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Shattuck-St. Mary’s U16s loses to Omaha Lancers AAA

By frederick61, 03/24/13, 3:30AM CDT


Omaha’s Lawton Courtnall’s shot is on the way into the net to tie Shattuck 2-2 in second period of Saturday’s game won by the Lancers 4-3 in overtime/shootout

In a game played at Shattuck-St. Mary’s New Arena Saturday evening in Faribault Mn, the Shattuck U16 team lost the opening game of a three game series with the Omaha Lancers AAA U16 team 4-3.  It was the Sabres’ 14th loss this season.

The three game series is the final regular season hockey games for the Sabres team as they prepare for the USA U16 National Tournament to played in Pittsburgh PA April 3-7.  The Sabres are currently ranked #8 out of the 166 U16 teams playing AAA hockey this year.  The Lancers are ranked #12.

After a long Christmas layoff, the Shattuck has struggled going 5-4-1 in the New Year.  Both teams played last night’s game missing their top players.
Shattuck’s Jordan Greenway (Potsdam NY) and Omaha’s Christian Evers (Waukee, Iowa), Ethan Price (Lincoln Neb), and Tarek Baker (Verona, Wi) had been invited to the 2013 National Team Development Program Evaluation Camp being held this weekend.

Jordan is the Sabre’s top scorer; Price is the Lancer’s top scorer.  The Lancers’ Baker and Evers are also in Omaha’s top 10 in scoring.  The Lancers would have to rely on Lawton Courtnall and Kyle Pavata, two of their remaining top scorers.

Tom Novak (St Thomas Academy and River Falls Wisconsin), Tanner Tweten (East Grand Forks), Tye Ausmus (East Grand Forks), Colin Gallagher (Sibley), Nick Heid (Spring Lake Park), and Ben Newhouse (Benilde-St. Margaret’s) are also among the 52 players attending the national development camp.  Tweten, Ausmus, Heid, and Newhouse were all Minnesota Select 15 players last year.

Shattuck’s U16 team has a core of Minnesota 10th graders (goalie Evan Robert/Oakdale, Brandon Zajicek/Albertville, Collin Saccoman/Stillwater, Rem Pitlick/Plymouth, Tyler Bump/Prior Lake, Larry Jungwirth/Bloomington, and Jordan Klehr/Lino Lakes) on their U16 team this year.

Omaha won the North American Prospects White Division this year with a 21-1 record.  The Lancers went on to sweep the U16 Gold playoffs winning all 5 games.  Lawton Courtnall led the Lancers in scoring.  Unfortunately for Shattuck, Courtnall was on the ice Saturday.

Despite both teams missing their top players, it was a good hockey game.  But it didn’t start that way fro Shattuck.  The Sabres drew a cross checking penalty thirty seconds into the game.  Thirty second later, the Lancer’s Courtnall ended up with the puck alone at the top of the crease.  He beat Roberts with a high angled shot over his left shoulder.  It was a good quick shot.  Camden VanBrocklin and Ethen Frank got the assists.  The Lancers led 1-0.

Omaha hung on to the 1-0 lead for the rest of the period.  They controlled the game for the first half of the opening period keeping the puck in the Shattuck half of the ice.

The Lancer’s succeeding in keeping the puck low in the Sabre’s zone by over shifting the weak side wing.  Their center and strong side wing would trap the breakout attempt low along the boards either behind the net or on the side taking the Sabre off the puck.  The weak side wing would move in when he sensed that the trap was working and pick up the loose puck and move it the to a Lancer defense man at the Sabres’ blue line and the Lancers would re-set their offense in the Sabre’s zone.

Shattuck’s defense was playing the area tight in front of the goalie forcing all the Lancer shots to come from the side or the blue line.  Omaha shots in the first period were not good shots.

As the period wore on, the game gradually shifted towards the Lancer half of the ice.  Early in the period, the Lancer defensemen were turning the puck in the Sabre’s half of the neutral zone; at the end of the period, they were trying to turn the puck between the faceoff dots in their zone.

The game pace was fast and the puck movement crisp for both teams.  There were few stoppages and the first period flew by.
The second period opened with a transitional game, both teams were moving the puck and getting shots on goal with the defending team picking up the rebound and attacking their opponents’ net.  Omaha was still trying to over shift the weak side wing on the breakout, but the Sabre’s puck movement was too quick.

Four minutes into the second period, the Sabres scored on a transition that turned into a 2-on-1 rush when a Omaha defenseman got caught up ice.  The Sabres’ Tyler Bump came down the boards on the left side and drew the remaining defender slightly to him.  The Omaha goalie Sean Wendlandt sensed the weak side was opening and softened his stance in preparation for a pass from Bump to the Sabre forward breaking on down the slot on the weak side.  Instead Bump shot and simply powered the puck past Wendlandt beating him with a shot into the upper right corner.

That goal tied the game 1-1.  Brandon Zajicek got the assist.

A minute later, Shattuck scored on a similar play.  Picking up a rebound in their zone, the Sabres broke through the Lancer defense in center ice and turned the attack into a 2-on-1 rush from the right side.  This time Kevin Dineen scored burying the puck from the right faceoff into the left upper corner.  Davis McNulty got the assist.  SSM led 2-1.

It took Omaha less than two minutes to tie the game.  They managed to tie up the Sabres’ breakout attempt on the SSM end boards.  The puck was shot at the net by a Lancer forward and the puck bounded loose on the weak side to Courtnall.  Courtnall quickly one-timed the puck into the open net past SSM goalie’s Roberts back flip diving save attempt.  Rhodes Dolan and Nathan Medeiros got the assists.  The game was tied 2-2.

SSM got in trouble with less than six minutes left in the period.  They pulled two minor penalties and ended up having to skate off a 5-on-3 Lance power play for over a minute.  Shattuck killed the penalty easy and scored less than 20 seconds after both penalties were killed.

They scored off anther transition play that turned into a 2-on-1 rush. This time, SSM’s Andrew Cordssen-David scored from the right side beating the Lancer’s goalie through the 5-hole.  Rem Pitlick and Brandon Zajicek got the assists.  Shattuck led 3-2 as the second period ended and seemed in control of the game.  The shots on goal stats had shifted from even to the Sabres, 22-14 at the end of the second period.

The third period was a slow start for both teams coming out of the locker room.  Omaha still had 30 seconds worth of power play, but it was barely noticed.  Four minutes into the period, the physical play and game speed picked up dramatically.  It led to a Lancer score a minute later.

The Lancers again managed to jam a Sabre breakout attempt causing a melee of players fighting for position in front of the Sabre goalie Roberts.  Omaha’s Cade Warner ended up rapping the puck in the net to tie the game 3-3.  Courtnall and Patrick Grasso got the assists.

After that goal, for the first time in the game, both teams tired.  SSM starting to have trouble controlling the puck, the Lancers defense’s skating slowed.  A late third period “too many men on the ice” penalty called on Shattuck was easily killed.  The game ended in a 3-3 tie and a five minute overtime ended in a 3-3 tie.

Omaha won the five man shootout that followed the overtime.  The Lancers got the only goal scored in the shootout.

The two teams complete their regular season this Sunday.  Omaha lost a week ago to the Chicago Mission 4-1 in the Central District Tier I tournament and will not play in the nationals.  SSM, as the Minnesota district champion, will open play at the U16 Tier I nationals playing in a pool with teams from three USA hockey districts (Rocky Mountain, North East, and South East).

The Sabres’ Prep team will also be at the Nationals in Pittsburgh defending their U18 title.

Currently the #1 ranked U16 AAA team is the Chicago Mission and #4 ranked team is Honeybaked.  Both teams will play in the nationals.  Both teams have beaten Shattuck-St. Mary’s Good luck to Shattuck-St. Mary’s
Note: It costs a team $1200 to play in the national tournament at Pittsburgh this year.

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