Daniel Oordt of the American West Hockey League’s Billings Bulls and Cody Foster of the Northern Pacific Hockey League’s Eugene Generals got 2014 off to a great start with New Year’s Day shutouts.
Oordt made 48 saves to lead the Bulls to a 5-0 victory over the Bozeman Ice Dogs. Bozeman outshot Billings 48-32, but Oordt’s big night produced the victory. The Bulls’ Cody Phillips had two assists and scored a shorthanded goal in the second period to extend Billings’ lead to 3-0.
Foster made 14 saves when the Generals defeated the Tri-Cities Outlaws, 6-0. Connor Hoernlein scored a pair of second-period goals to give Eugene a 3-0 lead, then added an assist in the third period.
One night earlier on New Year’s Eve, Foster made 22 saves and Hunter Hartman scored one goal and assisted on another when Eugene made it through a tougher battle with Tri-Cities to pull out a 2-1, Nor-Pac win.
NEW YEAR’S EVE: There were many junior games around the country on New Year’s Eve, and many included strong goaltending performances.
Cal Petersen matched the United States Hockey League lead in wins with his 16th when he made 32 saves to lead the Waterloo Black Hawks to a 4-1 victory over the Lincoln Stars. The win was the fifth straight by Waterloo (22-6-1). Petersen, a Buffalo Sabres’ draft pick, has stopped 73 of 77 shots while winning three times since Christmas.
Cole Bruns made 29 saves as the Omaha Lancers beat the Sioux City Musketeers 2-1, ending Sioux City’s seven-game USHL winning streak.
Two of the North American Hockey League’s top goalies squared off when the Aberdeen Wings edged the Bismarck Bobcats, 2-1. Aberdeen’s Chad Catt, the NAHL’s leader in save percentage, made 39 saves to outduel Bismarck’s Aaron Nelson, who is second in the league in wins.
Blake Cates made 34 saves for his first NAHL shutout when the Coulee Region Chill blanked the Minnesota Magicians, 5-0.
Also in the NAHL, Connor Girard stopped a penalty shot with 17 seconds remaining to preserve a 3-2 win for the Brookings Blizzard over the Minnesota Wilderness.
Sean Kelley made 41 saves to lead the Gillette Wild to a 5-0 shutout of the Yellowstone Quake in the AWHL.
COLLEGE COMMITMENTS: Lincoln Stars scoring leader John Simonson has committed to play at the University of North Dakota next season. Simonson, a 20-year-old from Grand Forks, N.D., has 10 goals and eight assists in 24 games.
Muskegon Lumberjacks defenseman Adam Larkin committed to Yale University. Larkin, an 18-year-old from Clarkston, Mich., has five points in 28 USHL games.
Wyatt Ege, a defenseman for the Fairbanks Ice Dogs of the North American Hockey League, committed to the University of Alaska Anchorage. The 18-year-old from Elk River, Minn. has six points in 29 games.
Nik Nugnes of the Eastern Hockey League’s Connecticut Oilers committed to the University of Maine. Nugnes, 20, from West Barnstable, Mass., is in the top 10 in the league in wins, goals-against average and save percentage.
ONE-TIMERS: Tyler Vesel matched USHL season-highs for assists (four) and points (five) Friday to lead the Omaha Lancers to an 8-3 romp over the Tri-City Storm. … Billings posted a 4-3 overtime victory over the Great Falls Americans in a New Year’s Eve AWHL game when T.J. Theodosopoulos scored with 10 seconds left in regulation and Christian Akita added the winner at 1:41 of overtime. … The MHL Red Stars from Russia tuned up for a tour of games against NCAA Division I teams with a 5-4 victory over the Eastern League All-Stars Dec. 23 in Lowell, Mass. … Hu Hikosaka had hat tricks in all three games while Kole Hudson had eight assists when the Topeka Capitals outscored the Sugar Land Imperials 25-6 to sweep the weekend series between the top two teams in the NA3HL South Division.
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.