Close games highlight Day 1 of NAPHL event in St. Louis
Day 1 of the NAPHL event at the St. Peters Rec Plex in St. Louis, Missouri was one that featured some close games on Friday. This weekend features the NAPHL Tier 1 Central Conference teams at the 18U, 16U, and 15U levels.
Now in its 12th season, no other USA Hockey youth league does more for its players than the NAPHL. Operated by the full-time staff of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), who make it their mission to outperform others both on and off the ice in promoting its players. The NAPHL has proved over the years that the league is a great stepping-stone for development and training for young hockey players looking to gain experience and knowledge to work their way up to the National level.
If you are attending the event this weekend, there are several reminders and policies that are designed to keep everyone safe and on the ice:
- There is no admission fee for this event
- Only one (1) spectator per player per game
- Masks are very strongly encouraged at all times
- Maintain social distancing
- Players are to come dressed and may enter 15 minutes prior to game time
- Spectators allowed to enter facility only at the posted game time
- Merchandise will be on sale at the arena
- Concessions will be open limitedly each day at the South Arena ONLY
- No lingering and please leave the facility at the end of the game
- Wash and sanitize hands
For those who will not be attending, all NAPHL games will be broadcast live on HockeyTV. Note... the NAPHL is part of the ELITE package.
Day 1 Recaps
18U Division: There were just three 18U games on Friday, but the action more than delivered. The day opened with a bang, as a thrilling matchup between Des Moines and Tri-State saw four third-period goals from the Spartans, three from the Buccaneers, and four total goals from Des Moines’ Ben Palmersheim — including the overtime winner for a 5-4 decision. From there, Carshield put up a lockdown effort to knock off Esmark 3-0 on the back of Matt Smith’s 22-save shutout. And to close out the day, the NorthStar Knights were at their high-flying best, cruising past Florida Alliance 16-1 with hat-tricks from Ashton Christman, Hayden Helgeson and Dylan Cook.
16U Division: It was deja vu for the 16U game, as Tri-State and Des Moines once again went to OT after the 18U matchup between the teams did the same. The result was the same — Des Moines took a 4-3 win in the extra frame, thanks to Kiaran Olson’s heroics. NorthStar picked up an impressive 5-2 win over Esmark, with three goals in the final 20 minutes to break open a 2-2 deadlock. Later on, Carshield put the clamps on Meijer in a 5-0 shutout as Nick Jones and Jack Wuertz logged two goals apiece and Brady Govero stopped all 24 pucks that came his way. Chris Diamondidis deserves a ton of credit in the Stars’ net as well with 48 saves on 53 shots. Closing out the day was another dominant effort, this time by Florida Alliance shutting down Indy 9-0 on the back of Jake Richard’s hat-trick and an 18-save shutout by Luke Romney.
15U Division: There was plenty of action at the 15U level on Friday, with six games in St. Louis. Meijer held off Indy’s late comeback bid for a 4-2 win in the opening tilt, before Carshield and Esmark played a classic that ended in a 3-2 Carshield win. For a third-time on Friday, Tri-State and Des Moines played in an overtime, this time at the 15U level. But for the first time on Friday, the Spartans actually picked up the win, dropping the Buccaneers 3-2 with Seth Baden’s game-winner. There was no rest for Des Moines either, as they suffered a 3-0 loss at the hands of Meijer in the next game of the day. Capping things off, Esmark earned retribution for an earlier loss by knocking off Indy 3-1 and Carshield dealt Tri-State a 3-1 defeat to end day one.