The 16th annual North American Hockey League (NAHL) Showcase is at the halfway point, and will continue through Saturday, at the Super Rink in Blaine, Minnesota.
All 24 NAHL teams will play four regular-season games at the Showcase, which is one of the league’s most prominent events of the entire season.
Aside from the report from NAHL Director of Communications Alex Kyrias, you will get an abbreviated Dish from me.
MN Wilderness 4 vs. Fairbanks 1 – The Wilderness decided to go ahead and show up Thursday morning and promptly dispatched the Ice Dogs in time to get a good brunch. Minnesota goaltender Kaleb Johnson (’01, Grand Forks ND) turned in a masterful performance stopping 34 or 35 in his NAHL debut. Something tells me this kid won’t be spending too much time in the league. A few more games like that and he’ll be in the United States Hockey League before turkey day. Fairbanks drop to 0-3-0-1 while the Wilderness move to 1-1-0-0.
Odessa 4 vs. New Jersey 3 – Odessa evened their season record up with a solid win over the Titans. The Jackalopes peppered Titans minder Brandon Perrone (’98, Smithtown NY) with 52 shots in one of the day’s early games. The Jackalopes improve to 2-2-0-1 while the Titans lose the first of the season and drop to 3-1-0-0.
Austin 2 vs. Lone Star 1 (SO) – It’s a good thing that Austin has a great relationship with the Mayo Clinic; because Bruins’ coach Steve Howard is going to have to get a weekly EKG if his team continues the habit of taking games to overtimes and shoot-outs. The Brahmas attack was anemic at best with a mere 14 shots on goal for the game. The Bruins remain undefeated at 2-0-0-0 while Lone Star take a 1-1-0-1 record into game three today.
Minot 5 vs. Jamestown 1 – Minot goaltender Ben Garrity (’00, Rosemount MN) turned away 37 of 38 Rebel shots to earn a solid win over Jamestown. Marty Murray’s team picks up their first win of the season and moves to 1-1-0-0. The vagabond Rebels drop to 1-1-0-0.
Brookings 4 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 2 – Moe Mantha’s Blizzard limited the Knights to just 17 shots; while getting off 35 of their own and cruised to an apparently easy win over the WB. Brookings evens their record at 1-1-0-0 while the Knights remain winless at 0-3-1-0.
Topeka 4 vs. MN Magicians 0 – Danish goalie Emil Gransoe (’98, Gentofte DEN) stopped all 31 shots he faced in the shutout win over the Magicians. The Pilots are now 4-1-0-0 for the season; the Magicians drop to even at 1-1-0-0.
Amarillo 4 vs. Chippewa Falls 1 – Amarillo introduced the Steel to Texas style hockey Thursday, beating the Steel 4-1. Brenden Datema (’99, Sterling Heights MI) scored twice to lead the Bulls run. Amarillo raises their record to 2-1-0-0 while the Steel drop to 2-2-0-0.
Aberdeen 1 vs. Kenai River 0 – In one of the better defensive battle of the day, the Wings shutout Kenai River 1-0. The Wings’ Matt Vernon (’98, San Jose CA) turned away all 24 shots he faced while counterpart Kevin Lake (’98, Anchorage AK) stopped 18 of 19.
Corpus Christi 7 vs. Johnstown 3 – Jordan Randall (’00, Maple Grove MN) erupted for three goals, Santeri Hartikainen (’99, Helsinki, FIN) add a few more to lead Corpus Christi to their first win of the season over Johnstown. The IceRays improve to 1-3-0-0, Johnstown earn the first loss of the year and drop to 3-1-0-0.
Maryland 4 vs. Bismarck 7 – The Bobcats and Black Bears offenses combined for 11 goals from 80 shots in Bismarck’s late-night win. Bismarck remains undefeated at 2-0-0-0 while the expansion Maryland drops to 1-2-1-0.
Janesville 3 vs. Shreveport 1 – JTJ Sagissor (’99, Stillwater MN) scored twice to lead Janesville to a big 3-1 win over the defending Robertson Cup champion Mudbugs. Jets’ netminder Garrett Nieto (’98, Yorba Linda CA) stopped 34 of the 35 shots he faced to earn the win. The second straight win evens Janesville record at 2-2-0-0. The result was the first loss for the Mudbugs this season and their record drops to 3-1-0-0.
Springfield 3 vs Northeast 1 – Ben Schmidling (’98, St. Joseph MO) lit the lamp twice in the second period to lead his Blues past the Generals. Caleb Hannon (’99, Buffalo NY) turned away 32 of 33 Generals’ shots to secure the win. The win evens the Blues record at 1-1-0-0. The Generals drop to 1-1-0-0.
Day Two play was quick and much crisper than the opening. Scouts on had continued to praise the league for the level of professionalism shown by the players, staffs, and league representatives.