizona Arizona Amateur Hockey April 6-10, 2017
Youth Tier I (15-year-olds only) Scottsdale, Arizona Arizona Amateur Hockey April 6-10, 2017
Youth Tier I (16U, 18U) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Penguins Elite April 6-10, 2017
Girls Tier I Rochester/Macomb, Michigan HoneyBaked Hockey Club April 6-10, 2017
Women's A, B, C Rochester/Macomb, Michigan HoneyBaked Hockey Club April 6-9, 2017
High School Cleveland, Ohio Cleveland Suburban Hockey March 22-26, 2017
Girls Tier II Troy, Michigan Troy Youth Hockey Association April 6-10, 2017
Youth Tier II (14U) Coral Springs, Florida Florida Panthers Ice Den April 6-10, 2017
Youth Tier II (16U) Frisco, Texas Texas Amateur Hockey April 6-10, 2017
Youth Tier II (18U) Lansing, Michigan Lansing Hockey Club April 6-10, 2017
Sled San Jose, California Sharks Ice April 6-9, 2017
Adult Rec Men's Wesley Chapel, Florida Florida Hospital Center Ice April 20-23, 2017
Adult Rec Women's Ellenton, Florida Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex April 27-30, 2017