Alliance All Star Day 2 Recap

2015_ALLIANCE_All-Star_logo

The final day of the Alliance All Star weekend went today with four games, but two of the same games. In the early action, Team Navy took on Team Grey in a game that saw Grey take the win 7-4 behind a three point game from Hamilton’s Derek Seguin who took home the player of the game honours for Grey.

In the 2nd game, Team White shutdown the high powered offense of Team Blue with a 5-0 victory behind the stellar play of London’s Keaghan Brett. As it so turns out, the way the standings ended up we go these exact two same matchups for the afternoon games.

Team Blue defeats Team White 4-2

Team Blue was able to make a statement that they would not be shutout once again as Cambridge Hawks sniper Kevin Quinn put one past Rhett Kimmel just 30 seconds into the game to put Blue ahead 1-0. White was able to tie the game up midway through the first period when Kitchener’s Sean Kawalec spun around and gave a beauty pass to Isaac Taylor who went 5-hole to beat Jakob Knowles.

It was very clear early on that this was going to be a very physical game. Both teams came out throwing heavy checks, with Luke Bignell leading the way for Team Blue. The 2nd period started off very similar to the 1st as Blue put pressure on early and it paid off as Mitch Hoelscher got the pass down low from Jake Murray and was able to slide it under the pad of Kimmel to give Blue a 2-1 lead.

Throughout the 2nd period, White had multiple chances to tie the game up. Mason McMahon should have tied the game at two but a quick whistle negated that opportunity while Rhett Kimmel was standing on his head at the other end just trying to keep it a one goal game. One of those many saves included one on a breakaway by Eric Guest.

Following the flood, the 3rd started with lots of back and forth action. White was able to get onto a 3-on-1 rush but Tyler McBay did a great job of breaking up the pass and eliminating the chance. It was just a minute later that Rhett Kimmel gave up a rebound right onto the tape of Kaleb Pearson who put it into the empty net to give Blue the 3-1 lead. White immediately came back with London’s Brett Fisher getting one to squeeze right between the legs of Knowles to once again make it a one goal game.

Most of the pressure in the 3rd period was by Blue, but Rhett Kimmel continued his stellar play to keep the game close, including his second breakaway save of the game this time robbing Jake Murray of a goal. The best chance White had to tie the game up was on a Jack Gee break, but the puck just rolled off his stick as he had Knowles deked out.

With just under 90 seconds remaining in the game, White went onto the powerplay and went with the net empty for a 6-on-4 advantage. Blue made White pay as just 11 seconds into the penalty kill, Jake Murray put one into the empty net to make it 4-2 and solidify the victory. Without a doubt Blue’s best game of the weekend which included strong play by Eric Guest and Kaleb Pearson.

Team Grey defeats Team Navy 4-3 in a shootout

Last but certainly not least was the “championship” game. It was Team Grey earlier in the day who put up a 7-4 win over Team Navy. Both goalies were tested early in this one. Grant Spence for Navy continued his stellar weekend but just wasn’t able to slide it past a sprawled Nathan Torchia as the puck just glided along the goal line. Going the other way, it was Derek Seguin, who had a monster first game, who was robbed by the pad of Nathan Young.

The first goal came early in the first period as Spencer Kersten was able to go top corner, over the shoulder of team mate Torchia to give Navy the early 1-0 lead. With eight minutes remaining, it was Cambridge captain Rewdy Scott who tide it up for Grey with a quick snap shot that beat Young. Both teams were getting some solid rushes by their defenseman. For Navy it was Holden Wale while Grey had Parker Jacques taking it up the ice nicely.

Heading to the 2nd period with the game still tied at one, it was Grey defenseman Spencer Lapointe who began the period with a great chance, walking in to the top of the circle and firing one just over the crossbar. Elgin-Middlesex product Lapointe probably shares the honour of best defenseman this weekend with Team Navy’s Holden Wale. Both have shown great poise and the ability to lead their troops in different scenarios.

Grey continued their relentless pressure as London’s Blake McConnell-Barker was robbed point blank by Nathan Young’s glove as Barker was right on the doorstep looking to make it a 2-1 game. Just over midway through the 2nd period and Grey was finally able to break through as Jacob Rosa was able to find a wide open Chris Playfair who shot it low blocker side to give Grey a 2-1 lead.

Just when you thought we were headed to the flood with a 2-1 game, Derek Seguin used his quick acceleration to get to the bottom of the circle and roof a backhand top shelf with 1.9 seconds remaining to give Grey a 3-1 lead heading into the final period of play.

The scoring in the 3rd period began about six minutes in as Navy went onto the powerplay. Hamilton’s Andrew Hanaka grabbed the puck behind the net and it seemed like the Grey defense fell asleep as Hanaka just walked in front of the net and flipped one over Torchia to make it a 3-2 lead for Team Grey.

Just minutes later and Blake McConnell-Barker shot trickled through the pads of Nathan Young and just sat on the goal line right beside the post. Young and Grey forward Eric Uba both dove at the same time to try and take advantage of the situation, but it was Young who was able to cover up the puck with a strong display of athleticism.

With five minutes remaining in the final frame, Evan Ferguson got sent on a clear break and he made no doubt about it, going top shelf and knocking the water bottle off the net. Spencer Kersten was the one who fed Ferguson the beauty pass as the two have shown great chemistry throughout the game. Navy seemed to be the fresher team heading into the final minutes of the game. They were winning every battle along the boards and getting to every loose puck. The Navy defense also made a very smart adjustment during the intermission to collapse in the middle and give Team Grey all the outside shots they wanted.

The final minutes of the 3rd period were played predominately in the neutral zone until Team Grey’s Spencer Lapointe took a penalty with just 34 seconds remaining to put Navy on the PP with a chance to win it.  In the dying seconds, Aidan Reid had a chance to put one home for the win but Torchia got the pad on it and we get our first overtime of the weekend in the final game.

The overtime, which is played 3-on-3 for five minutes began with a 4-on-3 for 1:27 as the Navy squad remained on the powerplay. Navy had some good chances on the powerplay with Holden Wale missing by inches on two shots from the point, but Grey was able to kill off the penalty and Lapointe was able to get out of the box and have a great scoring chance for Grey.

Nathan Torchia made the save of the tournament in overtime when Kersten and Ferguson once again came in on an odd man rush and Kersten fired it over to Ferguson who thought he had the winner, but Torchia got the pad up to keep the game rolling. And with nothing happening in the overtime period, there was no better way to end this weekend then a shootout.

Here are the shootout results:

Team Navy: Joel Mazzilli is stopped by Torchia with the left pad (0-0)

Team Grey: Derek Seguin scores top shelf on Young. (1-0 Grey)

Team Navy: Andrew Hanaka dekes forehand to beat Torchia (1-1)

Team Grey: Chris Playfair scores five hole on Young (2-1 Grey)

Team Navy: Evan Ferguson shoots wide. (2-1 Grey)

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