Minor White, NOW Prospects Minor champions.
Minor Third Place
It didn't take long for extra-session heroics on Friday, the final day of the NOW Prospects Combine, as Minor Maroon squashed a valiant four-goal comeback attempt for a 6-5 overtime win.
Minor Maroon stormed to a 5-1 lead during the game, powered by first-half goals from Mason Jenson, Holden Pajor, and Ray Walen. Barely stemming the tide for Minor Gold was a goal by Henri Ament. Parker Deschene and Walen scored early in the second half to extend the Minor Maroon lead to 5-1 and held that advantage for precisely three minutes and 21 seconds.
Being in a four-goal hole sparked Minor Gold, as Taven James and Henri Ament pulled the team within striking distance at 5-3 before Luke Myers notched the next two goals to tie the contest. A three-on-three overtime session followed, in which Minor Maroon's Holden Pajor breezed into the Minor Gold zone and roofing a shot for the game-winner.
Another one-goal thriller followed the first game of the morning, as Minor White held off Minor Grey for a 7-6 win in the Minor Division championship game. Six players scored for Minor White, with Carson Kingbay, Tyler Hess, Mitchell Olson, and Josh Toll all chipping in goals during the first half. Blake Schultz and Nolan Geerdes each scored once for Minor Grey in the opening frame.
Minor Grey soared out of the gates in the second half, getting three straight goals, two from Garrett Lindberg and one from Blake Schultz. Minor White answered with goals from Cooper Simpson and Joseph Fankhanel. Caden Schlattman pushed the lead to 7-5, and Minor White held off the late charge after Minor Grey's Blake Schultz finished his hat-trick.
Minor Maroon's Holden Pajor goes top-shelf for the game-winning goal on Friday morning.
Bryce Wiitala, Minor White.
Major Third Place
The trend of tight games continued into the Major Division, as Major White scored a 4-3 win over Major Grey. The teams were tied after the first half at 2-2, with Luke Giuliani and Connor Crowley scored for Major Grey and David Kukkonen and Liam Kyle putting points on the board for Major White. Kyle notched this second goal early in the second half, and Thomas Herman stretched the lead to 4-2. Major Grey's Giuliani pulled his team within one, but the Major White defense stiffened and held off the comeback.
Four games, four chaotic finishes at Mariucci.
Alex Gelhar and Will Zellers scored back-to-back goals to put Major Gold up 2-0 over Major Maroon, and seemingly ahead for good. However, Gavin Anderson scored early in the second half, and Jordan Geike tied the game with just under seven minutes left in the game. Knotted at 2-2, Major Maroon's Tanner Bruender ripped a wrist shot past Major Gold's Isaiah Paulnock to the game-winning tally with 53 seconds left in regulation.
Zach Price, Major White.
Major Maroon, NOW Prospects Major champions.
Offensive MVP: Bryce Wiitala
Defensive MVP: Sam Laurila
Best Goaltender: Zach Price
Best Camper: Andrew O'Neill
Bryce Wiitala, Minor Prospects forward MVP.
Offensive MVP: Jordan Geike
Defensive MVP: Tommy Moen
Best Goalie: Brayton Levesque
Best Camper: Nolan Barker
Nolan Barker, Major Prospects Best Camper.
Ben Carey, Major Maroon.