Team Northwest won two of three games – including a 13-goal outburst against Wisconsin – to hold on to first place following Week 3 of the Upper Midwest High School Elite Hockey League.
Team Northwest opened Week 3 the same way it opened Week 2, by beating Team Northeast in a Tuesday night game at New Hope Arena in New Hope.
Patrick Steinhauser of Benilde-St. Margaret’s scored twice and added an assist in the 4-2 win on Sept. 21, while Maple Grove goalie Ryan Coyne stopped 37 of 39 shots.
After a Saturday night loss to Team Southeast on Sept. 25, Team Northwest rebounded with a 13-6 win over Wisconsin on Sunday.
Four Team Northwest players – Jonny Brodzinski, Tony Cameranesi, Christian Horn and Tim Bonner – each scored two goals, with Cameranesi and Bonner each adding two assists. Defenseman Ben Ostlie of Edina had three assists as Team Northwest ran its record to 7-2.
A 1-1-1 weekend left Great Plains tied for second place. Moorhead goalie Michael Bitzer stopped 31 of 33 shots as Great Plains built a 3-0 lead, then hung on for a 3-2 win over Wisconsin on Sept. 25. Also on Sept. 25, Great Plains got another strong goaltending effort from Grand Forks’ Bryan Nies, who made 36 saves in a 2-1 loss to Shattuck-St. Mary’s.
Great Plains earned its final point of the weekend Sunday, Sept. 26, in a 2-2 tie with Team Northeast. Bryant Christian and Eric Brenk – both of Moorhead – scored for Great Plains while Bitzer made 38 saves.
Team North, which had started the season 5-1, earned just a single point in an 0-2-1 weekend that left it tied for second place with Great Plains. Saturday began with a 5-5 tie as Judd Peterson of Duluth Marshall scored with just 1:03 left against Team Southeast. Goalie Alex Lyon of Lake of the Woods kept Team North in the game with 45 saves.
In the evening game on Sept. 25, Team North lost 5-2 to Team Southwest despite goals from Matt Pohlkamp and Jared Kolquist. Goalie Dom DeGuiseppi of Grand Rapids faced 49 shots in the loss.
On Sunday, Sept. 26, Team North took Shattuck-St. Mary’s into the third period tied 2-2 before falling 4-2. Dom Toninato of Duluth East scored an unassisted goal to give Team North the early lead, and Jack McFarlane of Cloquet added a second-period goal.
Team Southeast, the league’s highest-scoring squad, posted a 2-0-1 weekend record to move into fourth place. St. Thomas Academy’s Taylor Fleming had a goal and an assist in the 5-5 tie with North, and Vince Pedrie of Apple Valley scored twice in an 8-1 win over league-leading Team Northwest on Saturday night.
A.J. Reid (St. Thomas Academy), Kevin Becker (Hill-Murray) and Tony Barbato (Cretin-Derham Hall) each had a goal and two assists in that game as Team Southeast launched 56 shots.
On Sunday, Southeast completed its unbeaten weekend with a 7-4 win over Team Southwest. Will Merchant of Eagan had a pair of goals.
Team Wisconsin fell to fifth place with a winless weekend. After a 3-2 loss to Great Plains – despite outshooting Great Plains 33-26 – Wisconsin then lost 10-3 to Team Northeast and 13-6 to Team Northwest.
Eau Claire’s Alexander Dahl led Wisconsin in scoring over the weekend with a goal and two assists.
Team Southwest earned its only two points in a 1-2-0 weekend by beating Team North 5-2 on Saturday. After a 2-0 loss at Shattuck-St. Mary’s earlier in the week, Edina’s Steven Fogarty scored two goals and added an assist in the victory over Team North, as goalie Connor Girard of Edina made 28 saves.
Sunday ended with a 7-4 loss to Team Southeast despite a goal and an assist from Edina’s Michael Sit and two assists by defenseman Dan Molenaar of Eden Prairie.
Shattuck-St. Mary’s opened Elite League play, and while it scored only eight goals in three games, strong goaltending led to a 3-0 record. On Wednesday, Sept. 22, Peter Traber stopped all 30 shots he faced in a 2-0 win over Team Southeast. On Saturday, Sept. 25, it was Kyle Hayton’s turn in goal, and he made 23 saves in a 2-1 win over Great Plains.
Traber returned to goal on Sunday and stopped 32 shots in a 4-2 win over Team North. Nicholas Weberg had a pair of goals for Shattuck-St. Mary’s.
Team Northeast had its best weekend of the season, posting a 1-1-1 mark. After the Tuesday loss to Northwest, coach Chris McAlpine’s team jumped on Wisconsin for five first-period goals on Saturday en route to a 10-3 victory.
Bloomington Jefferson’s Eric Freschi and Spring Lake Park’s Nick Turbitt each scored twice, while Spring Lake Park’s A.J. Fossen added three assists.
On Sunday, a goal by White Bear Lake’s Max Birkinbine at 8:47 of the third period lifted Team Northeast into a 2-2 tie with Great Plains.
NOTES: Wayzata’s Tony Cameranesi’s four-point game (2G, 2A) against Wisconsin lifted him into the league scoring lead with 17 points. Team Northwest teammate Jonny Brodzinski of Blaine leads the league with 10 goals. … This week’s Tuesday night Game of the Week features Team Northwest and Team Southwest at 7 p.m. at New Hope Arena in New Hope. … This week’s other league games will be held at the IRA Civic Center in Grand Rapids and Ice Hawk Arena in Stevens Point, Wis. … The 10 a.m. game Sunday in Stevens Point features league-leading Team Northwest facing Shattuck-St. Mary’s for the first time this season. … Team Southeast had an impressive week offensively, scoring 20 goals and launching 155 shots in three games. … Team Northwest Coach Pat Williams will be profiled in this week’s edition of Let’s Play Hockey.
HOT GOALIES: Great Plain goalie Michael Bitzer, a junior from Moorhead, stopped 69 of 73 shots over the weekend. Shattuck-St. Mary’s goalies Peter Traber and Kyle Hayton combined to stop 85 of 88 shots, a big reason why Shattuck-St. Mary’s killed off all 13 opponent power plays during the week. … Team Northwest is converting power play chances at a 37.25% rate (19 of 51).