The Springfield Jr. Pics took the ice on Sunday evening against a Selects Academy team that had collectively scored 28 goals in their first three games of the showcase. The Pics were coming off a 3-2 loss the night before to the Rochester Jr. Monarchs, so they were hungry to get back on the winning side, even if it meant defeating a team with so much offense and several NCAA Division 1 college commitments.
The Selects hadn’t waited any longer than 4:34 of the first period of their first three games to open their offensive fireworks. So when it was still a 0-0 tie after the first 25-minute half, there was a lot of excitement brewing about a great contest here - especially in a building only about a half hour’s drive from Springfield.
At the 5:59 mark of the second period, the Selects’ Primo Self (a Miami University of Ohio commit) was hauled down on his way to the net, leading to a penalty shot. He capitalized on the penalty shot and the Selects took the 1-0 lead.
The Selects took a late penalty leading to a power play goal by Mark McClure, stationed to the left of the net, putting one home off a rebound of a shot by Lukas Svarek - Igor Tsitavets also earned an assist. Both teams tried hard to get something set up, but nothing could gel into a scoring chance for the remainder of regulation.
In OT, at the 2:15 mark, Max Moriarty poked home a puck that was in the crease but not yet covered by the Selects goalie for the game-winner, assisted by Brock Baumann and Kyle Nelson.
“My linemate with me took the puck down off a nice breakout by our D, we drove it to the net, it bounced out, I hit it as hard as I could and it went in the back,” said Moriarty. “That’s about all it was - a lot of luck, a lot of skill.”
This was only the Selects’ third loss in 12 games this year, with the Chicago Mission and St. Andrews College - Canada’s top-ranked prep school - joining the Pics in edging Selects Academy this year, rare company given the Selects were ranked eighth overall in the nation last week.
That was also only the Pics’ second win of the Midget Showcase. They were one of the few teams with three scheduled games for the showcase rather than the standard four. Early on Saturday, they defeated the Maine Moose, 6-0, before falling that evening to Rochester.
But nothing was bursting the Pics’ bubble on Sunday night.
“It was a hard game for both teams,” said Pics goalie Martin Altrichter, who made 20 saves on 21 Selects Academy shots. “It’s unreal.”