Dallas Stars Elite goaltender Joshua Henson attempts to make a save, but the puck sails over the net. (Photo by Carmo Photography)
WEST CHESTER – When a team records 14 penalties, it usually isn’t a recipe for success.
That wasn’t the case for the Cape Cod Whalers, however, in their second game of the USA Hockey Tier I 18U Youth National Championships.
Despite 13 trips to the penalty box in the first two periods alone, including two spells of being down two men, the Whalers used a four-goal third period to pull away from the Dallas Stars Elite and secure a 5-2 victory.
Cape Cod head coach Andrew Orpik acknowledged his team’s special teams and the play of his goalie as the keys to their latest victory.
“I think we relied heavily on our penalty kill,” Orpik said. “Our goaltender Matt Lane was unbelievable, especially on the penalty kill but all game I thought he played really well.”
“I think our guys did a good job binding together and weathering the storm a little bit and maybe more so getting back to what I would call our typical game in the third period of pretty simple, fast hockey,” he added.
As the one between the pipes during a penalty kill of seven and a half straight minutes, Lane called it “pretty crazy, but a lot of fun.”
“The intensity was flowing through me, even though I kind of took a penalty I wanted my team to know I’m behind them stopping pucks,” he said. “I wanted them to feel the intensity that I had.”
Deadlocked at one heading into the third, three straight scores from Evan Googins, Jay O’Brien and Jack Rathbone gave the Whalers a lead they would not relinquish.
Asked what the difference was in the final period, Orpik acknowledged the obvious: his team remained disciplined.
“To go into the third and come out 5-2 just shows the strength we have as a five-on-five team and even on the power play,” Orpik said. “I think our ability to stay out of the box with the depth we have allows us to roll three lines, get all six D involved and really get our game to where we think we can compete with anybody.”
The goals for the Stars came courtesy of Ethan Harrison and Anthony Bilka.
Even at 2-0, Orpik knows his team has to remain focused on the task at hand.
“I don’t try to focus on ‘OK we can sort of coast our way in,’” he said. “I don’t think you wanna afford yourself an opportunity to lay an egg in a game, go 2-1 and maybe not be playing the right game for that fourth game if you’re lucky enough to play it.”
Despite a limited number of practices as a team, Lane is excited at the direction he and his teammates are heading.
“I think we just have to stay with what we’re doing right now,” he said. “We’re playing crisp, hardnosed hockey right now and I’m proud of my team. I think we have a lot going for us right now.”
NJ Avalanche 5, Chicago Mission 0
A balanced attack spearheaded the offense for NJ in the victory over Chicago. Cole Edgerton, Adam Robbins, C.J. McGee, Nicholas Siffringer and Michael Conlin all scored for the Avalanche, while goalie Tate Brandon saved all 34 shots in in net to secure the shutout for NJ.
Culver Military Academy 6, Belle Tire 18U AAA 4
Brock Paul and Dylan Pitera each scored a pair of goals for Culver, while Patrick Schmiedlin and Jackson Pierson also found the back of the ent for CMA. Scoring for Belle Tire in defeat were Drew Cooper, Tyson Suggs, Grant Burkhard and Andrew Remer.
Mid Fairfield 7, Shattuck St. Mary's 6
Brett Willits recorded a hat trick for Mid Fairfield, Ryan Doolin added two goals, and Sean McAvoy and Matthew Holmes also scored for the Rangers. Shattuck received a hat trick of their own from Grant Silianoff, while Andrew Stoneman potted a pair of goals and Luke Mountain scored as well.
Yale Bulldogs National 4, Sioux Falls Jr. Stampede 18U AAA 1
After allowing the first goal of the game, the Bulldogs scored four unanswered goals to defeat Sioux Falls. Mark Amatetti, Alex Dipaolo, Kevin Wall and Zachary Pellegrino scored for Yale, and Maurice Newnam tallied the lone goal for the Jr. Stampede.
CCYHA 4, PAL Islanders 2
Kyle Haskins scored two third period goals to break a 2-2 deadlock and CCYHA picked up the victory over PAL. Christos Caminis and Zac Jones tallied the other two for CCYHA, with the Islanders goals coming courtesy of Michael Leva and Rocco DiCostanzo.
Eastern Mass Senators 3, Anaheim Jr. Ducks 2 (OT)
Patrick Borella scored 49 seconds into overtime to lift the Senators over the Jr. Ducks, who received goals from Leevi Selanne and Henri Schreifels. With 1:46 left in the game and trailing 2-1, Eastern Mass' Michael Outzen found the back of the net to tie the game at two. Cam Gendron opened the game's scoring 6:48 into the second period for the Senators.
CarShield 2, Tampa Scorpions 1 (OT)
Goals in the first period from CarShield's Jacob Wiethaupt and Tampa's Peter Morgan were the only scores until Otto Thiele found the back of the net 1:34 into the overtime. Kyle McClellan (CarShield) and James Grasinger (Tampa) both made 42 saves in net.