Photo by Hickling Images
Boston Jr. Eagles 2, Shattuck-St. Mary’s 1
Chicago Young Americans 6, Honeybaked 1
Chicago Mission 3, Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers 0
Little Caesars 7, Virtua 2
Team Wisconsin 5, Long Island Gulls 2
Victory Honda 3, Rochester Monarchs 2
Pittsburgh Penguins Elite 5, Buffalo Jr. Sabres 1
Minnesota Blades 6, New Jersey Colonials 5 (SO)
Minnesota Blades 4, Pittsburgh Penguins Elite 3
It was a tale of two very different games for the 14U semifinals.
At the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex, Pittsburgh Penguins Elite brought an onslaught of shots and shut the door defensively in a 5-1 win over the Buffalo Jr. Sabres. The Pens outshot Buffalo 41-12, allowing the lone Sabres goal in the second period.
Pittsburgh took a 2-0 lead out of the first with goals by Jack Musa and Shawn O’Donnell. Buffalo made it a one-goal game at 10:33 of the second with a Mason LaCivita tally. But the Penguins responded minutes later with Nicholas Sewecke’s first of the day, giving Pittsburgh a 3-1 lead after two.
Michael Hurst made it a 4-1 game with 10 minutes remaining and Sewecke capped the scoring with his second of the game, helping the Pens Elite advance to the Championship game.
In the other semifinal, the Minnesota Blades and New Jersey Colonials battled back and forth in a high-scoring affair. The Blades took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Chaz Lucius midway through the first period. The teams combined for four goals in a frenzied final 2:32 of the first period. New Jersey’s Cam Bergeman scored his first of the game to tie things up 1-1. Minnesota answered with a Carter Batchelder goal with 1:46 left and stretched the lead to two on a Bennett Schimek tally with 35 seconds left. The Colonials kept coming and Bergeman scored his second of the game with two seconds left in the first to cut the Blades advantage to one.
Bergeman completed the hat trick with a game-tying goal with four minutes remaining in the second. Less than a minute later, Sam Lipkin put the puck home to give the Colonials a 4-3 lead. New Jersey kept coming again and with 14 seconds left Bergeman knocked in his fourth goal of the game to put the Colonials up 5-3 heading into the third.
New Jersey held that lead while the Blades peppered goalie Tommy Heaney with shots, until the final four minutes of the third, when Minnesota got one through, another Batchelder goal to cut the lead to one. 90 seconds later, Chas Lucius scored his second of the game to tie things up 5-5 and force overtime.
After entering the game to start the third period, Minnesota goalie Jack Stark made three key saves in overtime and held his ground making three more during the shootout. The Blades’ Chaz Lucius scored on Minnesota’s third attempt in the shootout and Stark shut the door to lift Minnesota to the championship game.
The Minnesota Blades held off a Pittsburgh Penguins Elite comeback and captured the USHL Fall Classic 14U Youth Tournament Championship with a 4-3 victory on Monday afternoon.
Minnesota started out strong, scoring four goals in the first period. Four minutes and thirty seconds into the first, Jake Martin scored an unassisted goal to give the Blades a 1-0 lead.
Just 30 seconds later, Cruz Lucius found brother Chaz Lucius for the second goal of the game. Jack Harvey would tally the third goal and Carter Batchelder the fourth, dominating the first period on the scoreboard with a 4-0 lead, though the shots were even at ten apiece.
Little by little, Pittsburgh chipped away. Austin Oravetz scored one goal in the second to give the Penguins a bit of life heading into the final frame trailing 4-1.
Pens Elite came out determined in the third, with Jack Musa and Ty Voit assisting on each other’s goals, cutting the Minnesota lead to just one.
Pittsburgh outshot Minnesota 18-11 after the first period, but couldn’t find the equalizer in the final minutes. Goaltender Anton Castro made 25 saves on 28 shots to earn the win in goal for Minnesota.
The Minnesota Blades’ 4-3 win over Pittsburgh earns the team its second consecutive USHL Fall Classic 14U Youth Tournament championship, after defeating Team Wisconsin a year ago.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 16th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2017-18. 30 or more players from the USHL have been selected in five consecutive NHL Drafts, and more than 400 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.