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Metal Jackets off to strong start at Showcase

September 17, 2009

Goaltender Randy Willis made 37 saves for Motor City in its 3-0 victory over Topeka on the first day of the NAHL Showcase Tournament in Minnesota. (NAHLphotos.com)

The Motor City Metal Jackets got their season off on the right foot, picking up their first win of the season with a 3-0 victory over the Topeka RoadRunners on Day 1 of the four-day NAHL Showcase Tournament at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minn.

For first-year head coach David Cole, he couldn’t have asked for a better start, especially for a team that’s sporting new ownership to go along with a new name and a fresh attitude.

“We put a lot of work into our off-season, both on and off the ice, so this one feels pretty good,” he said.  “We know it’s only one game, but it’s certainly nice to start the season off with a win, especially here at the Showcase with so many fans and scouts in attendance.”

John Scorcia put home two goals for the Jackets, including the game-winner, and goaltender Randy Willis was perfect between the pipes turning aside all 37 shots. Patrick Sullivan scored the other Motor City goal.

“Our guys put forth a solid all-around effort,” said Cole.  “Now we need to keep it going the rest of the week before we head into the heart of our schedule.”

In other Showcase action on Wednesday, goaltender Drew Strandberg stopped all 17 shots as the Traverse City North Stars blanked the Alaska Avalanche, 3-0.  Andy Huff, Kevin Ainsworth and Curtis Heinz tallied the North Stars’ goals.

Billy Mulligan notched a pair of goals, including the game-winner, and an assist as the Janesville Jets doubled up the Owatonna Express, 4-2.  Rui Encarnarcao added a goal and assist in the victory, and netminder Mattias Horan turned aside 31 shots.

The Alpena IceDiggers downed the Kenai River Brown Bears, 4-2. Ryan Timar connected for two goals in the victory, and Nick Taurence added a goal and an assist. Between the pipes, Marco Wieser made 24 saves.

James Saintey’s overtime goal lifted the Fairbanks Ice Dogs to a 2-1 triumph over the Springfield Jr. Blues.  Kyle Politz struck for the other Ice Dogs marker, and goaltender Tyler Bruggeman steered aside 27 shots.

The North Iowa Outlaws took down the Wichita Falls Wildcats in a shootout, 3-2.  Ryan Boher scored a goal in regulation and one in the shootout, with Mickey Knox notching the other Outlaws goal.  North Iowa netminder Paul Moberg stopped 53 in regulation and overtime and four of five in the shootout.

Nathan Sliwinski potted two goals and goaltender Mac Carruth stopped all 21 shots as the Wentachee Wild bested the Alexandria Blizzard, 6-0.  Duncan McKellar and Shawn Pauly added a goal and an assist each for the Wild.

The Marquette Rangers celebrated a 2-0 decision over the Texas Tornado.  Goaltender Kevin Kissaw stopped all 41 shots he faced, with Andrew Kolb and Tanner Kero supplying the Marquette goals.

Ryan Haggerty’s overtime goal gave the U.S. Under-17 Team a 4-3 victory over the Bismarck Bobcats.  Cole Bardreau connected for two Team USA markers, and goaltender Matt McNeely turned back 32 shots.

The St. Louis Bandits disposed of the Albert Lea Thunder, 9-4, as Dan Olszewski struck for four goals and an assist for the three-time defending Robertson Cup champions.  Ryan Stouffer added two goals and an assist in the triumph, and goaltender Erick Cinotti stopped 18 shots.

 
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