Top performers from the first half of the 2011 tournament
The battle at the mall is on.
The Brick Invitational Hockey Tournament is underway in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, as the iconic summer tournament has crammed in two birth years worth of hockey action over two weeks.
The first tournament is being referred to as the 2021 Brick Invitational (rescheduled), but it’s happening this week, and teams are on a mission to separate themselves from the pack in preliminary-round play.
At the time of publication, eight of the 14 teams have at least two wins to their name, which means the Friday conclusion to the opening round will make for some interesting playoff pairings.
The Toronto Bulldogs are off to a strong start, as they hold a 3-0-0 record as of late Thursday night. They are the only team still sporting a flawless record, thanks to being on the right side of a couple close battles. The Bulldogs started things off with a 3-2 win over the Connecticut Jr. Rangers Wednesday morning, and followed that up with a 6-2 win over neighbor rival Toronto Pro Hockey Wednesday evening. On Thursday, they left West Edmonton Mall to battle Team Pennsylvania, and the Bulldogs picked up a 2-1 win.
Blake Farrell was between the pipes for both of the Bulldogs’ one-goal wins. He’s certainly showing some mental fortitude, serving as a strong last line of defense for his club on a big-time summer hockey stage. Farrell has racked up a .900 save percentage and 2.00 goals-against average in the two outings.
Speaking of hot goaltending, Brody Dickinson is the talk of the food court. The Boston Jr. Bruins goaltender blanked the hometown Team Brick Alberta squad 4-0 Thursday afternoon, giving his team a crucial second win and improving their spot in the standings. Boston’s other win came in their lone game Wednesday – they beat the BC Junior Canucks 4-2. The Bruins’ loss came to Toronto Pro Hockey (a 5-2 final).
The Connecticut Jr. Rangers have a 3-1-0 record after four contests. They fell to the Toronto Bulldogs Wednesday morning, but have ripped off three straight wins, beating the Saskatchewan Jr. Pats 4-3, Team Pennsylvania 5-0 and Toronto Pro Hockey 2-1.
James Hickey has played in all four games for the Jr. Rangers, compiling an impressive stat line of a .907 save percentage, a 1.18 goals-against average and one shutout in the process.
As far as top performers go thus far, there was a four-way tie for the scoring lead. Maxwell Prudovsky of the Boston Jr. Bruins, Duncan Brando of the Western Selects, Ethan Zhang of the Western Selects and Jack Cross of the Connecticut Jr. Rangers all have six points heading into Thursday night. The first three players listed there have only played in three games, while Cross has played in four.
Three of Prudovsky’s points — two goals and an assist – came in their 4-2 win over the BC Junior Canucks.
Brando was an assist machine in the Western Selects’ 10-1 thumping of the Detroit Jr. Red Wings, as he racked up five of them. Teammate Ethan Zhang had an even bigger outing, registering one goal and five assists for six points in the affair.
Three players – Scott Easton of the Western Selects, Brayden Jugnauth of the BC Junior Canucks and Gianni Frasca of Toronto Pro Hockey, have five points apiece.
Aside from the goalies already mentioned, Blake Pickens of Team Minnesota has been a standout in the crease, as well. He’s appeared in two contests, and he’s only allowed a single goal. Pickens holds a .968 save percentage and a 0.66 goals-against average, while his Team Minnesota squad boasts a 2-1 record overall.
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