By Joshua Boyd / USPHL
The NCDC All-Star Young Guns game, featuring players born between 2004 and 2007 – including Midget AAA players who are prospects within their NCDC organizations – kicked off the two-game All-Star Tuesday on Feb. 21, 2023.
It was a defensive showdown for much of the first two periods, with only one of the six goals being scored in the first 40 minutes. The Boston Junior Bruins’ Shane Baker scored at 12:09 of the first from the Islanders Hockey Club’s Brayton Frick (the first overall draft pick in the 2022 NCDC Entry Draft) and the South Shore Kings’ Nathan Stachowiak.
Also on the National side, IHC 16U AAA goaltender Blake McMeniman stopped all 12 shots he faced from Team American. On the other side, the Jersey Hitmen’s Logan Abric stopped nine of 10.
Both goaltenders earned period shutouts in the second, with the Utica Jr. Comets’ Waylon Esche stopping 12 and 10 stops were made by Lincoln Molind, of the Lovell Hockey Academy (associated with the Boston Advantage).
On into the third went a 1-0 defensive battle. However, it didn’t last much longer than 5:13 when the goal parade began. Stachowiak (South Shore Kings) scored at that point from the Junior Bruins’ Baker and the Northern Cyclones’ Chance Uzzell.
27 seconds later, it was Team American on the board for the first time, courtesy of the Mercer Chiefs’ Gregory Diamond, from teammate David VanIterson and the Rockets Hockey Club’s Ricky Volpe.
The third goal scored in a minute came from the Boston Advantage AAA’s J.J. Alger at 5:56 of the third, assisted by the Twin City Thunder’s Nolan Leonard and the Boston Junior Bruins 18U AAA team’s Jackson Delleo.
Team National held onto that 3-1 lead for a while afterwards until at 19:29, Diamond got his second to make it a close 3-2 score. He was assisted by the Rockets’ Adam Timm and Jonas Dobnig.
The insurance goal came from the Islanders’ Frick, an empty-netter with two seconds left, assisted by Stachowiak and Alex German (Northern Cyclones).