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U16: Shattuck skates past the Blades at Mariucci

By Tony Scott, 10/01/14, 11:30PM CDT


Lakeville's Austin Pratt scores 2 in Sabres 4-1 win.

Shattuck's Sam Shrout scores early for the Sabres Wednesday Night

Shattuck's relentless pressure too much for MN Blades, win 4-1.

Austin Pratt stuffs home his second goal of the game Wednesday vs the U16 Blades

An epic clash of two of the best Tier 1 hockey teams in the country was held at Mariucci Arena Wednesday night. Both teams came in with less than ten games under their belt and both teams were excited to play competitive hockey close to home. To make matters more appealing on the home of the Minnesota Golden Gophers. 

Each team showed great skill and speed from the opening whistle. Neither seemed to have control of their game plan with a lot of loose pucks turning into odd man rushes. Both Goalies (David Tomeo, SSM and Thomas Hanson, Blades) got off to good starts stopping all opportunities by both teams. 

Shattuck got the party started when Sam Shrout snuck past the Blades defense and beat Hanson low glove side to give the Sabres an early 1-0 lead. The game would remain fairly even with both teams getting chances. One said chance, was a breakaway for the Blades Sammy Walker who tried beating Tomeo high glove side but was foiled by the kid from New Jersey. About halfway through the first, Shattuck began to take over the game. Winning puck battles, holding the puck in the zone and eventually wearing the Blades down with their speed and tenacity. Late in the first, Austin Pratt got a loose puck in front of the net and did what he does best and that is put the puck in the net. He beat Hanson with a quick release wrist shot and SSM took a 2-0 lead into the break.

The second period was all Shattuck. Outshooting the Blades 16-5 for the period, the Sabres suffocated the Blades with offensive zone pressure. With 10 minutes left in the period, Niko Karamanis got loose down the right wing and was able to beat Hanson with a sweet move to his backhand to give SSM a 3-0 lead.  With the game still in the balance, Austin Pratt got his second of the game, burying the biscuit past a helpless Hanson on the rebound to give the Sabres a 4-0 lead after two periods.

The Blades would battle back in third giving Shattuck a game physically staying with the Sabres the whole third period. Both in the Shots on Goal department and puck possession. Ben Copeland would stab home a rebound shot of Sammy Walker's in to even get them ahead in the goals department. By then, the goal was way too late for a Blades comeback. Shattuck would hold off the Blades for a final score of 4-1.

Game Commentary

An observer of the game Wednesday might say that Shattuck outplayed the Blades. The shots were one-sided, the puck possession leaned toward the Sabres favor, and the outcome was never in doubt. 

Give both teams credit. Shattuck played their style of hockey and late in the first period, they imposed their game plan of cutting off passing lanes and winning consecutive puck battle that lead to great opportunities. For two periods, the fruit of their plan and hard work paid off. Give the Blades credit, they hung in with a great U16 team with a boatload of talent. They evened the playing field at the end and will leave Wednesday's game with confidence.

The deciding factor in the game ultimately was how well prepared Shattuck was compared to the Blades. Shattuck has a well defined plan, a team of talented players and most important a team that practices together every day. 

The Blades have a talented group of players and a very proven coach in Dave Tanabe. For obvious reasons, they have yet to define their game plan as well as Shattuck has so far in this young Tier 1 season.  YHH saw first hand how hard it will be for a Before and After team to succeed at the national level against talented, well oiled machines like Shattuck St. Mary's.

What lies ahead for the MN Blades is uncharted territory. Can their talent alone get them to the national stage come April? No one really know, but YHH will be here to cover their journey from start to finish.

Players to Watch


(#4, Logan Hutsko) the Penn State recruit looks to have put on some valuable inches since last Spring...really looks polished with the puck. Great compliment to any front line. Had three separate people inquire who "number 4 was."

(#14, Austin Pratt) Pratt continues to impress at any level he plays. Big, skilled and gritty will take Austin a long way in this game. Had 2 goals for the Sabres Wednesday...made them look easy.

(#30, David Tomeo)...was huge for the U14 team at Nationals last year, Tomeo seems to make the impossible saves look easy and the pedestrian saves look more difficult than they should. Made some key saves for the Sabres early which ultimately was a key to the game.



(#18, Auggie Moore) the Benilde product was very smart, creative with the puck and played with an edge. 

(#5, Brian Hurley) the high school Sophomore played with the Fargo Force of the USHL last weekend, was very comfortable with the puck...demonstrated a great all around game.

(#21, Jensen Zerben) the Elk River native made great plays with the puck and was constantly disruptive to the SSM defenders.

Shattuck's NIko Karamanis with a pretty backhand goal for the Sabres

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