CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The intensity ramped up here in Charlotte, North Carolina, as the final eight teams competed in quarterfinal matchups to determine the final four at the Youth Tier I 14U National Championship.
In the opening game of the day, top-seeded Compuware held off Shattuck-St. Mary’s for a 2-1 victory to advance to tomorrow’s semifinals. A perfect 8-for-8 performance on the penalty kill, including a pair of successful five-on-three kills, buoyed the Compuware effort in what was a very physical playoff matchup.
“To start off, I have to give a tremendous amount of credit to Shattuck,” said Ryan Barnes, head coach of Compuware. “They were the more disciplined team today. We feel pretty fortunate that we found a way to win.”
Compuware struck first when Eddie Shepler buried a centering pass from Noah Laba 4:17 into the game. Compuware killed off three penalties, including 1:37 of a Shattuck five-on-three advantage, before Shattuck answered with a slap shot from the point by Shai Buium to tie the score with 3:20 left in the opening period.
The teams traded chances in a penalty-filled middle period, but were unable to net the go-ahead goal before the second intermission. The highlight of the period was a sprawling stick save by Shattuck netminder Marino Ramirez during a Compuware power play in the closing minutes of the period.
Laba netted the game-winner on the power play with 6:41 remaining. Goaltender Will Fox made nine of his 23 saves in the final period to help Compuware hold the 2-1 advantage.
Compuware advances to take on the Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers in the semifinals tomorrow.
“We’re ecstatic with the result,” said Barnes. “Major credit goes to our goaltender Will (Fox) for bailing us out at times. There’s a lot on the line tomorrow and we gotta be ready to go in the semifinals.”
Mid-Fairfield Rangers 4, Little Caesars 3 - Matthew McGroaty netted the game-winner 3:05 into overtime to lift the Rangers to a 4-3 victory in the quarterfinals. Mid-Fairfield also got two goals from Patrick Neal and a tally from Michael Salandra. Griffin Jurecki scored twice for Little Caesars, including the game-tying goal with 2:24 to play. Niklas Miller also netted a marker for Little Caesars. Conor Callaghan made 27 saves for the Rangers to earn the win in goal.
Boston Jr. Eagles 7, Buffalo Jr. Sabres 1 - Seven different players scored for the Boston Jr. Eagles in a 7-1 victory over Buffalo. Timmy Delay, Culin Wilson, Jack Hughes, Nolan Joyce, William Elias, Michael Callow and William Hughes tallied for Boston. Brady Hildreth scored for Buffalo. Nicholas Bevilacqua made 14 saves in net for Boston.
Pittsburgh Penguins Elite 5, Perinton Youth Hockey 0 - Pittsburgh pulled away from Perinton with four third-period goals en route to a 5-0 victory. Jackson Morehouse scored 2:15 into the contest before Nicholas Sewecke, Shawn O'Donnell, Ty Voit and Colby Saganiuk broke the game open with goals in the final period. Michael Brown backstopped the Penguins with 16 saves. Nicholas Anderson stopped 39 shots for Perinton.