Minnesota Division goes 5-3 on Opening Day

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Ducks offense, Tri City defense highlight Day 1 of interdivisional play

The Minnesota Junior Hockey League is back and open for business, relieving the summer hiatus with an eight-game lid lifter Thursday in Rochester.

The 16 member teams each faced off, as the MnJHL officially opened its 2013-14 season with the first of four days of interdivisional play.

Minnesota Division teams won five of the eight contests with victories from the Maple Grove Energy, Dells Ducks, Twin Cities Northern Lights, Hudson Crusaders and Rochester Ice Hawks.

The Fort Wayne Federals, Illiana Blackbirds and Tri City Ice Hawks countered with victories for the Great Lakes Division.

Here’s a brief wrap-up of all the day’s action:

Maple Grove Energy 9, Wisconsin Rampage 2

The very first game of the weekend started at 10 a.m. Shortly later, the cannon that was the Maple Grove Energy went off.

Maple Grove scored four times the opening period of its season debut, which would end in a 9-2 victory over the Wisconsin Rampage.

Sam Terres and Vladyslav Makorevych  supplied most of the offense for the energy. Terres finished with four points, including a hat trick. Makorevych scored a pair, and assisted on four others.

Zach Larson was credited with the victory in goal for the Energy after finishing the season opener with 25 saves.

Wisconsin’s offense was provided by Joe Burbano and Sam Cirone . Each netted third period goals for the Rampage.

Fort Wayne Federals 6, Minnesota Owls 2

Fort Wayne broke open a tight contest with second period barrage that paved the way to a 6-2 victory over Minnesota.

The teams would be tied at 1-1 after the first period, but the Federals scored three goals in the first nine minutes of the second, pulling away to earn the Great Lakes Division its first victory of the day.

Maxim Chegrintcev scored two of the Federals goals in the third, and finished with a hat trick after getting one more in the third.

Ryan Matteson scored twice for Fort Wayne in the victory, Brendan Lewis added a goal and two assists, and goaltender Tyler Martz made 23 saves.

Cory Muzzy and Jackson Critser were each credited with goals for the Owls.

Illiana Blackbirds 5, Edina Lakers 2

A 2-0 deficit would not prove too much for Illiana to overcome, as the Blackbirds responded to that exact dilemma with a handful of unanswered goals in a 5-2 victory over the Edina Lakers.

Trailing by a pair after Edina opened the scoring with goals from Dylan Vanbrocklin in the first period and then Joe Stoneburner early in the second, the Blackbirds would even the score at 2-2 before the end of the second when Joe Orosz and Austin Ahlers each found the back of the net.

Then, Chad Miller and Orosz put Illiana out front by two with goals 31 seconds apart in the third, before Ahlers notched a shorthanded tally late in the game to finish off the comeback.

The Blackbirds also got two assists each from Nathan Alosio, Cameron Montalvo and Colin O’Connor in the win. Illiana goaltender Konstantin Shipunov made 28 saves in net.  Sam Nelson finished with 33 saves for Edina.

Dells Ducks 15, St. Louis Frontenacs 1

The most lopsided game of the day went to the Dells Ducks, and that might not even appropriately describe the show the Ducks put on.

The opened their stay in Rochester with a 15-1 victory over the St. Louis Frontenacs, pouring 102 total shots on goal on a day in which Jimmy Buckingham would score on seven of those attempts alone.

Tyler Reichl pitched in with three goals of his own, and both Johnny Schwarz and Ian Harris ended up with three assists.

The Ducks scored four goals both of the first two periods; a span in which they outshot St. Louis 71-5.

John Urvater recorded the Frontenacs lone goal of the contest with a power play goal 8:07 into the third.

Twin Cities Northern Lights 3, Marquette Royales 1

The defending national runners-up were provided a serious test in their season debut, and it came against an opponent making its MnJHL debut.

The Marquette Royales were impressive in their unveiling, but a two-goal third period would prove the difference for the Twin Cities Northern Lights in a 3-1 victory.

Nick DeSimone netted the first goal for Marquette just 1:05 after the opening face-off, giving the Royals an advantage they would hold until just over two minutes into the middle period.

Michael Gunderson evened the score with a power play goal for the Northern Lights at 2:08 of the second. Special teams would come into play in the third as well, as Jamison Bach scored short-handed to put Twin Cities up 2-1 before Drew Otterlei extended the lead to 3-1 with a power play goal with 7:29 to play.

Andrew Bergquist assisted on two goals for Twin Cities, as the Northern Lights attempted to solve Royales goaltender Bryce Leaf, who finished with 37 saves in defeat.

Hudson Crusaders 7, Central Wisconsin Saints 3

The power play wasn’t clicking for the Hudson Crusaders Thursday, but the 5-on-5 operation made up for it in a 7-3 victory over the Central Wisconsin Saints.

Despite being blanked on each of its 10 power play opportunities, Hudson used six even-strength goals to open the season with an impressive win.

Justin Reudesbusch led a balanced effort with two goals, including a short-handed marker in the third to put Hudson up 6-3.

Zach Milavitz, AJ Caskey, Austin O’Rourke and Zach Fedie also scored for the Crusaders, and Billy Wagner added a pair of assists.

Garrett Weitzel finished with two goals for Central Wisconsin, and Saints goaltender Dax Deadrick was credited with 34 saves in the loss.

Tri City Ice Hawks 5, Steele County Blades 4

The most exciting match-up of the day wen to Tri-City and Steele County, as the two teams battled to the buzzer in a game that would go to the Ice Hawks 5-4.

But that would only come after Steele County rallied from a one-time 5-1 deficit to make it a one goal game for the final 3:21 of regulation.

The Ice Hawks took a 2-1 lead after one, then opened the second period with two goals from Josh Blum and another from Kyle Latimer to go up by four.

Steele County got one back late in the third when Bryan Knesel scored his second of the game. The Blades cut the lead to 5-3 on a short-handed goal from Jake Hainline at 4:08 of the third, then got within one on a Chris Koziel goal at the 16:39 mark.

Harley White would make it stand from there. The Tri City goaltender would finish with 54 saves in all.

Jakob Smith added three assists offensively for the Ice Hawks.

Aaron Kirsch had a pair of helpers for Steele County.

Rochester Ice Hawks 7, Wooster Oilers 3

The hometown Rochester Ice Hawks opened their season debut with a flurry, and then closed it in the same fashion in skating to a 7-3 victory over the Wooster Oilers Thursday.

Rochester scored the games first two goals, including a tally from Nikolas Marconcini 47 seconds into the game.

Wooster would rally to tie the game before the end of the first on goals from Remington Reynolds and Kyle Hickman, and it would be a 3-3 game heading into the third, but Rochester would take over from there.

Nick Paulson, Trevor Sabo, Marconcini and Ludo Duncko each scored goals, as the Ice Hawks pulled away to win 7-3.

Jake Kelly would assist on two of those third period goals, and he finished with three assists for the game. Duncko ended up with a pair of goals and an assists, and Corey Grummick was good for 29 saves on 32 shots on goal.

Daniel Kemter made 36 saves for Wooster. Reynolds finished the game with two points on a goal and an assist.

Friday, September 13

Illiana Blackbirds vs. Hudson Crusaders, 10 a.m. at Graham Arena #4

Fort Wayne Federals vs. Steele County Blades, 10 a.m. at the Rochester Recreation Center

St. Louis Frontenacs vs. Twin Cities Northern Lights, 1 p.m. at Graham Arena #4

Tri City Ice Hawks vs. Maple Grove Energy, 1 p.m. at the Rochester Recreation Center

Wooster Oilers vs. Edina Lakers, 4 p.m. at Graham Arena #4

Wisconsin Rampage vs. Minnesota Owls, 4 p.m. at the Rochester Recreation Center

Marquette Royales vs. Dells Ducks, 7 p.m. at Graham Arena #4

Central Wisconsin Saints vs. Rochester Ice Hawks, 7 p.m. at the Rochester Recreation Center

Saturday, September 14

Wooster Oilers vs. Minnesota Owls, 10 a.m. at Graham Arena #4

St. Louis Frontenacs vs. Hudson Crusaders, 10 a.m. at the Rochester Recreation Center

Central Wisconsin Saints vs. Edina Lakers, 1 p.m. at Graham Arena #4

Illiana Blackbirds vs. Twin Cities Northern Lights, 1 p.m. at the Rochester Recreation Center

Wisconsin Rampage vs. Dells Ducks, 4 p.m. at Graham Arena #4

Marquette Royales vs. Steele County Blades, 4 p.m. at the Rochester Recreation Center

Fort Wayne Federals vs. Maple Grove Energy, 7 p.m. at Graham Arena #4

Tri City Ice Hawks vs. Rochester Ice Hawks, 7 p.m. the Rochester Recreation Center

Sunday, September 15

Marquette Royales vs. Edina Lakers, 8 a.m. at Graham Arena #4

Fort Wayne Federals vs. Twin Cities Northern Lights, 8 a.m. at the Rochester Recreation Center

Illiana Blackbirds vs. Maple Grove Energy, 10:30 a.m. at Graham Arena #4

St. Louis Frontenacs vs. Rochester Ice Hawks, 10:30 a.m. at the Rochester Recreation Center

Wooster Oilers vs. Steele County Blades, noon at the Four Seasons Centre

Tri City Ice Hawks vs. Minnesota Owls, 1 p.m. at Graham Arena #4

Wisconsin Rampage vs. Hudson Crusaders, 3:30 p.m. at Graham Arena #4

Central Wisconsin Saints vs. Dells Ducks, 5 p.m. at Poppy Waterman Arena

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