Week 21 MHR/LiveBarn Games of the Week
The playoff push is upon us, and this week we give you a sampling of great youth hockey playoff action from around the United States for our Week 21 MHR/LiveBarn Games of the Week.
Each of our featured games this week takes place over the weekend. For our first matchup, we head to the beautiful Centene Community Ice Center outside of St. Louis for some National Girls Hockey League (NGHL) Blue Division postseason action.
The NGHL is a league consisting of teams at various age groups and levels of play from all over the United States offering competition from ages 10U through 19U. Weekend showcase-style events are scheduled throughout the year to provide exposure for players and supplement their full-time league schedules. Standings are kept and one weekend is set aside at each level to determine champions.
The Futures Division (10U and 12U) held its championship tournament recently as did the Red Division, which is a combination of Tier 1 and highly ranked Tier 2 teams at the 14U, 16U and 19U levels.
CLICK HERE to find out more about those events.
This weekend it’s time for the NGHL Blue Division Championship, featuring some of the top 14U, 16U and 19U Tier 2 clubs in the United States. Our highlighted game pits the No. 15 19U Tier 2 Arizona Kachinas against the 25th-ranked Omaha Lady Lancers in preliminary-round play on Saturday.
CLICK HERE for the NGHL Blue Division Championship schedule, scores and standings.
From St. Louis we travel North to Troy, Mich., for playoff action in the 18U Division of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL). A partner of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), the only USA Hockey-sanctioned tuition-free junior league in the United States, the NAPHL provides a league format with showcase-style events held throughout the year, presenting opportunities for boys playing at the 14U, 15U, 16U, and 18U levels to be seen by high-level junior and college scouts.
This weekend the NAPHL is holding playoffs for its Tier 1 and Showcase Divisions at the 14U, 15U, 16U and 18U levels. CLICK HERE for information about those events. Our featured game is a battle of top-25 teams from the 18U Tier 1 Division Saturday as the No. 19 Philadelphia Little Flyers take on the #25 Maine Nordiques.
Our last two Games of the Week come to you from Illinois and Minnesota, respectively.
State tournament play is underway in Illinois as some of the nation’s top Tier 1 teams compete for berths in the Central District Tournament, which will decide who earns automatic berths to the USA Hockey National Championships in April (for teams 14U and older. CLICK HERE for links to all the great upcoming action in Illinois. Our Game of the Week is a top-10 matchup from the 2010 age group as the fifth-ranked Chicago Fury take on the No. 7 Chicago Reapers Sunday.
District tournament play is underway for club teams in Minnesota at the Bantam (14U) level and younger as teams compete for berths in the regional and ultimately the state tournament. CLICK HERE for more information on the Minnesota postseason tournament structure. Our highlighted game from Minnesota this week is a matchup of top-13 Minn-Kota Peewee Teams Sunday as the No. 5 Mahtomedi Zephyrs face off against the No. 13 Stillwater Ponies.
Week 21 MHR/LiveBarn Featured Games of the Week
#15 Arizona Kachinas vs. #25 Omaha Lady Lancers
Level: USA Girls 19U Tier 1
Date: Saturday, February 18
Time: 12:45 p.m. ET
Location: Centene Community Ice Center – Maryland Heights, Mo.
Event: NGHL Blue Division Championship
This is one of the top preliminary-round matchups from the NGHL Blue Division Championship weekend outside of St. Louis. The Kachinas, who play an ambitious schedule that includes games against many Tier 1 teams, bring an overall record of 18-19-2 into championship weekend. They have been outscored, 82-102, while playing the second-toughest schedule of any 19U Tier 2 team in the U.S. Arizona is unbeaten in its last five contests entering the weekend, going 4-0-1 in that span while surrendering just two goals. The Kachinas’ last loss was a 4-1 setback against Tier 1 16U Team Colorado Jan. 21, but they rebounded to tie them, 0-0, the following day. Arizona defeated the No. 48 Tier 1 New Jersey Colonials, 4-1, Dec. 29. This will be the second meeting of these two teams this season. Arizona defeated Omaha, 4-2, Nov. 26, thanks to a pair of goals by Aidyn DiGrazia and 31 saves from Alyssa Townsley. Omaha enters the weekend with a record of 10-14-1 and has gone 6-7-1 in 14 outings leading up to championship weekend.
#19 Philadelphia Little Flyers vs. #25 Maine Nordiques
Level: USA Boys 19U Tier 1
Date: Saturday, February 18
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Troy Sports Center – Troy, Mich.
Event: NAPHL Tier 1 Playoffs
The first-place Philadelphia Little Flyers take on the fifth-place Maine Nordiques in one of the top early matchups at the 18U Tier 1 NAPHL Playoffs. Philadelphia concluded regular-season NAPHL play with a record of 14-1-0-1 for 43 points, while the Nordiques went 11-5-0-0 for 31 points. Maine had one overtime win, while the Little Flyers recorded one shootout loss. That shootout decision came against the Nordiques in a 2-1 thriller Dec. 4. The two teams also faced off on Sept. 24, with the Little Flyers earning a 3-1 victory. Philadelphia is led offensively by defenseman Charles Antirilli, who recorded 18 points in league play to finish tied for 11th in scoring. Shane Kozlina, who earned MHR Peak Performer honors earlier this season, paced the Nordiques’ offensive attack with 20 points and was tied for sixth in the league scoring race. Little Flyers goalie Michael Manzi went 7-0-0-1 in league play with a 0.40 goals-against average and a .982 save percentage. Teammate Jake Schunke was 7-1-0-0, with a 1.41 GAA and .939 save percentage. Maine’s Ryan Piekarski was 5-1-0-0 with a 2.45 GAA and .906 save percentage, while Braxton Castagno went 5-3-0-0 with a 2.63 GAA and .891 save percentage. The Little Flyers enter the weekend 32-10-5 overall and having outscored their opponents, 186-90. The Nordiques are 28-16-2 and have scored 164 goals while allowing 113.
#5 Chicago Fury vs. #7 Chicago Reapers
Level: USA Boys 2010 Tier 1
Date: Sunday, February 19
Time: 12:20 p.m. ET
Location: Mt. Prospect Ice Arena – Mt. Prospect, Ill.
Event: Illinois State Tier 1 Playoffs
This game was not played as scheduled. These two teams opened the tournament with three wins and are now scheduled to meet twice next weekend to determine the State champion.
We bring you a big-time top-10 matchup of Chicago rivals from the Illinois Tier 1 State Tournament as part of our Week 21 Games of the Week slate. The Fury bring a sparkling 42-23-7 record into the state tourney, having outscored their opponents, 342-231, in the process. Meanwhile, the Reapers enter the weekend at 36-16-3 and holding a 286-151 scoring advantage over their foes to date. This will be the fifth meeting of the two teams this season, with the Reapers holding a 3-0-1 series advantage in what has been a high-scoring series. The Reapers skated to 8-4, 5-3 and 7-5 victories before the teams played to a 3-all tie Dec. 4 in their most-recent meeting. The Fury enters the weekend on a six-game winning streak that has seen them score 41 goals dating to a 4-3 loss to the No. 4 Chicago Mission Jan. 7. Meanwhile, the Reapers are on a hot streak of their own, having won their previous 10 outings leading up to this weekend’s showdown, dating to a 6-3 loss to Ontario’s top-ranked Toronto Jr. Canadiens Jan. 6. They rebounded from that setback to knock off No. 10 Pittsburgh Penguins Elite, 3-2, the following day and have outscored their opponents, 57-19, during the recent winning streak.
#8 White Bear Lake Bears vs. #13 Stillwater Ponies
Level: Minn-Kota Peewee AA
Date: Sunday, February 19
Time: 3:00 p.m. ET
Location: St. Croix Valley Recreation Center – Stillwater, Minn.
Event: Minnesota District Playoffs
One of the top early Minnesota Peewee district playoff matchups features a pair of top-13 Minn-Kota AA teams as White Bear Lake and Stillwater face off Sunday. The Bears bring a 28-12-6 record into the contest and have outscored their opponents, 227-140. Stillwater is 23-15-1 and has outscored its foes, 216-152. These two teams have met three times previously, splitting two of the meetings, with the other ending in a 4-4 tie. WBL won, 6-5, Dec. 11, while Stillwater won, 8-5, Nov. 11. White Bear Lake enters the weekend in the midst of a three-game winless streak (0-2-1) that has seen them fall to No. 12 Eden Prairie, 5-3, and No.16 Rochester, 5-2. The Bears also tied No. 2 Woodbury, 5-5. Prior to that WBL had won four of its previous five outings. Stillwater dropped its last game, 5-4, vs. the No. 18 Rosemount Irish and are 1-2-0 in their past three outings. Prior to that, the Ponies had won five in row since an 8-7 loss to the No. 15 Andover Huskies Jan. 21. One of their wins during that streak was a 5-3 decision vs. No. 11 Lakeville North.