Organization from Connecticut successfully defends its tournament title not once, but twice in Edmonton
A two-year delay didn’t keep the Connecticut Jr. Rangers from defending its Brick Tournament crown. In fact, the defending champions were so determined to maintain the team’s spot at the top, they won the Brick title twice in back-to-back weeks.
Fresh off the 2011 group capturing the “2021” Brick tournament that was held as a make-up for the original getting canceled last summer, the 2012 group of Jr. Rangers continued the organization’s ownership of the prestigious summer tournament.
The ’12s capped off a perfect 8-0 stay at the West Edmonton Mall with a 5-2 victory over Team Minnesota on July 10 to win the summer tournament.
The first period was a wild one and it set the tone for the championship battle between the two U.S. squads. Team Minnesota sent 12 shots at CJR netminder Luke Thompson, but he turned aside all of them. Meanwhile, the Rangers had seven shots in the opening frame, but both Andrew Hargadon and Nikita Kochetov found the back of the Minnesota net, giving their team the momentum needed to control the rest of the contest.
Maverick Schiltgen scored with 1:29 remaining in the second period, but Team Minnesota couldn’t find the equalizer.
Goals from Jack Brayman and Luke Whalen put CJR firmly in control of the contest in the third period, despite Schiltgen scoring his second of the game for Minnesota.
Matthew Tselnik started the party early for CJR, scoring on an empty net with 1:04 remaining to seal the deal for the Rangers.
Thompson finished with 23 saves on 25 shots to wrap up an impressive Brick Tournament showing between the pipes for CJR. He finished with a 5-0-0 record, a .900 save percentage and a 1.34 goals-against average. Crease companion Nathan Zakowich was just as stellar for Connecticut, as he recorded a 3-0-0 record, a .920 save percentage, a 1.00 goals-against average and one shutout.
Brayman led the Rangers in scoring with nine goals and 17 points in eight games. Ryan Graves was second with five goals and 12 points. Whalen scored an impressive six goals and eight points, and both Hargardon and Christian Talapila had six points apiece.
While Schiltgen scored twice in the final, CJR managed to hold two of the top scorers in the tournament at bay. Jack Allgood led the Brick in scoring with a whopping 18 points and Austin Jarvi had 16 points, yet both were held in check in the championship.
Other tournament standouts included the Montreal Canadiens’ Flavio DiPlacido, who recorded 15 points in eight games, and the three players who all hit the 13-point mark – Lyrik Selch of the Manitoba Junior Ice, Jack Keiser of Team Minnesota and Peter Broccolini of the Canadiens.
There were some exceptional goaltending performances, as well. Dylan Lavallee of Team Brick Alberta finished with a 3-1-0 record, a .930 save percentage, a 1.21 goals-against average and one shutout. Jackson Zinner of the BC Junior Canucks registered a 3-0-0 record, a .943 save percentage, a 1.46 goals-against average and a shutout.
Christian Arianna of the Toronto Bulldogs posted two shutouts in his two wins, finishing with a 2-2-0 record, a .904 save percentage and a 1.56 goals-against. Ethan Fullarton of Toronto Pro Hockey also had a 3-0-0 record, a .921 save percentage, a 1.60 goals-against and one shutout.
Here were the all-star teams, as selected by the organizers:
First Team All-Stars:
Jackson Zinner, BC Junior Canucks
Drew Simpson, Manitoba Junior Ice
Cohen St. Louis, Team Brick Alberta
Flavio DiPlacido, Montreal Canadiens
Jack Allgood, Team Minnesota
Jack Brayman, Connecticut Jr. Rangers
Second Team All-Stars:
Mason Khoury, Montreal Canadiens
Miles Shillings, Team Minnesota
Kwensy Fontaine, Montreal Canadiens
Brayden Pearsall, Team Pennsylvania
Matthew Dodic, Toronto Bulldogs
Kale Nicol, Manitoba Junior Ice