Each week, World Hockey Hub highlights a few of the most exciting upcoming games in youth hockey. From the hottest rivalries to the biggest tournaments, we focus on matchups that will impact the landscape among top teams in the sport.
SSM, Compuware meet in ‘07 top-10 matchup
Two 2007-born U.S. clubs are about to get very familiar with one another, as No. 2 Shattuck-St. Mary’s (9-4-3) will kick off a three-game series against No. 7 Compuware (13-6-0) on Oct. 28.
|Friday, October 28 @ 7:00 p.m. ET|
Shattuck-St. Mary’s Ice Arena
SSM enters this series fresh off a 6-1 victory against Minnesota SDP last week. Compuware was also victorious in their last game, dispatching the Sun County Panthers in a cross-border matchup by a final score of 4-2.
Shattuck will depend heavily on their goaltending for these games, as Compuware has tallied at least three goals in 15 of their 19 games this season.
Grayson Hanggi and Garrett Glaser have both suited up for eight games each to this point in the season for Shattuck and have equally proved they are up to the task of serving as the last line of defense.
Hanggi has compiled a 4-2-2 record along with a 2.02 goals-against average, and Glaser has fared equally as well. The 5-foot-6, 135-pound native of Marlborough, Massachusetts has collected a 5-2-1 record with a 1.96 goals-against average.
K-Espoo, Jokerit’s ‘09-born battle
Kiekko-Espoo Blues I (5-0-2) and Jokerit Blue (8-4-1) will take to the ice to see who will end up on top of Group 1 among 2009-born Finland squads.
|Sunday, October 20 @ 3:15 p.m. EEST|
In a contest of the No. 1 and No. 2 ‘09 teams in Sweden, Blues I and Kiekko-Espoo Blues II skated to a 3-3 tie last Sunday. After Blues II built up a 2-0 lead in the second period, Jesse Pahkamaa netted a late goal to cut the deficit to 2-1. Once the game was tied in the third frame, Pahkamaa found the back of the net yet again, putting Blues I up 3-2. The lead was short-lived however, when Lucas Kituniemi tied the contest once again just over a minute later.
Jokerit easily handled HJK White, putting home eight goals en route to a 8-3 win. Their offensive outburst was led by the trio of Jimi Kivinen, Niklas A. Pitkäjärvi and Wilmer C. Hämäläinen, who all collected three points.
Both of these clubs like to rely on their offense, so this contest should be no low-scoring affair. On paper alone, the Blues have an astounding plus-51 goal differential.
The dynamic overall game of Luka Santala and his 25 points (15G, 10A) across 6 games leads the Blues, with Lassi Luostarinen (8G, 7A) and Aaron Räisänen (8G, 5A) rounding out their top three scorers.
Jokerit’s offense will look to counter with Mark Karkkonen (7G, 3A), Mikhail Vasin (2G, 6A) and Hämäläinen (1G, 7A).
Marlboros look to crack top 10 vs. Don Mills
The Toronto Marlboros (9-1-1) hope that a victory over No. 1 Don Mills Flyers (10-0-1) will be enough to boost them back into the top 10 among ‘09 Canadian teams.
|Tuesday, October 25 @ 7:10 p.m. EST|
Victoria Village Arena
The Flyers have been perfect in their last two contests, shutting out the Mississauga Rebels and North York Rangers, 5-0 and 4-0, respectively.
They also took part in the Toronto Red Wings Early Bird Tournament earlier this month. The U14 team went undefeated in the round robin and the playoffs, eventually winning the championship 3-1 over the Toronto Titans.
The Marlboros enter this game after having most recently bested the Vaughan Kings, 4-1.
Stifling defense and strong goaltending have been major reasons why Don Mills has enjoyed success this season, while the Marlboros have found balanced offensive numbers across their contests.
It will be exciting to see if the Flyers can continue their defensive dominance or if the Marlboros will be able to crack through for a victory.
Quebec clash between Patriotes Laval, National Montréal
The No. 7 Patriotes Laval (5-0-2) will face off against fellow group club National Montréal (6-0-0) on Saturday.
|Saturday, October 29 @ 12:00 p.m. EST|
Laval, Guimond-3 Sports Complex
Currently occupying second in their respective group, the Patriotes saw a healthy jump into the latest world rankings among 2011 programs. With a victory against Montréal, they can certainly use it as a chance to show they have what it takes to skate with the best of not only their country, but birth year as well.
Laval was victorious against Collége Français Rive Sud 6-3 last time out. It was a tight 3-2 game into the third period before Laval locked things down defensively and tallied three goals for a 6-2 lead. While not enough for a comeback bid, Rive Sud would add a late goal in regulation.
Montréal ended up in the win column against Conquérants Basses Laurentides in their last game thanks to a 5-0 shutout.
This has the makings of a heavyweight battle, with both clubs seemingly able to strike offensively at will and led by two dynamic forward pairings.
For Laval, Keironn Davis Diakite (4G, 7A) and Shawn-Anthony Senat (5G, 4A) lead all skaters, while Leo Fernandez Pisanu (4G, 7A) and Mathis Cloutier (5G, 5A) stand out for Montréal.
Time will tell if these players continue to provide the offense needed for their clubs, or if some new heroes will emerge in what promises to be a high-scoring affair.