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Junior Hockey: Peterson's Five Goals Boost Bulls to Dominant Sweep

By Tom Robinson, 09/26/18, 10:45AM EDT

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The NAHL's 16th annual showcase was last week in Minnesota

Alex Peterson scored in every game while helping the Amarillo Bulls match the Topeka Pilots as the only 4-0 teams in the 16th annual North American Hockey League Showcase Wednesday through Saturday at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minnesota.

Peterson, a 20-year-old from Lansdale, Pennsylvania, finished with five goals and two assists. He scored game-winners in Thursday’s 4-1 victory over the Chippewa Steel and Friday’s 9-0 rout of the Jamestown Rebels.

Amarillo opened the showcase with a 5-4 win over the Brookings Blizzard, then closed it with a 3-2 victory over the New Jersey Titans.

Peterson had two goals and an assist in the Jamestown game, allowing him to come out of the showcase tied for third in the league in scoring with eight points in five games.

“Alex has been an offensive force and a leader for us since the beginning of the season,” Amarillo coach Rocky Russo said, according to a story on the league website. “He has worked very hard to put himself in this position and he earned the success that he has had to this point.”

Amarillo recovered after New Jersey scored the first goal Saturday. Brenden Datema then scored the game-winner with less than four minutes remaining to break a tie and make a winner of goalie Ryan Winter, who made 24 saves.

Topeka also had a pair of one-goal wins in its undefeated showcase effort. The Pilots allowed just two goals total over the final three games.

SHOWCASE NOTES: The 3-1 teams included the Minnesota Magicians, who got a pair of shutouts from Ethan Haider.

The 17-year-old Clarkson University commit from Maple Grove, Minnesota, made 34 saves in a 3-0 win over the Aberdeen Wings, then finished up with 32 saves in a 2-0 win over the Odessa Jackalopes.

The Minot Minotauros also went 3-1 with the help of three goals and four assists by Keenan Lund, a native of Sartell, Minnesota, who helped lead the Granite City Lumberjacks to a North American 3 Hockey League championship in 2016-17.

Lund had points in all four games, including the game-winning goal and two assists in a 4-0 win over the Corpus Christi IceRays.

Chad Merrell from the Johnstown Tomahawks had back-to-back, two-goal games and matched Peterson with five total goals.

Johnstown and the Bismarck Bobcats each went 3-1.

Bismarck finished with a 19-save shutout by John Roberts in a 4-0 win over the Janesville Jets.

PERFECT START: St. Louis, Missouri, native Samir Abouelhana had a hat trick for the Philadelphia Revolution in Monday’s 5-2 Eastern Hockey League victory over New York Applecore. 

Abouelhana has at least a point in every game of the Revolution’s 5-0 start.

USHL RANKINGS: Once again this season, usahockeymagazine.com will rank United States Hockey League teams each month.

The first set of rankings, determined by a media poll, was produced for September, going into the season-opening USHL Dick’s Sporting Goods Fall Classic. Each team will play its first two regular-season games during the Thursday-through-Sunday event the UPMC Center in the Pittsburgh suburb of Cranberry, Pennsylvania.

The Waterloo Black Hawks open the season ranked first. The Fargo Force is ranked second, even though it received the most first-place votes in the poll.

The U.S. National Team Development Program, the Lincoln Stars, Muskegon Lumberjacks and Tri-City Storm were ranked third through sixth and each received at least one of the 19 first-team votes.  

SEASON PREP: Tri-City (4-0-2) and Lincoln (4-1-0) had the best records among Western Conference teams during the USHL preseason.

Eastern Conference members Team USA (2-0-0) and the Madison Capitols (2-0-1) have the best winning percentages.

Lincoln’s Shane Pinto and Josiah Slavin were the USHL’s top preseason scorers.

Pinto led the league in assists (six) and points (seven) while playing in all five games. The 17-year-old from Franklin Square, New York, had a goal and four of his assists on the power play.

Slavin had a league-high four goals and an assist in three games. The 19-year-old from Erie, Colorado, was a seventh-round pick by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2018 National Hockey League Entry Draft. He scored 23 goals for the Stars last season. His older brother, Jaccob, plays with the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes. His older sister, Jordan, was a member of the 2010 U.S. Women’s National Under-18 Team and also coached at USA Hockey’s 2015 Girls Nationals.

COLLEGE COMMITMENTS: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Knights forward Lincoln Hatten followed up the NAHL Showcase by committing to play at Army.

The 18-year-old from Allen, Texas, had five points in seven NAHL playoff games last spring after scoring 10 points in 47 regular-season games.

Odessa Jackalopes defenseman James Crossman committed to Brown.

The 19-year-old defenseman from Cherry Hills, Colorado, had 34 points last season when he also played in the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament.

Kirklan Irey, a 17-year-old forward playing in his hometown for the Bismarck Bobcats, is headed to Bemidji State. He is in his first season in the NAHL.

ONE-TIMERS: The first stop in the EHL Showcase Series is Sunday and Monday in Walpole, Massachusetts, with 19 teams taking part in a total of 18 games … The Philadelphia Junior Flyers opened their EHL season with a 5-0 win over Team Maryland behind Tim Carpenter’s 40 saves … John Driscoll’s 46 saves helped the Northeast Generals defeat the Long Beach Sharks, 5-1, Saturday to improve to 3-0 in the North American 3 Hockey League … Coleman Varty had two goals and four assists to lead Gillette to Friday’s 7-4 win over the Missoula Jr. Bruins in the Wild’s NA3HL home opener … Saverio Posa was hired earlier this month to serve as the head coach of the NA3HL’s Willmar WarHawks … In addition to the league teams opening their regular-season schedule, the USHL Fall Classic will include 18U, 16U, 15-Only and 14U youth tournaments.

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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