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Jefferson beats Princeton in Squirtacular

By frederick61, 03/15/13, 6:30AM CDT


Tristan Broz scores the game winning goal in Jefferson’s 4-2 win over Princeton in pool play at the Dynamoo sponsored YHH tourney being played in Bloomington this weekend

Princeton and Jefferson squirt A teams played each other at Bloomington Ice Garden (BIG) Thursday night.  Jefferson beat Princeton 4-2.  It was a good game.  Both teams played well.

The game was a pool game for both teams in the YHH Squirtacular Tournament.  The tournament is sponsored by Dynamoo.  There are 16 teams competing to play in the championship games on Sunday.

The 16 teams are divided into 4 pools.  Each pool has 4 teams.  Thursday’s game was Jefferson’s second pool game.  The Jags lost to Minneapolis 8-2 in their first pool game.  Jefferson needed to win.  If they lost to Princeton, the Jags could not play in the championship.

It was Princeton’s first game of the tournament.  They lost, but the Tigers can still win the championship.  Princeton and Jefferson have different styles of play.  Neither style of play is wrong, as long as the team works successfully playing the game.

Princeton’s style is focused on moving the puck when on the attack.  They would pass to get the puck into Jefferson’s zone.  Once in the Jefferson zone, the Tigers would pass the puck often and try to find an open player for the shot.

The Tigers were not always successful in scoring a goal.  They are a good team and were successful enough.  As a result they led most of the game.

Jefferson played the first two periods of the game by trying to skate the puck into the Princeton zone.  Their wings are fast skaters.  The Princeton defense would block the Jag wings from skating to the Tiger’s net.  Jefferson had a hard time getting good shots on the net.

The Jags were successful in using their speed to the outside along the boards, but couldn’t make the outside cut.  As a result, the Princeton defensemen forced a weaker shot and the Princeton goalie Hunter Burian made the saves.

The first two periods were wide open, nicely skated game.  Both teams played their styles and both could establish themselves offensively.  The puck moved quickly at all times, there were few stops in actions, and the game tempo was up for a squirt A level game.

Jefferson scored first in the opening period.  The Jags’ Grayson Hight beat Hunter Burian on a high shot from the left faceoff circle to give the Jags a 1-0 lead.  Hight had no help on the play by another Jag player.  It was an unassisted goal.  It was a nice hard shot and tough one for the Princeton goalie to stop.  The first period ended with the Jefferson leading 1-0.

Princeton started to dominate play in the second period.  They did this by establishing control of the puck in the Jefferson zone and keeping the Jefferson players blocked from shooting the puck out of the zone.  The Jefferson bench started to yell “ice the puck” and the Princeton kids were yelling keep the puck deep.
Princeton scored twice halfway through the second period.  The two goals were scored two minutes apart.  The first goal was set up by the Tiger’s Dylan Cook.  He took a puck that had been blocked behind the Jag’s net on the right end boards, skated to the net and fed a quick pass to Justin Gamec.  Gamec had kept his stick on the ice and with one swipe banged the puck by the Jefferson goalie.  The puck went through the goalies legs or the 5-hole.  It was the best play of the game.  The goal tied the game 1-1.  Because he helped, Dylan Cook got the assist.

That goal tied the game.  It caused the Jefferson team to doubt itself.  The Jags began to “fling the puck” around the boards.  Their players started to skate out of position.  The Tigers took control of the puck and made two passes to a Tiger forward Justin Gamec who had gotten behind the Jefferson defensemen at the Jags’ blue line.

Justin skated into the slot (the area in front of the Jefferson goalie marked by two lines on each face off circle) and fired a high shot on the Jefferson goal.  More importantly, he followed his shot to the net looking for the rebound.  That took the goalie’s attention away from his shot and he missed the save.  Justin’s shot bounced of the goalie into the net.  Because they helped Justin score the goal, Christian Zims and Blake Prebix got the assists.

Princeton led 2-1.  The second period ended with the Tiger’s still leading 2-1

Jefferson is a good team.  Princeton is a good team.  Like most good teams, Jefferson plays harder when they are behind.  They did that from the start of the third period.  They played hard and it changed their style.  Still it took the Jags half of the third period to score the tying goal. 

Princeton defense played well with 6 minutes left in the game.  They were leading 2-1.  The Tiger’s defense had kept the Jag forwards from cutting to the net.  Jefferson had been relying on the outside rush to beat the defense.  But late in the third period they started to shoot the puck deep into the Tiger’s zone as soon as they skated to the Princeton blue line.  Jefferson then relied on their speedy wings to beat the Tiger defense to the puck.

When the Jags beat the Tiger defense to the puck they stopped passing the puck toward the side boards.  Instead the wing would attack the Princeton goal by skating to the lower edge of the faceoff circle.  The wing by doing so got in position for a good shot on goal.  It pulled the goalie to one side of the net.  The Jag forwards would skate to the opposite side of the net where the goalie wasn’t looking for the rebound.

The Jag forwards on the opposite side would score the next Jefferson goal.  Jefferson’s Tristan Broz started the play by cutting to the corner of the Princeton net on the left side of the goalie.  He tried to force the puck by the goalie and failed.  But the Jags Grant Ellings was open on the right side of the net.  He got the rebound and put the puck in the net past the goalie’s leg pad.  It tied the game 2-2.  Tristan Broz and Sean Sommerness got assists for helping Tristan score. 

A minute later Jefferson scored again the same way.  This time they scored from the goalie’s right side.  Tristan Broz intercepted a Princeton pass along the right boards in the Tiger’s zone.  Instead of going wide, Tristan skated in towards the right slot, through the defense and shot a backhander at the Princeton goalie for the score.   Jefferson’s two quick goals, the first from the left side and the second from the right side, gave the Jags a 3-2 lead.

Princeton is a good team, but sometimes kids (and adults) think that the other team or obstacle is too much to overcome.  When they think that, the kids or the adults sort of gave up.  They play the game, but they think they are going to lose.

Princeton sort of gave up.  A fan could see that because they slowed in their skating and threw the puck more then passed it with a purpose.

It is a lesson for all to learn and sometimes have to learn again and again.  Your belief of what is real can often make you feel beaten.  The Tigers believed that the Jags were real.  They forgot that they, the Tigers, are a good team.

The Jags, when they were behind, played harder and found a way to win.  With five minutes left, the Tigers could not find a way to play harder, instead they played defense.

Jefferson scored once more.  This time Tristan Broz scored on a hard shot from the left faceoff that beat the Princeton goalie high.  Mark Longhenry got the assist. 

The game ended with Jefferson winning 4-2.  It was a well-played game and a good game for both teams.  Neither team is out of the tourney.  Both can compete with other teams in their pool.  It is a question of which team plays harder especially if they fall behind.

A nice start for the Squirtacular.  

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