New Hampton, NH-The #11 Kimball Union Wildcats travelled to the #14 New Hampton Huskies in a huge Lakes Region showdown with serious playoff implications. KUA left with the huge overtime win in a penalty filled affair. Veeti Kohvakka got the win in net while Robbie Farrell took the loss despite a very good performance.
Star ratings and profiles have been updated for every player in this report. Lots of changes.
It was apparent early on in the first that Robbie Farrell would be busy in the net for the Huskies. KUA came in waves at the senior net under but he stayed well positioned and made some key saves. Then the Wildcats broke through on a power play as Cornell commit Sullivan Mack took a pretty feed from late 2002 and Michigan commit Luca Fantlli and pumped it home. Providence commit and NHL Draftee Tomas Mazura started the play with a nice pass. It was KUA 1-0 with 12:30 remaining. New Hampton responded 42 seconds later when senior defenseman Adam Shuchart buried a rebound of a Ronny Paragallo shot to even the score. With 8:40 left on the power play, late2004 Adam Fantilli whipped a cross-zone pass to Andrew Noel who snuck in from the blue an fired it home. The Huskies took another penalty but with a better result as Dartmouth commit Isaac MaCleod took a breakaway pass from Marcus Joughin. MaCleod held the puck, dragged it back with his backhand and fired it home. The shorthanded goal tied score 2-2 with 4:27 left. The Huskies had to feel good about the score as they took three penalties and were outplayed by KUA for most of the first.
The second frame saw New Hampton score three goals as they established more play in the Wildcats’ end. The Huskies scored 2:39 in on the power play. 2004 Cole Hipkin ripped a cross ice pass from Joughin into the net. Will Hilfiker who was a force all game picked up an assist as well. At this point, 2003 starting goalie Zakari Brice was pulled for Veeti Kohvakka. The Huskies were up 3-2 but with 7:30 left Adam Fantilli carried a puck end to end on the power play and tried a wrap around. Donte Pierre was there for the rebound score. Then with 4:22 left New Hampton went on a 5-3 power play. They were patient and finally McLeod collected a great cross-crease pass from Joughin and wristed it home. Jack Ring picked the second assist. With 1:57 left, Ryan Mahlmeister slid home a rebound in a scrum. Gritty Ronny Paragallo and Cory Morris assisted. Period ended 5-3 Huskies over the Wildcats. KUA looked visibly frustrated and the third promised to be a wild one.
It was a wild third with more panalties and Kimball Union came out with energy and looked ready to make a run. They made their own break early as they controlled the puck in the NHS zone for a long stretch, culminating in two penalties called at the same time on the Huskies. KUA had a full two-minute 5 on 3 power play just 1:49 into the third. With 16:01 left, Mack buried a back-door pass from Mazura. Teddy Griffin started the play with a smart pass from the point. Then just as the second penalty was expiring, Kimball Union struck again, Mack struck again scoring with an assist to Griffin to tie it at five. It felt like the Wildcats were going to run away with it but Farrell made a few more key saves and NHS never stopped working. With 8:04 left, Shuchart fired a puck home from the point, through traffic and in to make it 6-5 New Hampton. Play was even for the next several minutes until a penalty was called with 1:20 left against New Hampton. It was a hook in the neutral zone. 20 seconds later, Kimball Union took advantage on the PP again with their fifth power play tally as Mazura fired a puck off a skate and in. Sully Mack picked up an assist.
Overtime ended quickly as Mazura gained the zone and made a perfect pass to Mack in the side slot and Sully made no mistake. 7-6 final in a crazy Lakes Region game.
First: Sullivan Mack (KUA)
Second: Tomas Mazura (KUA)
Third: Adam Shuchart (New Hampton)
TTPA: Steven Ardagna (New Hampton)
NZ Notes: For KUA; there was no roster but we knew most of their players and figured the rest out once back at the office. Mack was everywhere and it was the most impressive individual performance we have seen in person all season. Mazura is long with terrific vision. He helped on the breakout and came back in support, mirrored the puck and he also showed up when his team needed him. We liked that he attacked on the line rush, even on the power play. Griffin is really solid. He helped at both ends and is balanced, showed quick hands and a rapid release. He keeps getting better; we think he is their best two-way Dman. 2004 Adam Fantilli had two terrific assists that required a strong stick, quick processor and accurate passing. Elite stuff. He also backchecked hard with a good stick. His brother Luca showed tight gaps, hit to defend, played well on the PP. Brown commit Nick Bernardo kept catching our eye. He is athletic, quick and fast and has four-way mobility. Lots of upside as he is a 2003 who made an impact in a game full of 2001s. For New Hampton; we knew they could score and theyshowed that today. Sacred Heart commit Joughin stopped on pucks, used space and time smartly and changed pace to create gaps. MaCleod is fast, hard on the puck and the forecheck and his shorthanded goal was slick, showed poise. He wheeled and threw sauce to his DMan. Mahlmeister is the straw that stirs his line with Joughin and MacLeod. Ryan drove the net, showed touch near the net and is a smart passer. Ronny Paragallo picked up some points and he was tough to play against, goes to greasy areas and emerged from crowds with possession. He finds pucks. On defense, Hilfiker was excellent. 6’3”, long stride, deceptive speed and great stick. Played a lot. One of the best players on the ice. Shuchart has nice feet, showed speed and kept tight gaps. He created up ice and has a slick element. Like his upside a lot. Ardagna scored a huge goal and also popped players. Heavy shot and got on opponents quickly. Young guys to watch are Mason Kesselring, Nate Novitsky and Jackson Weglarz, all 2004s. Farrell played great in the net, he stayed square, never stopped battling and played the puck very well.
Photo Credit: Dan Hickling/Hickling Images