Game 1 – Wildcats 7 Rattlers 5
MVP's: William Yun & Brooks Douglas
In the first weekend of the new year, the Wildcats took on the Rattlers in game one. Hank Billings led the Wildcats to a 2-0 lead, scoring the first two goals of the game. After another Wildcats goal, Oliver Brose was able to get the Rattlers on the board and make the game 3-1. Hank Billings finished off his first period hat trick to give his team the 4-1 lead heading into the break. But the Rattlers struck back to open the second period, with Oliver Brose netting his second. But a strong defensive period from the Wildcats kept things, in check, and they entered the third period with a 5-2 lead. William Yun opened the final frame with a beautiful goal for the Rattlers to cut into the Wildcats lead. But the Wildcats responded on yet another Hank Billings goal, this time on a slick low to high finish in tight. Leo Douglas added more insurance for the Wildcats with a sick goal after cutting through the entire Rattlers team, which was enough for them to close out the day with a 7-5 win.
Game 2 – Warriors 8 Thunderbirds 11
MVP's: Harrison Parker & Carson Chun
In the second game of the day, the Warriors took on the Thunderbirds. The Thunderbirds came out firing on all cylinders, getting out to a 3-0 start in the first 5 minutes of the game. The Warriors adjusted and locked down defensively for the next 5 minutes but Carson Chun added a shorthanded goal in the final minute to give the Thunderbirds a 4-0 lead at the end of the period. After another Thunderbirds goal, the Warriors responded with an unbelievable 4 goals in 2 minutes to bring the game all the way back to 5-4, with Ethan Beale adding his first of the game. The Warriors continued to fight back, and finally broke through to tie the game with a beautiful finish at the buzzer to tie the game at 5-5 heading into the final period. After the huge Warrior run, the Thunderbirds used intermission to regroup and Carson Chun gave them the lead right away to open the period. After back-and-forth goals for both sides, Oliver Brose of the Warriors capitalized on a breakaway to tie the game at 8-8 with 4 minutes left in the game. Chun added another goal to help the Thunderbirds pull away, winning 11-8.
Game 3 – Swarm 9 Blazers 6
MVP's: Brooks Gilman & Jake Castle
In final game for the division, the Blazers took on the first place Swarm. Swarm lived up to their undefeated billing, jumping out to a quick lead in the first period, with Kellan Moore and Jake Castle leading the charge. The Blazers fought back, with Joe Thomas scoring two goals to keep his team in the game at 5-2. But the Swarm kept coming, scoring two goals in succession to open the second period with Jake Castle again delivering offense for his side. The Blazers were able to slow the run, eventually earning a 2-man powerplay at one point, but could not solve the Swarm’s defense. After killing the penalty, Castle finished off his hat trick in the last minute of the period and the Swarm took a 8-2 lead into the third period. The Swarm kept their foot on the gas in the 3rd, with Oliver Byrne feeding Harrison Parker for a sweet finish to open the final frame. Down 9-2, the Blazers kept battling, and Evan Elkins picked up a tough ground ball to score a nice goal and get his team back on the board. Christian Ferro followed up Elkins’ goal with one of his own to continue that momentum for the Blazers. Elkins followed with yet another goal to keep the comeback alive with 2 minutes to play. Joe Thomas scored another goal to keep the frenetic comeback going, and suddenly the Blazers had cut the lead to three. But the Swarm’s Oliver Byrne clutched up to win the final faceoff and the Swarm were able to close out the game 9-6.
Game 4 – Seals 8 Roughnecks 6
MVP's: Laws Howard & Colton Neal
Tied in the standings, the Roughnecks and Seals met to open up the Future Elite division games for the day. The Roughnecks immediately opened the scoring off a beautiful Colton Neal goal to take a 1-0 lead. After tough defensive play on both sides, Laws Howard scored twice for the Seals, with Augie Patru adding another to give the Seals a 3-1 lead at the end of the first period. Howard completed the early hat trick to kick off the second period, then after another Colton Neal Roughneck strike, Howard added his fourth of the game to give the Seals a 5-2 lead midway through the period. Laws Howard added his fifth to close out the period and the Seals brought a 6-2 lead into the final frame. Tyler Kim And Colton Neal scored to keep the Roughnecks in the game, but the Seals, with another goal from Augie Patru and lockdown defense were able to close out the game 8-6.
Game 5 – Rush 11 Rock 5
MVP's: Jonathan McMahon & Lucas Laudier
First place and undefeated Rock matched up against the Rush in the last game of the Future Elite Division. The Rush shocked the Rock early, jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first minutes of the game off goals from Micah Nesbitt and Peter McGee. Rock found their bearings and were able to break through on a Lucas Laudier goal. Jonanthan McMahon tucked home a lefty finish for the Rush to close the period out with a 4-1 lead. The underdog Rush weren’t fazed by intermission and kept coming at the start of the second period, with Micah Nesbitt finding Laws Howard for a score, and Augie Patru following up with a goal of his own to make it 6-1 Rush. The Rock got on back on track after MJ Sada scored a tough goal, but the Rush refused to be stopped, scoring two more goals of their own to extend their lead to 8-3 by the end of the period. Determined to end Rock’s undefeated season, the Rush did not slow down in the third period, with Laws Howard immediately scoring two more goals. Lucas Laudier stopped the bleeding for the Rock, taking a hit to score another tough goal. But the Rush would not stop coming, adding another goal off a slick finish from Augie Patru. That was enough to ice the game, and The Rush shocked the Rock 11-5.
Game 6 – Vienna Eskimos 6 DC Lightning 5 (Shootout)
MVP's: Lucas Lee & Ellis Miller
The Vienna Eskimos took on the DC Lightning in the first game of the Junior Elite division. The Eskimos got off to a quick start off a slick Gavin Rohr backhand finish. But DC Lightning responded off a laser from Alex Webb to even the score. A chippy period followed, with both teams struggling to get much offense generated. The Lightning finally broke through on a powerplay goal from big man Sebastian Zuniga and took a 2-1 lead into the 2nd period. The physical play continued into the second period and Vienna opened up the scoring with two goals to take the lead back, with goals from Luke Degnan and Elliot Rhines. The game continued to be tight and physical with both teams getting saves from their goalies and playing man down on penalties. DC Lightning finally responded to the early Vienna goals off a tough tally from Lucas Lee. Chaos ensued as time wound down in the period with the teams trading chances, and Elliot Rhines scored as time expired to help Vienna bring a 4-3 lead into the third period. More back and forth play continued into the third period, with Sebastian Zuniga breaking through to tie the game for DC Lightning, and Merric Tate’s low to low lefty finish gave DC a 5-4 lead. But on the immediate ensuing faceoff Luke Degnan evened the game back for Vienna. Lucas Lee responded with another goal to give the Lightning a two goal lead with 5 minutes left in the game. Elliot Rhines fired back soon after, completing his hat trick and bringing the Eskimos within 1 goal with under 3 minutes to play. Rhines then drew a slash while clearing the ball, earning a powerplay and a chance to tie the game for the Eskimos with 46 seconds left in the contest. On the powerplay, Vienna ran a pick play and Luke Degnan made no mistake as he buried a step down to even the score with 30 seconds left, leading to a penalty shootout. Vienna won in a thrilling shootout, after Ellis Miller made two great saves and goals from Luke Degnan and Sean Coute, who had game winning goal.
Game 7 – Mammoth 4 Knighthawks 14
MVP's: Keoni Daniels & Tommy Leland
In the final game of the day the 2-1 Mammoth took on the 1-2 Knighthawks. Ben Phillips quickly opened the scoring with a highlight reel backhand goal to give the Knighthawks the early lead. That goal followed with an Knighthawk interception and breakaway goal, and midway through the period, the Knighthawks led 2-0. The period continued to be all Knighthawks, and after Jack Alexander added a goal, the Knighthawks held a 4-0 lead at the end of the first period. The second period continued to go the Knighthawks way as Tommy Leland quickly scored two goals to open play. Keoni Daniels finally stopped the bleeding, earning the Mammoth their first goal of the game. Jack Ambrose added his own goal, and the comeback was on for the Mammoth. Luke North continued the run for the Mammoth, bringing the score to 7-3. But in the span of a minute, Tommy Leland completed his hat trick, and Ben Phillips finished off his own hat trick immediately after to make the game 10-3 in favor of the Knighthawks, who brought that score into the third period. At the beginning of the third, Leland scored his fourth off a beautiful pick play. Jack Ambrose responded with a strip and score for the Mammoth. But the lead was too big, and Tommy Leland scored the goal of the day on a diving backhand to effectively ice the game with 4 minutes left. After a Liam Kozanecki goal, the Knighthawks led 13-4 late, and after yet another Leland goal the game finished in a 14-4 Knighthawks win.