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.