By Tim Droogsma
An unbeaten weekend – including a 4-1 showdown win over Team North – propelled Team Northwest to first place in the Upper Midwest High School Elite League with only two weeks left in the regular season.
Northwest opened the weekend by beating first-place Team North 4-1. League-leading scorer Tony Cameranesi scored to tie the game at 1-1, and teammates Jake Horton, T.J. Roo and Patrick Steinhauser added goals, while netminder Anders Franke stopped 27 of 28 shots. Northwest then earned an important point against Team Southwest, coming back from a 3-0 third-period deficit to earn a 3-3 tie. Christian Horn's goal with 33 seconds remaining capped the comeback and supported goalie Ryan Coyne's 34 saves. Northwest then completed the weekend by winning a 6-5 shootout with Team Southeast as T.J. Roo scored with 1:27 to play. Cameranesi scored three times to add to his league-leading point total, while Jake Guentzel had a goal and an assist.
For Team North, the loss to Northwest opened a 1-2 weekend that saw the team fall to second place. On Saturday night Northwest edged team Southeast 5-4 as Jordan Heller and Josh Archibald each scored in the final five minutes to complete a comeback. Adam Barlow added two assists, and Dom DeGuiseppi made 38 saves for the win. The weekend ended for North with a 4-1 loss to Shattuck-St. Mary's in which in which Heller scored the lone goal.
A 1-1-1 weekend lifted Team Wisconsin into a tie for third place with a 7-7-1 record. Wisconsin opened the weekend by beating Team Great Plains 3-2 at Tim Davison, Brett Bukowski and Brad Navin each scored. Following a 7-1 loss to Team Northeast, Wisconsin earned a 3-3 tie with Team Southwest, thanks to goalie Saxton Soley of Eau Claire Memorial, who made 56 saves.
For Team Southwest, it was their second tie of the weekend. On Saturday, goals by Kyle Rau, Michael Sit and Nick Seeler gave Southwest a 3-0 lead over Team Northwest, only to have Northwest tie it in the final minute.
Team Southeast fell to fifth place with a series of one-goal losses. On Tuesday, the fell 2-1 to Shattuck despite a 37-save effort from goalie Charlie Lindgren. A.J. Reid scored the lone goal. On Saturday they dropped a 5-4 decision to Team North, with A.J. Michaelson contributing a goal and an assist. Sunday's loss was a heartbreaking 6-5 decision to Team Northwest. After Justin Kloos scored his third goal of the game with less than two minutes remaining to tie the game at 5-5, Northwest answered with the winning goal nineteen seconds later. Kloos had an assist to go with his hat trick.
Team Great Plains had a 1-2 weekend. In the early game Saturday, third-period goals by Jordan Aamot and Tucker Poolman were not enough in a 3-2 loss to Wisconsin. Later Saturday, Great Plains fell 5-3 to Shattuck as Poolman and John Simonson each had a goal and an assist. They earned a win on Sunday, beating Team Northeast 8-4 as Luke Johnson, Shane Omdahl and Chris Forney each scored two goals.
Shattuck enjoyed an unbeaten week with three victories. On Wednesday, Hans Drawbert's third-period goal was the winner in a 2-1 win over Team Southeast. On Saturday, Ryan Schwalbe had a goal and an assist in a 5-3 defeat of Team Great Plains. On Sunday, Shattuck beat Team North 4-1 as goalie Kyle Hayton stopped 35 shots and Zach Stepan had a pair of assists.
Team Northeast gained its lone victory of week on Saturday, beating Wisconsin 7-1 behind Jake Sampson's hat trick. White Bear Lake's Max Birkinbine had a goal and four assists in the game.
NOTES: Team Northwest's Tony Cameranesi now holds a six-point lead in the league scoring race, following a five-goal weekend. The Wayzata senior has 14 goals and 14 assists for 28 points. In second is Team Northeast's Jake Sampson (10-12-22), followed by Southeast's Justin Kloos (8-13-21) and Northwest's Patrick Steinhauser (11-10-21). Team Southwest's Kyle Rau is tied with Cameranesi in goals with 14...Shattuck goalie Kyle Hayton has moved to the top of the stat sheet in goals-against average (1.86) and save percentage (.937). For Week Six, six games will be played at the Brainerd Civic Arena, with other game at Faribault and New Hope…On Friday, Cameranesi committed to the University of Minnesota-Duluth, becoming the fourth current Elite League player to make a Division I commitment. The others are Virginia's Garrett Hendrickson (St. Cloud State), Eden Prairie's Kyle Rau (Minnesota) and Blake's Ryan Bullock (Dartmouth).