The fifth annual NAHL Showcase kicked off today at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minn., with the Alaska Avalanche skating to a 5-4 win over the Fargo-Moorhead Jets in the opening game of the four-day tournament.
Larry Kincaid, Dylan Jones and Kyle Pichler each recorded a goal and an assist for the Avs, while goaltender Dusan Sidor turned aside 49 shots. Grant Highley notched the game-winner, assisted by Kincaid.
"Our team played with a lot of passion today," said Avalanche coach-GM Jamie Smith, whose team improved to 1-1 on the young season. "Larry and Dylan were the leaders upfront and Dusan was unbelievable in net for us."
Luke Salazar scored two goals and assisted on Adam Cardwell's game-winner as the Wichita Falls Wildcats doubled up the Alpena IceDiggers, 6-3. The Wildcats' Skyler Jameson added a goal and two assists, and netminder Mike Jarboe made 31 saves. Carl Nielsen registered three assists for Alpena.
The St. Louis Bandits downed the Kenai River Brown Bears, 7-2, thanks in part to a two-goal effort from Tom Brooks. Bryan Ross added three assists for the Bandits, and goaltender Cal Heeter made 23 saves. Scott Deur rang up two goals for Kenai River.
The Mahoning Valley Phantoms bested the Southern Minnesota Express, 4-3, in a shootout. Grant Blakey scored a goal in regulation and one in the shootout for the Phantoms, while goaltender Mark Lee turned aside 19 shots (4 of 5 in the shootout) to earn the win between the pipes.
The Marquette Rangers also picked up a win a shootout - 4-3 over the North Iowa Outlaws. Joe Guenther tallied a goal and an assist in regulation for the Rangers (he was also a plus-3), and goaltender Beau Christian made 15 saves.
Kyle Greco, Andy Kitt and Taylor Kennedy each scored a goal and an assist as the Springfield Jr. Blues defeated the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, 4-1. Phil Cook made 26 saves in net for the Jr. Blues.
The Topeka RoadRunners skated past the Alexandria Blizzard, 5-3. Corey Jendras rang up two goals and two assists in the win, while Blake Humphrey added a marker and two assists. Bryce Merriam turned aside 25 shots in goal for Topeka.
Four different players lit the lamp for the Traverse City North Stars as they doubled up the Bismarck Bobcats, 4-2. Eric O'Hearn notched the game-winner, with goaltender Miles Williams making 23 saves for the Stars.
In the late game, the U.S. Under-18 Team disposed of the Texas Tornado, 3-1. Justin Florek, Colin Reddin and Sam Lofquist scored for the U.S. team, while Nick Maricic stopped 29 of 30 shots in goal.