The St. Lawrence Thunder 16-U and 14-U boys got off to impressive starts while the North Country Icestorm 16-U girls opened with a loss as all three squads got their respective USA Hockey National Tier II tournaments underway Wednesday afternoon.
In Reston, Virginia, the Thunder got off to a slow start before surging to a 7-3 win over the Butler Valley Dawgs of Pittsburgh.
The Dawgs opened the scoring 5:10 into the game on a goal by Zachary Luniewski and carried the 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
The Thunder pulled even two minutes into the second period when Ben Sprague finished off a play set up by Lukas Arquiett. The Thunder went on to score the next three goals in building a 4-1 lead before trading late goals with the Dawgs to go into the final frame leading 5-2. Patrick Mannings power play goal at the 14:48 mark of the second period off an assist from Shane Cryderman held up as the game-winner.
Kaden Pickering anchored a balanced Thunder offense with two goals and an assist. Hayden Hart also netted a pair of goals. Logan Ford tallied a goal and assist. Bailey Hewlett struck for the other goal while Jon-Paul Chauvin and Wyatt Wilmshurst each drew solo helpers.
Logan Brothers stood tall working the crease for 31 saves in the winning effort.
Cole Stayduhar and Vinny Casale scored the other Butler Valley goals while Sam Commendatore turned aside 31 shots backstopping the loss.
The Thunder, coached by Josh Bartell, return to action this morning at 8 a.m. against Toledo. Toledo dropped a 2-1 decision to the Chicago Hawks in their tournament debut.
In Hackensack, New Jersey, the Thunder Bantams also broke open a close game in the second period with a four-goal outburst that carried them to a 6-1 win over the New Jersey Avalanche.
The Thunder got on the board first when Kyran Sunday converted off an assist from Mark Mahoney 13:03 into the game but the Avalanche knotted the scoring just 15 seconds later on a goal by Joseph Polcaro and the teams went into the first intermission tied at 1-1.
Nate Bressard put the Thunder back on top to stay when he finished off a play set up by Sunday and Cole Allen at 12:28 of the middle frame. The Thunder then broke the game open with three goals in just under three minutes starting at the 16:29 mark with Kyler Head connecting from Josh Underwood and ending with back-to-back goals by Corson Green off assists from Josh Sanchez at 18:31 and 19:26.
Jared Barr closed out the scoring with 4:40 left in regulation assisted by Broadie Woods.
Grant VanBuren stopped eight shots for the Thunder while Joseph Sponeberg posted 13 saves in the loss.
The Thunder are slated to take to the ice today at noon against Miami (Ohio) which opened with an 8-0 win over Erie (PA).
In Amherst, the Icestorm overcame an early deficit to take a 2-1 lead before giving up four unanswered goals in dropping a 5-2 decision to the Marquette Sentinels of Michigan.
Allison Carlson opened the scoring with the first of her four goals 8:54 into the game but the Icestorm came right back to tie the game 61 seconds later when Kalie Grant connected for an unassisted goal. Kelsey Green put the locals ahead 2-1 with an unassisted power play goal at the 12:45 mark and thats where the teams stood at the end of the first period.
Carlson tied the game 1:50 into the second frame. A power play goal by Sydneyt Higgins at the 7:15 mark was the game-winner before Carlson generated the final two goals of the game.
Allie Compeau turned aside 27 shots for the Icestorm while Hannah Riesland logged 14 stops in the win.
The Icestorm will look to get on track today when the go up against Mid Fairfield of Connecticut starting at 2:55 p.m. Mid Fairfield lost its opening game 5-1 to Charles River.