Five players carry point streaks into elimination rounds
The 16U World Selects tournament got underway this week as the final — and oldest — installment of the 2022 spring season. The 2006 birth year marks the last in a series of eight boys international events that began with the 12U age group on April 26th.
Exeter, New Hampshire, hosted some of the top youth hockey prospects from the birth year, as 12 teams from four countries clashed in the six-day event that is expected to conclude on the American Memorial Day holiday. Pool play concluded on Saturday, after 15 of the 30 games were decided by two goals or fewer.
New Hampshire Jr. Wildcats claimed the top spot in Group A with a 4-1-0 record. Their plus-18 goal differential was the highest in the tournament through pool play. Max Dineen currently leads the Jr. Wildcats — and the field of players — in scoring with 11 points.
TPH Selects earned the No. 1 bid out of Group B, as the only undefeated team in the tournament thus far. A 5-0-0 record with one of them coming by way of a shootout makes TPH the top seed overall for the elimination rounds with 14 of a possible 15 total points in the standings.
European-based Czech Selects wrapped up pool play with a 3-2-0 record to finish third in Group A. Forwards Dominik Halacka, Lukas Kollar and Tristan Konobelj combined to score nine of the Czechs’ 19 goals so far.
Fellow Europeans Sweden Selects have not been as fortunate with a 1-4-0 record. Despite finishing in the top half of the tournament in scoring, the Swedes find themselves near the bottom of the standings with three totals points. Defenseman Emil Stadin out of Frölunda HC has eight assists, and a point in four out of five games for Sweden Selects.
RSG Selects forward Niko Tournas has a goal in all five tournament games so far, including a hat trick in the team’s 8-5 win over Sweden Selects. He currently leads all scorers with eight goals. Tournas’ hat trick is one-of-five on the weekend so far; he joins Milo Andersson, Luke Delaney, Kirill Evstigneev and Nick Rockey as the only ones to strike three times in a single game.
Five players enter the elimination rounds on five-game point streaks. Halacka, Tournas, Michael Barron, Cam Springer and Dominik Halacka have recorded a point in every game thus far.
Goaltender Chris Dakers has stopped 46-of-49 shots on goal for the Jr. Wildcats. He’s tied with Bloodline Hockey’s Marko Vucemilovich for the highest save percentage in the tournament with a .939 in pool play. Owen Lepak has won all five games in net for TPH Selects, and his 1.57 goals-against average is only outdone by New Hampshire’s duo of Dakers and Camden Moran.
Elimination rounds are slated to begin Sunday morning with the tournament championship scheduled for 10 a.m. EST. World Hockey Hub will have continued coverage of the World Selects tournament series, so be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube for more!
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