AUSTIN, MN – Five of the six Bruins who participated at this week’s NAHL Top Prospects Tournament registered a point as the event came to an end on Wednesday evening at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan. Evan Cholak scored a goal while Dante Zapata, Andy Willis, Jaden Shields, and Josef Mysak all registered assists over the two day event.
On Tuesday, all six Bruins suited up in the nightcap game, with Cholak, Zapata, Willis, Lane Krenzen, and Team Central topping the NAHL Selects White, 2-1 in a low scoring affair. No Bruins registered points with Aberdeen’s Evan Rochowiak and Brookings’ Doug Larson scoring the goals for the victorious Central Division.
Team Central faced the Midwest Division on Wednesday afternoon and fell 4-1, but it was the “Bruins line” that produced the lone goal. Zapata played the puck ahead to Cholak who fed Willis in the middle. Willis chipped it back to Cholak on his left, who moved the puck quickly from his skate to his stick and then cut aggressively across the goalmouth, scoring a breathtaking highlight-reel goal – diving through the air as he backhanded the puck around the pad of goaltender Josh Benson. (Fairbanks) The goal gave the Central a 1-0 lead, but proved to be the only one they’d score. The Midwest finished the Tournament with a 2-0 record, the only team to do so.
In the final game of the day and the Tournament, the NAHL Selects White battled the East Division. With the score tied at one in the first period, Shields and Mysak set up the go-ahead powerplay goal. The Magicians’ Kyle Grundy tipped the puck back to Shields at the right point, who fed it over to Mysak on the left side. Mysak spotted Grundy with a diagonal pass through the zone at the right faceoff circle and Grundy scored five-hole to put the Selects White up 2-1. Despite a 4-2 Selects lead at the end of two periods, the East scored four times in the third to rally for a 6-4 win.
Over 220 NCAA and professional scouts attended the event, which the Bruins hope will lead to additions to their already extensive college commitment list. Players and coaches now head back to their respective NAHL clubs to get set for the stretch run toward the Robertson Cup Playoffs. The Bruins travel to Aberdeen in yet another Central Division first place battle this weekend on Friday and Saturday night at 7:15 PM from Odde Ice Center.