A look back at the NAPHL event in Frisco
The fifth event of the 2012-13 North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) regular season concluded this past weekend in Frisco, Texas. All 18U and 16U teams participated in the four-day event and six 14U teams competed as a part of the final Bantam Tournament Series (BTS) of the 2012-13 season.
Leading the way in the 18U Division was the Anaheim Jr. Ducks, who posted a perfect 4-0-0 record at the event. Right behind Anaheim was the Pittsburgh Viper Stars, San Jose Jr. Sharks and Texas Tornado, who both posted 3-0-1 records respectively. The Viper Stars have clinched a playoff spot in the Top 8 for the NAPHL Championship series. Pikes Peak was the only 18U team to posted a 3-1-0 record. The other playoff spot clinched went to the West Michigan Hounds, who went 2-2-0 at the event. The top two teams in each of the three divisions advance to the final playoff round in the NAPHL. The final two teams that advance are those with the best winning percentage.
In the 16U Division, the Omaha AAA Hockey Club remained perfect on the season with a 17-0-0 record as they went 4-0-0 in Texas. The San Jose Jr. Sharks also went 4-0-0, which gave their playoff chances and big shot in the arm. The California Titans 16U team, who have clinched a playoff berth, went 3-0-1. The Anaheim Jr. Ducks, Pittsburgh Viper Stars and Wenatchee Wild all posted 3-1-0 records at the event.
In the Bantam Tournament series, the St. Louis Selects outlasted Dallas Alliance in the Championship to post a perfect 5-0-0 record at the event and win the final BTS event of the 2012-13 season.
Here is a look, team by team, at how things went in Frisco (due to inclement weather conditions, the Indiana Jr. Ice 18U and 16U teams were unable to participate):
Anaheim Jr. Ducks: The Ducks went a perfect 4-0-0 posting wins over Omaha, Atlanta, Pikes Peak and New Jersey. Forward Marcus Mollica led the way with 12 points in the four games. Anaheim sits atop of the White Division with 28 points.
Atlanta Fire: It was a rough event for the Fire, who went 0-4-0. The Fire managed just three goals in the four losses, which came to West Michigan, Anaheim, Pursuit of Excellence and Phoenix. Forward Alex Sauer registered two of Atlanta’s three goals.
California Titans: The Titans also went 0-4-0 in Texas and have now lost six of their last seven games. At 9-9-0 this season they still remain in the playoff race if the can show well at the Troy I event in January. Liam Stirtzinger leads the team with 19 points.
Detroit Falcons: The Falcons went 2-2-0 at the Frisco event as they picked up big wins against Pittsburgh and California. Goalie Nate Klebe was the star of the event for Detroit as he stopped 91 of 97 total shots, good for a 93.8% save percentage.
Lansing Capitals: The Capitals posted a 2-1-1 record in Texas, which included wins over California and Omaha and a shootout loss to New Jersey. Forward Tyler Bishop had eight points during the event, including a five-point game in the win over California.
New Jersey Jr. Titans: The Jr. Titans went 2-2-0 at the event with wins on the first two days against Lansing and Pursuit of Excellence and losses on the final two days to San Jose and Anaheim. Nikita Samoylov continued his hot play with seven points during the event.
Omaha AAA: Despite not winning a game in Frisco, all was not lost for Omaha as they lost three of their four games in a shootout, picking up three points. All four losses were by a goal. Forward Justin Weber had four points in the four games during the event keeping Omaha in the playoff hunt.
Phoenix Firebirds: Phoenix went 2-2-0 in Texas, picking up wins over West Michigan and Atlanta and losses to San Jose and Pittsburgh. Defenseman Justin Dungey had four points and is tied for the team lead in scoring with 15 points, which ranks 2nd among 18U defensemen.
Pikes Peak Miners: The Miners are firmly in the playoff hunt thanks to a 3-1-0 record in Texas with wins over St. Louis, Dallas Alliance and West Michigan. The lone loss came to Anaheim. Forward Luc Gradisar had eight points (4 goals, 4 assists) during the event to lead the Miners.
Pittsburgh Viper Stars: The only thing preventing the Viper Stars from a perfect event was a shootout loss to Detroit. They posted wins over California, Phoenix and St. Louis and clinched a playoff spot. Forward Connor Cash had six points in the four games to lead Pittsburgh.
Pursuit of Excellence: POE posted a 2-2-0 record in Frisco with wins against Detroit and Atlanta and losses to New Jersey and San Jose. Both POE wins were via the shutout with 15-year-old goaltender Cody Porter picking up the shutouts in both games, stopping all 31 shots that came his way in the two games.
San Jose Jr. Sharks: The Sharks had a great event in Texas going 3-0-1, which was their best event to date. San Jose posted wins over Phoenix, New Jersey and POE and their lone loss was in a shootout to Dallas Alliance. Forward Igor Leonenko played very well posting nine points in the four wins and Matt Woodley had 10 points in the four wins.
St. Louis Selects: The Selects posted a 2-2-0 record in Frisco and are still in the playoff race in the White Division. St. Louis posted wins over Lansing and Omaha and losses to Pikes Peak and Pittsburgh. Forward Joey Lupo lead the team with 18 points in 18 games played.
Texas Tornado: The Tornado moved back into 1st place in the Red Division with a 3-0-1 record in their home event. The Tornado posted wins over Utah, California and Detroit and their lone loss came in a shootout to cross-town rival Dallas Alliance. Forward Austin Murray leads the 18U Division with 18 goals and had six more at the event.
Utah Regulators: The Regulators went 1-3-0 at the Texas event, but did pick up their second win of the season in a 2-1 win over Omaha. Joel Lehtonen had four points during the event and factored in on every goal that Utah scored in the four games.
West Michigan Hounds: After going undefeated at Blaine II, the Hounds came back down to earth with a 2-2-0 record in Frisco with wins over Atlanta and Utah and losses to Phoenix and Pikes Peak. Goaltender Philip Kuznetov, who stands 6’6, allowed just a single goal in the event as he was in goal for both wins and has now won this last five starts.
Anaheim Jr. Ducks: The Ducks went 3-1-0 at the Frisco event with the lone loss coming to Omaha. Both losses in regulation for the Ducks this season have been to the Omaha team and both by a goal. The Ducks had wins over Atanta, Pikes Peak and New Jersey. Defenseman Riley Hummitsch had eight points in the four games.
Atlanta Fire: The Fire went 2-2-0 in Texas with wins over West Michigan and Phoenix and losses to Anaheim and Pursuit of Excellence. Forward Chase Pearson, who leads the team in points with 21, had five points during the event in Texas.
California Titans: After going 3-0-1 at the event in Frisco, the Titans are the only 16U team to have officially locked up a playoff berth to date. The Titans had wins over Pittsburgh, Texas and Detroit and fell to Lansing in a shootout. Forward Brendan Harris had 12 points in the four games.
Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks: It was a rough event for Cleveland, who went 0-4-0. Cleveland has lost their last six games and were outscored 24-4 while in Texas. Forward Jason Fritsche continues to lead the team in scoring with 24 points in 17 games and is tied for 5th in goals with 13.
Detroit Falcons: The Falcons went 0-4-0 in Texas with losses to Pursuit of Excellence, Pittsburgh, Texas and California. The Falcons were outscored 22-4 in the four games. Forward Blake Carrick is tied for the team lead in points with eight and three points during the Texas event.
Lansing Capitals: The Capitals posted a 1-3-0 record at the Frisco event, but still remain in the playoff hunt. The Capitals picked up a 5-4 shootout win over the California Titans, but had close losses to New Jersey, St. Louis and Omaha. Forward Wyatt Beard had two goals and two assists during the event.
New Jersey Jr. Titans: The Titans maintained their status as one of the top teams in the 16U Division with a 2-1-1 record in Texas. Wins came against Lansing and Pursuit of Excellence and both losses were by a goal including a 4-3 shootout loss to San Jose. Forward Anthony Cusanelli leads the team with 23 points.
Omaha AAA: Omaha remained perfect on the season with a 4-0-0 event in Texas. Omaha posted wins over Anaheim, Wenatchee, St. Louis and Lansing. New Hampshire recruit Patrick Grasso led the way offensively with 10 points in four games, including two game-winning goals.
Phoenix Firebirds: Phoenix went 0-4-0 while in Texas, which was a setback after their good showing in Blaine. The Firebirds were outscored 22-4 in the four games. Forward Griffen Dill leads the team in scoring with six points, two of which came during the most recent event.
Pikes Peak Miners: The Miners are still holding on to a playoff chance with their respectable 2-1-1 showing in Texas. Wins came against Cleveland and St. Louis and they also picked up a point in a shootout loss to West Michigan. Brothers Ethan and Jeremy Solat are 1-2 in scoring with 19 and 16 points respectively.
Pittsburgh Viper Stars: Pittsburgh continues to lead the Blue Division with a 15-2-0 record after going 3-1-0 in Texas. The Viper Stars lone loss came to California while wins came against Detroit, Phoenix and St. Louis. Forward Anthony Franks had nine points during the event and ranks 4th in 16U scoring with 31 points.
Pursuit of Excellence: POE posted a 2-2-0 record in Frisco with wins against Detroit and Atlanta and losses against New Jersey and San Jose. Forward Greg Dakus had three points during the event and goaltender Joseph McLeod picked up both wins.
San Jose Jr. Sharks: The Sharks are making a late push for prime playoff positioning as they were one of two 16U teams to post a perfect 4-0-0 record at the event in Frisco. Wins came against Phoenix, Cleveland, New Jersey and POE. Forward Tyson McLellan had nine points and two game-winning goals during the event.
St. Louis Selects: St. Louis posted a 1-3-0 record during the event with their win coming against Lansing and losses against Pikes Peak, Omaha and Pittsburgh. Forward Travis Barrett had two goals in the win and forward Tyler Hoffman still leads the team in points with 13.
Texas Tornado: The Tornado posted a 2-2-0 record at their home event with wins over Cleveland and Detroit and losses against Wenatchee and California. Forward Ben Allen had five points in the two wins. Texas is in prime position to capture the 2nd spot in the Red Division.
Wenatchee Wild: Wenatchee continues to climb the standings as they posted a 3-1-0 record in Texas. The wins came against Texas, West Michigan and Cleveland with the lone loss coming to undefeated Omaha. Goaltender Alex Olson was in goal for two of the three wins and stopped 42 of 44 shots.
West Michigan Hounds: The Hounds picked up half their four wins this season with two wins in Texas, going 2-2-0. Wins came against Phoenix and Pikes Peak. Forward Kyle Berry had six points (3 goals, 3 assists) in the event to lead the Hounds in scoring and is tied for the team lead with eight points to date.