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Elite League race tightens as finish nears

10/12/2010, 1:17am CDT
By Tim Droogsma, Elite League News Services

Showdown victory over Team North vaults Team Northwest back into first place

An unbeaten weekend – including a 4-1 showdown win over Team North – propelled Team Northwest to first place in the Upper Midwest High School Elite Hockey League with only two weeks left in the regular season.

Northwest opened the weekend by beating first-place Team North 4-1 on Saturday, Oct. 9. League-leading scorer Tony Cameranesi of Wayzata scored to tie the game at 1, and teammates Jake Horton of Benilde-St. Margaret’s, T.J. Roo of Totino-Grace and Patrick Steinhauser of Benilde-St. Margaret’s added goals, while netminder Anders Franke of Elk River stopped 27 of 28 shots.

Team Northwest then earned an important point against Team Southwest, coming back from a 3-0 third-period deficit to earn a 3-3 tie. A goal by Christian Horn of Benilde-St. Margaret’s with 33 seconds remaining capped the comeback and supported Maple Grove goalie Ryan Coyne's 34 saves.

Team Northwest then completed the weekend by winning a 6-5 shootout with Team Southeast as Roo scored with 1:27 to play. Cameranesi scored three times to add to his league-leading point total, while Hill-Murray’s Jake Guentzel had a goal and an assist.

For Team North, the loss to Team Northwest opened a 1-2 weekend that saw it fall to second place. On Saturday night Team North edged Team Southeast 5-4 as Jordan Heller of Bemidji and Josh Archibald of Brainderd each scored in the final five minutes to complete a comeback. South St. Paul’s Adam Barlow added two assists, and goaltender Dom DeGuiseppi of Grand Rapids made 38 saves for the win.

The weekend ended for North with a 4-1 loss to Shattuck-St. Mary's in which in which Heller scored the lone goal.

A 1-1-1 weekend lifted Team Wisconsin into a tie for third place with a 7-7-1 record. Wisconsin opened the weekend by beating Team Great Plains 3-2 as Tim Davison of Green Bay Notre Dame, Brett Bukowski of Superior and Brad Navin of Waupaca each scored. Following a 7-1 loss to Team Northeast, Wisconsin earned a 3-3 tie with Team Southwest, thanks to goalie Saxton Soley of Eau Claire Memorial, who made 56 saves.

For Team Southwest, it was its second tie of the weekend. On Saturday, goals by Eden Prairie’s Kyle Rau, Edina’s Michael Sit and Eden Prairie’s Nick Seeler gave Team Southwest a 3-0 lead over Team Northwest, only to have Northwest tie it in the final minute.

Team Southeast fell to fifth place with a series of one-goal losses. On Wednesday, Oct. 6, Team Southeast fell 2-1 to Shattuck despite a 37-save effort from goalie Charlie Lindgren of Lakeville North. A.J. Reid of St. Thomas Academy scored the lone goal.

On Saturday, Oct. 9, Team Southeast dropped a 5-4 decision to Team North, with A.J. Michaelson contributing a goal and an assist. Sunday's loss was a heartbreaking 6-5 decision to Team Northwest.

After Lakeville South’s Justin Kloos scored his third goal of the game with less than two minutes remaining to tie the game at 5-5, Northwest answered with the winning goal 19 seconds later. Kloos had an assist to go with his hat trick.

Team Great Plains had a 1-2 weekend. In the early game Saturday, third-period goals by Jordan Aamot of Grand Forks Central, N.D., and Tucker Poolman of East Grand Forks were not enough in a 3-2 loss to Team Wisconsin. Later Saturday, Great Plains fell 5-3 to Shattuck-St. Mary’s as Poolman and John Simonson of Grand Forks Central each had a goal and an assist.

Great Plains earned a win on Sunday, beating Team Northeast 8-4 as Luke Johnson of Grand Forks Central, Shane Omdahl of Roseau and Chris Forney of Thief River Falls each scored two goals.

Shattuck-St. Mary’s enjoyed an unbeaten week with three victories. On Wednesday, Oct. 6, Hans Drawbert's third-period goal was the winner in a 2-1 win over Team Southeast. On Saturday, Ryan Schwalbe had a goal and an assist in a 5-3 defeat of Team Great Plains. On Sunday, Shattuck-St. Mary’s beat Team North 4-1 as goalie Kyle Hayton stopped 35 shots and Zach Stepan had a pair of assists.

Team Northeast gained its lone victory of week on Saturday, beating Wisconsin 7-1 behind a hat trick from Edina’s Jake Sampson. White Bear Lake's Max Birkinbine had a goal and four assists in the game.

NOTES: Team Northwest's Tony Cameranesi held a six-point lead in the league scoring race, following a five-goal weekend. … Shattuck-St. Mary’s goalie Kyle Hayton has moved to the top of the stat sheet in goals-against average (1.86) and save percentage (.937). … For Week Six, six games will be played at the Brainerd Civic Arena, with other games at Faribault and New Hope…On Friday, Oct. 8, Cameranesi committed to the University of Minnesota-Duluth, becoming the fourth current Elite League player to make a Division I commitment. The others are Virginia's Garrett Hendrickson (St. Cloud State), Eden Prairie's Kyle Rau (Minnesota) and Blake's Ryan Bullock (Dartmouth).

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