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Shattuck St. Mary's Captures Nike Bauer NIT Tournament

By Pete Waggoner, 11/10/08, 12:11PM CST


Nike Bauer NIT entertains large crowds as Shattuck wins.

New Hope, Mn

The Shattuck St. Mary’s Sabres were perfect this past weekend as they defeated Team Minnesota Red by a score of 6-2 to capture the Nike Bauer National Invitational Tournament (NIT) in convincing fashion.  After beating The Michigan Stars in game one by a score of 4-1, the outlasted the Malmo Red Hawks in a spirited semi-final contest by a score of 4-3 in overtime.  The semi-final game had a torrid pace and was entertaining to not only the fans but the massive amount of scouts on hand to take in the action.

The final started much the same with Shattuck dictating the pace on Team Red.  The Sabres did so in explosive fashion as Jean-Paul Lafontaine scored the game’s first goal at 6:40 of the first period to put team Red on their heals.  His bullet that eluded goalie Alex Fons five hole gave the Sabres more energy. 

That was evident as Shattuck’s Andrew O’Leary scored on a rebound off the v-dropped pad of Fons as he put away his goal just 1:11 after Lafontaine’s.  O’Leary charged in from the slot unimpeded and buried Stephen Hickey’s initial shot with authority for the 2-0 lead.

James Polk put his team up by a commanding 3-0 lead as the Sabres took advantage of a power play opportunity at 1:23 of the second period.  Entering the game, Shattuck was 1-16 with the man advantage.  They were awarded nine power plays in the final and scored their crucial third and fourth goals of the game with the man advantage going 2-9 for the afternoon. 

Nate Schmidt, headed to the University of Minnesota via St. Cloud Cathederal, brought Team Red to a 3-1 deficit as he buried a beautiful one timer on the power play from the right circle to beat Shattuck goalie Garrett Jensen at 5:47 breathing life into his club.

Danny Mattson and Jake Williams played catch on the left side, and it was Holy Angels Mattson who threaded the needle with a beautiful pass to Schmidt.

The Sabres clamped down on Team Red and took a 5-1 lead after two on goals by Brad Robbins and Sam Alfieri.  It was the Alfieri goal that proved to be the back-breaking 5th goal with 1:23 remaining in the second period. 

Both teams exchanged third period goals as it was Jake Williams at :53 of the third for Team Red and Jason Clark at 16:44 for Shattuck St. Mary’s.  For the game Jensen made 25 saves in the win while Alex Fons of Hopkins and Alexandria’s Matt Hemmingway shared the chores in goal for Red combining for 28 saves on 34 shots.

Shattuck looked like a team that has been together, playing with energy and in sync for some time, while Team Minnesota Red looked every bit the team that was announced just one week ago.  Red qualified with an opening round quarterfinal victory over the LA Selects by a score of 9-1.


Notes:  Team White and Team Red from Minnesota announced after the year end Elite League Tournament.  They were selected by the coaches and had one week to prepare as a team, if that playing one scrimmage on Thursday each…Pat Williams was at the helm coaching for team Red while Sean Toomey coached team White for Minnesota…Edina’s Anders Lee led all scorers (4g-7a-11pts) while teammate Marshall Everson was second with (5g-5A-10pts) and Victor Ohman (4g-5A-9pts) was third from Malmo Sweden.  All played three games…22 players notched 4 points or more in three games for the tournament…Shattuck’s Garrett Jensen led all goalies with a stingy 1.50 goals against average while BSM Red Knight Jacob Myers was second with a 2.00 goals against average.