PITTSBURGH – Team Johnson bested Team Mullen, 5-2, in the second annual CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game Thursday (Sept. 26) at CONSOL Energy Center. Keegan Iverson (St. Louis Park, Minn.) notched a goal and an assist for Team Johnson to earn Gillette Player of the Game honors. Meanwhile, Ryan Donato (Scituate, Mass.) collected a pair of assists for Team Mullen.
Team Johnson opened the scoring just 37 seconds into the second period by capitalizing on a Team Mullen turnover. After intercepting a clearing attempt, Iverson found Dylan Larkin (Waterford, Mich.) in the left circle, where Larkin spun and fired a shot low past Ed Minney (Wind Gap, Pa.).
The score remained 1-0 until 4:27 of the third period when Team Mullen converted on a power play. Tony DeAngelo (Philadelphia, Pa.) made a no-look pass from the point into the right circle for Jack Dougherty(Cottage Grove, Minn.), who fired a quick shot through traffic past goaltender Blake Weyrick (Ojai, Calif.)
Two minutes later, Team Johnson regained the lead when Iverson and Larkin connected again. Larkin picked up a loose puck near the blue line and put a hard shot on net. The rebound bounced right to Iverson, who scored to give Team Johnson the 2-1 advantage.
Team Johnson stretched its lead to 3-1 at 10:54 of the final period when Sonny Milano (Massapequa, N.Y.) took a perfect pass from Alex Tuch (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) in front of the net, made a quick move and then slid a shot through the five-hole of goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic (Parma, Ohio).
Joe Wegwerth (Brewster, N.Y.) retaliated for Team Mullen at 16:18 of the third to cut the lead to 3-2. After Donato placed a centering pass right on his stick, Wegwerth made a backhand-forehand move and scored.
One-minute later, Chase De Leo (La Mirada, Calif.) reestablished a two-goal lead for Team Johnson. With the puck bouncing along the wall, Ryan Hitchcock (Manhasset, N.Y.) made a tape-to-tape cross-ice pass to De Leo at the edge of the crease. De Leo quickly gathered the puck and beat Nedeljkovic with a wrist shot just inside the near post.
Shane Eiserman (West Newbury, Mass.) finished the scoring with an empty-net tally at 19:32 of the third period.
Team Johnson starting goaltender Thatcher Demko (San Diego, Calif./Boston College) was flawless in 28:23 of action, stopping all six shots he faced. Weyrick made 19 stops on 21 shots in relief.
Minney started in goal for Team Mullen and recorded 16 saves on 17 shots. Nedeljkovic turned away 13 shots in just over 30 minutes of action.
Notes: Bill Guerin, 2013 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame inductee, presented Keegan Iverson with the Gillette Player of the Game Award ... Dan Bylsma, head coach of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team and the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins, dropped the ceremonial first puck ... Penguins alumni Mark Johnson and Joe Mullen served as head coaches for the second annual CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game. Danton Cole and John Gruden of USA Hockey's National Team Development Program were assistant coaches ... Additional staff for the event included General Manager Jim Johannson, Athletic Trainer Andrew Baker, Equipment Manager Brock Bradley and Director of Hockey Operations Tom Minton ... Players selected to compete in the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game were chosen by USA Hockey in conjunction with NHL Central Scouting ... Of the 39 players that competed in the Game, 33 have skated in the United States Hockey League, the top junior league in America, including 24 from USA Hockey's National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich. Additionally, 25 of the 39 are future or current NCAA Division I college athletes ... Players selected to participate represented 12 states. Minnesota led the way with eight, while New York had six and Michigan had five. Other states included California, Illinois, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Colorado, New Hampshire and Ohio.