By Terry Stasica, Team Manager
After placing first the last two years Illinois started the 2015 America’s Showcase with a rematch of last year’s final game. Illinois won the first game 5-0 then went on to beat Indiana 5-0 and Missouri Blue 7-0 before going to the quarter finals vs Mid Am. Illinois came out on top in this game 5-1 then went on to beat Wisconsin 9-3. The final game saw Illinois facing the host team, Pittsburgh, in a rematch of the 2013 final game. After being tied 1-1 after the first period, Pittsburgh scored 3 unanswered goals giving them a 4-1 lead in the third period. Illinois came back late in the third with 2 goals but fell short in their bid to tie the game in regulation time losing the game 4-3. This is the 4th year since the 6 years the event has been in Pittsburgh that Illinois has been in the final game.
Illinois 5 vs California 1
After finishing first the last two years, Illinois started the 2015 America’s Showcase with a rematch of last years’ final game against California. This fast-paced game had the scoring open at 5:40 of the first period with Illinois’ Brent Segvich netting an unassisted goal. California then scored at 14:29 of the first tying the game. The second period saw goals from Illinois’ Christopher Zhang (Alex Merritt, Brad Glass) 32 seconds in and Jake Cimarusti (Harrison Kohl, Gavin Proeh) at 9:47. Illinois put the game away in the third period with goals from Nick Pietro (Mike DeSalvo, Adam Czarnecki) at 4:12 then Mike Altobelli (Gavin Proeh, Brent Segvich) at 11:36. Final Score: Illinois 5 California 1. Bradley Neal was in net for Illinois stopping 15 shots
Illinois 5 vs Indiana 0
The second game saw Illinois facing Indiana. Illinois had a three-goal lead after the first period and cruised the rest of the way en route to a 5-0 win over Indiana. Illinois forced the Indiana goalie to work between the pipes, taking 32 shots. Illinois was led by Troy Nelson, who tallied two goals and one assist. Nelson scored the first of his two goals at 3:42 into the first period to make the score 1-0 Illinois. Nelson’s next tally made the score 5-0 Illinois with 5:07 left in the third period. Robert Ernsting picked up the assist. Others who scored for Illinois included Jack Dolby, Jake Cimarusti, and Adam Czarnecki, who each put in one. Other players who recorded assists for Illinois were Thomas Feldman, who had two and Michael Altobelli, Michael DeSalvo, and Nick Pietro, who contributed one each. Indiana found itself stymied offensively, and got off a mere 12 shots against Illinois’ defense led by Jack Dolby, Chad Yale and Tom Pratl. Illinois’ Jack Junge in net stopped 12 shots out of the 12 that he faced.
Illinois 7 vs Missouri 0
In the third game Illinois saw Missouri Blue. Tommy Feldman opened the scoring with assists from Robert Ernsting and Troy Nelson to lead Illinois to a 7-0 victory over Missouri Blue. Illinois’ offense rang up 32 shots on Missouri Blue’s net. Others who scored for Illinois were Nick Pietro, who had two goals with assists from Mike DeSalvo and Adam Czarnecki in the first and then from Harrison Kohl and Mike DeSalvo on the second, Chad Yale from Troy Nelson and Tommy Feldman, Brent Segvich from Gavin Proeh and Jake Cimarusti, and Alex Merritt from Chris Zhang and Kyle Slovis, and closing out the scoring was Robert Ernsting from Troy Nelson and Kyle Slovis. Missouri Blue did not challenge the Illinois netminder. Bradley Neal, getting only 14 shots on net to force 14 saves for Illinois’ second shutout of the tournament. Missouri Blue’s goaltender stopped 25 shots out of the 32 that he faced.
Illinois 5 vs Mid-America 1
Troy Nelson netted a hat trick to lead Illinois over Mid-American, 5-1 in the quarter final game. Brent Sevich opened the scoring with assists from Gavin Proeh and Jake Cimarusti at 12:23 of the first. Nelson got his first goal in the first with assists from Tommy Feldman and Robert Ernsting. Chris Zhang from Brad Glass and Alex Merritt opened the scoring in the second followed by Troy Nelson’s second goal of the game from Robert Ernsting and Tommy Feldman. Troy Nelson then completed his hat trick in the third from line mates Tommy Feldman and Robert Ernsting. Illinois kept Mid-American’s goalie busy throughout the game with 35 shots. Mid-American’s offense was handcuffed by Illinois’ defensive play from Harrison Kohl, Mike Altobelli, Kyle Slovis, Chad Yale, Tom Pratl and Jack Dolby with Mid-American managing only 10 shots on goal during the game. Illinois’ Jack Junge stopped nine shots out of the 10 that he faced.
Illinois 9 vs Wisconsin 3
Sunday night Illinois went up against a strong Wisconsin team in the semifinal game. Bradley Neal had the net for this game. Wisconsin came out aggressive in the first AND opened the scoring at 4:04. Illinois answered at 8:30 on a goal by Tommy Feldman (Chad Yale) but Wisconsin came back at 15:54 taking the first period 2 to 1. The second saw Robert Ernsting netting an unassisted goal at 3:44 then again at 7:14 Robert Ernsting (Tommy Feldman). Chris Zhang (Jake Cimarusti, Alex Merritt) came right back and scored at 7:37. Jake Cimarusti (Chris Zhang, Chad Yale) closed ring making it 5 to 2 Illinois in the lead. The third period started with Mike DeSalvo (Nick Pietro) scoring a 1:53. Wisconsin then came back with a goal at 4:10. but Illinois went on to get three more – Jack Dolby (Brent Segvich), Tommy Feldman (Robert Ernsting) and Jake Cimarusti (Chris Zhang, Alex Merritt) to take the game 9 to 3. Bradley Neal made 14 saves while Illinois ended up with 38 shots. That game put Illinois back in the final game Monday morning against Pittsburgh. Illinois is the defending champion taking the tournament title the last two years. This would also be the third time Illinois and Pittsburgh met in the final game. Pittsburgh took the first game 6 years ago, the first year the tournament was held in Pittsburgh, while Illinois took the game the second time these two teams met two years ago.
Illinois 3 vs Pittsburgh 4
Illinois opened the scoring on a goal by Alex Merritt from Jake Cimarusti. Pittsburgh then tallied 3 unanswered goals making it 4 to 1 into the third period. Late in the third Illinois got a goal from Jack Dolby with assists from Alex Merritt and Chris Zhang. Then with the goaltender pulled, at 1:58 Jake Cimarusti scored unassisted to bring Illinois within a goal but Pittsburgh held on to take a 4 to 3 win. Jack Junge rejected 19 shots on goal for Illinois while the Pittsburgh goaltender stopped 27 of the 30 shots he faced.
Categories: High School