The St. Lawrence Thunder 16-Under and 14-Under boys teams both improved to 2-0 by outscoring their opponents by a combined 10-1 on Thursday while the North Country Icestorm 16-Under Girls regrouped to even their record as all three teams continued pursuing USA Hockey Tier II National Tournament titles.
For the second time in as many games at the Tier II 16-Under championship tournament in Reston, Virginia, the Thunder Midgets broke open a close game with a decisive scoring outburst late in the second period as they posted a 6-1 win over Toledo.
Kaden Pickering notched the only goal of the first period when he finished off a play set up by Hayden Hart and Chad Varney just 4:28 into the game but Toledo would battle back to tie the game 6:14 into the second on a goal by Tristin Snyder.
The game remained tied until the 12:13 mark of the middle frame when Lukas Arquiett netted a power play goal off assists from Pickering and Logan Ford. That would hold up as the game-winner but the Thunder generated two more goals over the next four minutes to pull away to a 4-1 lead. Wyatt Wilmshurst tallied the third Thunder goal assisted by Jordan Robert and Kody Kocsis at 13:49 before Pickering capped the offensive surge just 71 seconds later assisted by Varney.
Arquiett added to the Thunder lead just 3:07 into the third assisted by Patrick Manning and Robert before Wilmshurst closed out the scoring at the 13:48 mark assisted by Kocsis and Ben Sprague.
Logan Brothers went the distance between the pipes for the Thunder, turning aside 15 of the shots he faced while Jacob Smalley posted 34 saves for Toledo (0-2).
The Thunder, coached by Josh Bartell, will look to continue their strong start when the wrap up the preliminary round today at 4:15 p.m. against the Chicago Hawks, who slipped to 1-1 after being outscored 8-6 by the Butler Valley Dawgs.
At the Tier II 14-Under tournament in Hackensack, New Jersey, the Thunder Bantams produced the only goal they would need midway through the first period en route to claiming a 4-0 win over the Miami Toros of Florida.
Josh Sanchez broke through for the eventual game-winner at the 11:40 mark of the first period assisted by Corson Green and Kyler Head. Sanchez made it 2-0 at 8:34 of the second period when he fashioned a power play goal off assists by Cole Moore and Green, who made it 3-0 less than five minutes later by finishing off a play set up by Jacob Mattice and Josh Underwood.
Head sealed the win at 11:49 of the third assisted by Mattice.
Merrick Taraska made 18 saves backstopping the shutout while Liam Murray handled 11 shots for the Toros, who fell to 1-1 for the tournament.
Guided by Bobby Smith, the Thunder Bantams will look to continue their quest for a third straight trip to the national final this morning when they take on Erie (0-2) starting at 8:30 a.m. Erie followed up an 8-0 loss to Miami with a 3-1 setback to the New Jersey Avalanche.
ICESTORM 16-U GIRLS
In Amherst, the Icestorm evened their preliminary round record to 1-1 and kept they quarterfinal round hopes alive after turning back the Mid Fairfield Start 4-2 at the Tier II 16-Under tournament in Amherst.
Grant opened the scoring six minutes into the game assisted by Laura Wells then made it 2-0 at the 9:34 mark off an assist from Reaghan Peets before Lindsay Miller got the Stars on the board with the first of her two goals at 16:14.
Grant completed her hattrick when she converted off an assist from Kirstin Barkey at 15:46 of the second period.
Miller cut the deficit to 3-2 in the third before Barkley connected from Grant to seal the win.
Allie Compeau made 14 stops working the crease for the win while Jamie Ernst (20 saves) and Zowie Caouette (5 saves) shared crease duties for the Stars (0-2).
Coached by Mike Grant, the Icestorm close out the preliminary round today against Carolina starting at 12:20 p.m. as they look to clinch a spot in the quarterfinals. Caroline improved to 2-0 with a 5-0 win over Charles River on Thursday.