ANN ARBOR, MI — More than 550 players from eight different states across the U.S. and 14 teams from the Canadian province of Ontario were on hand at Legacy Global Sports’ “Nation’s Cup” at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube and the Arctic Coliseum in Chelsea this past weekend.
The three-day tournament from January 18-21 pitted 32 teams from the United States versus Canada in two age groups — 2006 and 2008 — in a round-robin format with each team going up against opponents from the other nation in a four-game flurry, awarding two points for a win and one point for a tie.
In a cool twist, division winners were granted “home ice” for the championships as well as a two-minute power play to start the game on Sunday.
“This is hands down the most electric AAA Nations Cup I’ve been a part of in my tenure at Legacy Global Sports,” Event Manager Jon Sutton said. “Teams were very competitive game-in and game-out.
“For each age division, the country’s fate was decided seed versus seed in the standings at the end of the round-robin,” Sutton said. “The support from the other teams was just incredible to see.”
Team USA won the 2006 Nations Cup, 18-10, in points, while Team Canada captured the 2008 Nations Cup, 25-20.
Arizona, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Wisconsin were represented from the United States.
|06 Milwaukee Jr. Admirals||06 Lambton Sting|
|06 Belle Tire||06 Whitby Wildcats|
|06 Victory Honda||06 Windsor Spitfires|
|06 Cleveland Barons||06 Toronto Eagles|
|06 Nashville Jr Predators||06 Peterborough Petes|
|06 Phoenix Jr. Coyotes||06 Pittsburgh Pens Elite Black|
|06 Oakland Jr. Grizzlies||06 Compuware|
|08 Chicago Bulldogs||08 Halton Hurricanes|
|08 Honeybaked||08 Kitchener Jr. Rangers|
|08 Chicago Fury||08 Cambridge Hawks|
|08 Belle Tire AAA||08 Lambton Sting|
|08 Oakland Jr. Grizzlies||08 Huron Perth Lakers|
|08 Compuware||08 Southern Tier Admirals|
|08 Chicago Hawks||08 Chatham Kent Cyclones|
|08 St. Louis Rockets||08 Waterloo Wolves|
|08 Sylvania Northstars||08 Burlington Eagles|
Nations Cup Tournament Championship Recaps
Nashville Jr. Predators 5, Pittsburgh Pens Elite Black 3
Nicholas Olshanski scored twice and Grady Cullen also found the back of the net as the Pens Elite Black fell short in the third to Nashville. Kamssy’s power-play goal, assisted by Santas 22 seconds into the third period, was credited as the game-winning goal as the Predators came back with two gals in the final frame. Lambert, who scored twice, added an insurance goal for Nashville, which also got goals from Pustizzi and Collins.
Windsor Spitfires 6, Victory Honda 3
Jaksen Ward recorded two goals and two assists, powering Windsor to a triumph over Victory Honda. Josh Ruelland also scored twice and Griffin Grundner and Connor Chartrand also connected for the Spitfires. M. Barron, L. Sabala and C. Temple scored for Victory Honda.
Compuware 5, Milwaukee Jr. Admirals 3
Luke Osburn’s power-play goal, assisted Cameron Springer and Lukas Fischer with 2:54 remaining in regulation, lifted Compuware past past Milwaukee. Matt Ineich, who scored three goals, completed the hat trick into an empty net with 17 seconds left. Fischer also scored on the power play for Compuware, which connected three times with the man-advantage. Fin Yaeger, Ty Bashaw and Will Merrick hit for the Admirals.
Phoenix Jr. Coyotes 3, Peterborough Petes 2
Daniel Rassega’s unassisted goal 3:06 into the third period proved decisive as the Coyotes edged Peterborough. Ethan Toms scored with 3:41 left, assisted by Colby Wood and Terry Jackson, but the Petes could not get the equalizer. Gavin Benjamin and Drew Swichtenberg also scored for Phoenix. Joel Kofobucky was also credited with a Peterborough goal.
Whitby Wildcats 6, Belle Tire AAA 1
Jack Dean and Owen Lee each scored twice to drive the Whitby Wildcats to a triumph over Belle Tire. Anthony Giacalone and Kieran Litteriek also lit the lamp for Whitby, which broke it open with three goals in the second period. Gavin Worsely scored a power-play goal for Belle Tire.
Oakland Jr. Grizzlies 3, Toronto Eagles 1
Kasen Peterson scored for Toronto but it wasn’t enough as the Eagles fell to the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies. Paperi’s power-play goal, assisted by Tucker and Ickes with 5:03 left in the second period held up as the game-winner for Oakland, which also got goals from Danielson and Scharret.
Cleveland Barons 6, Lambton Sting 1
Six different players found the back of the net for the Barons en route to victory. After a scoreless first period, Joey Soltis, Justin Collins and Troy Hunka connected in the second period to give Cleveland a 3-0 lead it carried into the second intermission. Casey Schouten put Lambton on the board 4:55 into the third period. Ryan Rucinski, Quinn Metzger and Will Brokaw all scored in the final 6:43 for the Barons.
Lambton Sting 7, Chicago Blues 3
Ashton Fraser tallied two goals and an assist and Brody Najim also scored twice to power the Sting past the Bulldogs. Gage Brandon, Julien Davis and George Bracewell also scored for Lambton. Louis Vittorio accounted for one of the Chicago goals.
Kitchener Jr. Rangers 6, Sylvania North Stars 2
Kitchener erased a two-goal deficit with six unanswered goals en route to victory over Sylvania. Lucas Bruce got the comeback started, Thomas Paleczny, who scored twice, tied it at 2-2 in the second period before Kayden Oliver’s goal at 9:13 of the third period gave the Rangers a lead it would not relinquish. Jalen Lobo and Kaden Cormier also hit for Kitchener. Reese Molnar and Caleb Symbolik gave the North Stars a 2-0 lead after one.
Chicago Fury 3, Halton Hurricanes 1
Vaughn Price tie it at one in the first period before giving his team the lead at 8:39 of the second period as Chicago rallied for victory over the Hurricanes. Luke Dubsky also scored for the Fury. Quinn Oliver gave Halton a 1-0 lead at 8:37 of the first period.
Burlington Eagles 4, Compuware 3
Kevyn McQueen’s power-play goal, assisted by Carter Burton with 2:56 remaining in regulation, completed the comeback in a three-goal third period for Burlington. McQueen scored twice and Christian Babony also found the back of the net in the third for the Eagles. Burton gave Burlington a 1-0 lead but Kristian Marchese and Blake Calhoun put Compuware in front. Ben Wallace also hit for Compuware in a third period that fell short.
Honeybaked 3, Waterloo Wolves 1
Cameron Sussex’s goal, assisted by Connor Rohr and Mark Schaefer with 3:21 left in the second period, proved decisive as Honeybaked skated to victory over Waterloo. Stanley Parobek gave the Wolves a 1-0 lead 6:33 into the game but Schaefer tied with four minutes left in the second period. Sussex scored the game-winning goal 39 seconds later for Honeybaked, which tacked on Cody Sokol goal in the third.
Chicago Hawks 4, Chatham Kent Cyclones 1
Four different players scored for the Hawks en route to victory over Chatham Kent. Antoni Meierzwa opened the scoring in the first before Lawson Krueger and Derek Daze connected in the second to give Chicago a 3-0 lead. Nolan Mallory cut into the deficit with an assist from Carson Roth and Morgan Paine. Charlie Germani picked up his second assist of the game setting up Grayson Lee in the third for Chicago.
Southern Tier Admirals 3, Oakland Jr. Grizzlies 2
William Laur was credited with a shootout game-winner in overtime to lift the Admirals. Danny Adamo gave Southern Tier a 1-0 lead 43 seconds into the second period, but Dominic Pajkic tied it before Drake Gram gave Oakland the lead 34 seconds later. Blake McKinnon’s power-play goal, assisted by Ryan Higgins 21 seconds into the third period, tied it and forced overtime for the Admirals.
Huron Perth Lakers 7, Chicago Bulldogs 0
Cambridge Hawks 5, St. Louis Rockets 4
Written by John Christian Hageny / @JCCSPORTS
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