Members of the Jr. Ducks celebrate the game-tying goal during Saturday's 3-2 victory over the Boston Jr. Eagles. (Photo by Carmo Photography)
WEST CHESTER – Any time a game goes into a shootout, the spotlight shifts to the two goaltenders standing between the pipes.
That spotlight wasn’t too big for Anaheim Jr. Ducks net minder Tyler Shea, as he saved all five shots he faced in a 3-2 shootout victory over the Boston Jr. Eagles at the USA Hockey Tier I 16U Youth National Championships.
After Ducks forward Jonathan Panisa opened the shootout with what would be the only goal needed, Shea knew it was time to do his part.
“It was pretty unreal,” he said. “Coach told me a few things about the other team like their tendencies and stuff, I just had to stay composed and read the shot and make the save.”
Despite facing a 2-0 deficit heading into the final period, Anaheim stormed back with two power play goals from Jackson Niedermayer and Garrett Wright.
When they were awarded a five-on-three with 10:47 left in the game and still trailing by two, Ducks head coach Craig Johnson called a timeout to set up a play.
It turned out to be the right move, as on the ensuing face off Niedermayer received a pass from Panisa and one-timed it past Eagles goalie Derek Mullahy to cut the lead in half.
Just 1:02 later, Wright cut across the middle and wristed a shot that beat Mullahy to knot the game at 2.
Niedermayer was quick to praise Shea for his performance in net.
“It’s good when you know you have a goalie like T-Shea back there in net keeping us in every game that we play in,” he said. “It’s a huge confidence booster when he comes up with some big saves like that, it keeps us in the game and it did today.”
“His performance was unbelievable, not just the shootout,” Johnson said. “The shootout was phenomenal, but in the first two periods when they controlled the play, when there were a lot of grade A opportunities, he was there to shut the door. He was outstanding all game.”
With a perfect record in pool play and a spot secured in the quarterfinals, Johnson knows it’s a clean slate.
“We go into the quarterfinals and know all eight teams have a chance to win it,” he said. “Every shift, every period we’re gonna have to be on our toes and not sit back watching. We’re gonna give it our best shot.”
Chicago Mission 5, NJ Avalanche 0
The Mission scored three goals in the third period, and were led offensively by a two-goal performance from John Johnson in the win over the Avalanche. Camded Thiesing, Thomas Weis and Wyatt Schingoethe also scored for Chicago, who finished 3-0 in pool play.
Little Caesars 9, Washington Little Capitals 2
Eight different players recorded a goal for Little Caesars, who booked a spot in the quarterfinals after defeating the Little Capitals. Jacob Cook was the only player to score multiple goals with two, with both coming in a stretch of five straight LC goals. Also scoring for Caesars were Antonio Stranges, Lewis Rowan, Sam Antenucci, Max Klanow, Burkhart Mason and Laker Aldridge. Both goals for Washington were scored by Zachary Murray.
Chicago Young Americans 2, Esmark Stars 1
Seth Trewyn scored the decisive game winner for Chicago on a power play 4:37 into the third period to defeat the Stars. CYA opened the scoring less than a minute into the game courtesy of Holt Oliphant, but Esmark responded 4:25 later on a power play tally from Milan Cermak. Luke Greenwood stopped 25 of the 26 shots he faced in net for the Young Americans.
Team Wisconsin 6, Oakland Jr. Grizzlies 3
Four power play goals for Team Wisconsin were the difference in their 6-3 win over Oakland. Sam Stange scored twice in the third period for Wisconsin, his first coming 24 seconds in on the man advantage. Mason McCormick, John Prokop, Jack Rhode and Frank Dovorany also recorded goals for Wisconsin. Getting in the goal column for the Jr. Grizzlies were Austen Swankler, Ryan Waltman and Andrei Bakanov.
Sioux Falls Jr. Stampede 3, Dallas Stars Elite 2
After falling behind 2-0, Sioux Falls scored three consecutive goals to come back and defeat Dallas. The game winner came via a Keith Schenkel shorthanded goal 6:02 into the third. Charles Obobaifo got the comeback started for the Stampede, and Killian Kiecker-Olson equalized just 35 seconds into the third.
Buffalo Jr. Sabres 5, Shattuck St. Mary's 2
Honeybaked 5, CCYHA 4 (SO)
Mitchell Miller scored the game-winning goal in the seventh round of the shootout to give Honeybaked the dramatic victory over CCYHA. Avery Hayes scored two for Honeybaked, and Jacob Badal and Sahil Panwar found the back of the net as well. Ryan Coughlin scored a pair of power play goals for CCYHA, with Matt Crasa and Joseph Santoro also getting on the score sheet