Chaos ensues in front of Little Caesars goaltender Joseph Tynan during Friday's contest. (Photo by Carmo Photography)
WEST CHESTER – Chicago Mission head coach Anders Sorensen doesn’t know how Kyle Aucoin’s game-winning goal went in.
All he knows is his team moved to 2-0 at the USA Hockey Tier I 16U Youth National Championships after defeating Little Caesars 2-1 on Friday.
“It looked like a scramble, I just know that Aucoin dove in there, he looked like he floated over everybody there, it was hard to see where it went or how it went in but we’ll take it.”
Aucoin attributed his game winner to the hustle of his teammate Jack Horbach, who forced a turnover by Caesars goalie Joseph Tynan.
“I saw their goalie come out, he was kind of just fiddling with the puck,” Aucoin said. “(Horbach) is always going hard so we were trying to put some pressure on the goalie. He caused some traffic in front so I kind of just saw the puck and put it on net and good things happened.”
Only one day removed from an explosive 8-0 win over the Washington Little Capitals, Sorensen knew his team was in for a different type of contest this time around.
“I thought it was kind of a slow game, I think it looked like they were trying to slow us down in the neutral zone with a 1-3-1 so we had a hard time getting going,” he said. “I thought our guys mentally stayed in the game and didn’t give too many pucks away.”
“We just have to stick to our good habits,” Aucoin added. “Yesterday the team was a little weaker so we knew this one was gonna be difficult. We just kept playing defense because if you do well on defense it’ll alternate and it’ll help you play great offense.”
With the goals not flowing like their first game, Sorensen acknowledged the importance of keeping his guys focused offensively.
“I think that’s the biggest thing for this group for sure,” he said. “They wanna score, we have a lot of weapons but those guys have to understand too that you gotta do the right things to get there and understand a game like this one you’re not gonna get as many chances.”
After Laker Aldridge opened the scoring for Caesars with a little over a minute remaining in the first period, the Mission equalized just 3:38 into the second on a power play goal from Wyatt Schingoethe.
With two different types of wins, Aucoin knows it’s vital for the team’s confidence moving forward.
“It’s very important, we’re gonna have to come hard every game,” he said. “We just gotta be excited to play each game and stick to our habits and keep working hard.”
Oakland Jr. Grizzlies 5, Sioux Falls Jr Stampede 1
Oakland scored the first five goals of the game, highlighted by a three-goal second period. Austen Swankler, owen Michaels, Braden Lindstrom, Andrei Bakanov and Nick Nardecchia all scored for the Jr. Grizzlies, while Maxwell Tobin scored the lone Sioux Falls goal. At least two assists for Oakland were recorded by Dalton Norris (3), Nicholas O'Hanisain (2) and Lindstrom (2).
Honeybaked 7, Buffalo Jr. Sabres 2
Jacob Badal scored a hat trick and Dylan Wendt added two goals to pace Honeybaked in their victory over Buffalo. Avery Hayes and Carson Riddle scored the other two for Honeybaked, with the Jr. Sabres receiving goals from Colby Seitz and Paul Cartone.
CCYHA 5, Shattuck St. Mary's 1
Two goals from Matt Crasa highlighted a four-goal opening period for CCYHA in their victory over Shattuck St. Mary's. Joining Crasa in the scoring column for CCYHA were Josh Lawrence, Jack Robilotti and Ethan Phillips. Shattuck's lone goal came courtesy of Mackie Samoskevich, who scored for the second straight game.
NJ Avalanche 10, Washington Little Capitals 1
The Avalanche's offensive outburst was led by a hat trick from Christian Sarlo, and two goals apiece from Michael Posma, Kenny Riddett and Travis Treloar. Alexandros Gaffney tallied a goal for NJ, with Washington's only goal coming courtesy of Victor Musoke.
Boston Jr. Eagles 3, Chicago Young Americans 2
Two power play goals from Harrison Bazianos and Cooper Jones weren't enough for Chicago as a late push for an equalizer fell unsuccessful against Boston. Goals for the Jr. Eagles were scored by Chase McInnis, Phillip Tresca and Sasha Teleguine, with one coming in each period.
Anaheim Jr Ducks 5, Esmark Stars 2
Joshua Groll scored two first period goals en rout to a hat trick in Anaheim's victory over Esmark. Benjamin Biester and Garrett Wright joined Groll in the score column for the Jr. Ducks, while Matsvei Kurlovich and Lane Ruffner were responsible for the Stars' goals.
Team Wisconsin 4, Dallas Stars Elite 0
After a scoreless first 20 minutes, Wisconsin scored three second period goals in a span of two minutes and 37 seconds from Sam Techel, Barrett Brooks and Sam Stange. Jake Schmaltz added the fourth goal in the final period, while goaltender Garrett Larsen only had to make seven saves en rout to a shutout.