But that didn't workout like they hoped. Then to wrap up the Showcase on Saturday, they were on their way to score a huge upset victory over the NAPHL U18 Leading Pittsburgh Viper Stars who despite being out-shot 42-20 by the Tornado U18 Leading Scorer Quinton Vitek where he had his best showcase of the season so far with 6 points in the 5 games (2G 4A) and what he thought was the game winner. However the Viper Stars in the 3rd period slowly but surely came back as they were able to ware down the Tornado Defense for Jacob Hetz to score his 10th goal of the season on the PP just 28 seconds after Quinton Vitek committed a Tripping Minor at the 10:08 mark of the 3rd period. When the game went to the SO, Viper Stars Bob Tritschler & Elliott Tisdale scored in the SO to win the SO 2-1 and win the game 4-3 over the Tornado.
After the 1-3-1 record this week, this takes their season record to 4-10-4 overall in the NAPHL U18 League Standings as they will hit the ice again in Troy, Michigan when they play the Omaha AAA Lancers, Wenatchee Wild, San Jose Jr. Sharks & the West Michigan Hounds when the Troy Showcase takes place in Mid-January.
Texas Tornado U18 Results
12/28: Detroit Falcons 2 Texas Tornado 5 (0-0, 1-4, 1-1)
12/29: Texas Tornado 3 Indiana Jr. Ice 5 (1-2, 1-2, 1-1)
12/29: Texas Tornado 2 West Michigan Hounds 5 (2-1, 0-1, 0-3)
12/30: Pikes Peak Miners 4 Texas Tornado 1 (2-1, 1-0, 1-0)
12/31: Texas Tornado 3 Pittsburgh Viper Stars 4 (SO) (2-1, 1-1, 0-1, 0-1)
The theme for the Tornado U16 Team was super close games as 3 of the team's 5 games went to the SO that lead to a 2-1-2 record as both of their wins came courtesy of the Shootout with a SO Victory over the Las Vegas Storm on Saturday and a pair of 4-3 SO Losses to the Carolina Jr. Hurricanes on Friday Morning & to the St. Louis Selects on Wednesday to open the Showcase.
Their biggest victory of the week came in a 4-0 Shutout win over the Detroit Falcons that was lead by Freedie Kratz & Mason Weis who teamed up to help score goals late in the 2nd & midway through the 3rd periods were the Falcons had a very hard time stopping the Forward Duo that helped dominate the game. And a strong team defensive game that kept the Falcons to a lowly 16 shots on goals which was among one of the lowest shot totals of the season for the Detroit Falcons U16 Team.
The worst loss of the week came on Thursday Night when the California Titans used a fast start to score 3 times in the 1st 8 minutes (including twice in 12 seconds) midway through the 1st period to go up 3-0 and didn't look back as the Titans used that to cruise to a 6-2 victory. This was the beginning of a very strong game by Titans defensemen Austin Wilk had an offensive breakout with his 2nd straight 3 point game and had 7 points overall in the Showcase which was among the Defensive Scoring Leaders at the U16 Age Group this week.
The Final Tornado U16 Game against the Las Vegas Storm saw a really fast start to the game as Alex Mono & Dominic Garcia as well as Tornado Forward Drew Winsauer traded goals in just over 3 minutes to kickoff the game to make it 2-1 Las Vegas, not long after that the Tornado stopped the bleeding in a game that could have gotten out of hand early Brendan Harris scored on a PP after a Mason Weis Boarding Penalty. The Tornado took advantage of a Storm Line Change and forced a 3 on 1 where Warriner & Hoenshell helped set up Nathaniel Bollman to make it 3-2 at the 8:36 mark of the 1st period; after that goal, both teams took more of a more defensive approach to make sure the game didn't get out of control for either side for the rest of the period.
Another Vegas PP in the 2nd period's opening minute with a Chandler Davis Roughing Minor Hausinger Brothers to team up to make it 4-2 Las Vegas just 1:57 of the 2nd period on the Power Play. Looking for ways to get back into the game, the Tornado continued to get a lot of SOG on Storm Goalie Talon Miller, but couldn't get much traffic or any meaningful rushes on him to get back within this game. Until Mason Weis connected to Kade Brannon on a give and go which allowed Brannon to break free from Vegas Pressure in front of the net to score at the 11:20 mark to make it 4-3 where the Tornado had the momentum going into the 3rd period.
Following a Nathan Bollman Roughing penalty turned into an Unsportsmanlike Conduct Penalty, the Vegas Storm helped use that to hopefully put the nail in the coffin as they were able to out shot Vegas 14-5 in the 3rd period, but Tornado Goalie Jay Harrington made some of his best saves of the game to make it a 4-3 game.
Mason Weis scored to tie the game at 4-4 with assists from Trace Wariner & Austin Cox, after being able to fight off a late Vegas Charge to force a SO. Ryan Poole & Austin Cox both scored in the SO to win the game 5-4 and finish the Showcase 2-1-2 to up their NAPHL U16 record to 7-3-4 (18 PTS, 57 GF 43 GA) in the NAPHL U16 Age Group going into the Final Regular Season Showcase of the season.
Next up for the Tornado U16's will be in Troy, Michigan from 1/13-16 where a tough schedule awaits them including the Indiana Jr. Ice & Orange County who are in a 4 way tie for 2nd. Also, The Tornado also will play the Phoenix Firebirds & the Carolina Jr. Hurricanes as well in Troy, Michigan in Mid-January.
Texas Tornado U16 Results
For the Dallas U18 Team which was an All Star Team from the ATT Metroplex HS Hockey League (ATTMHSHL). They knew it would an uphill battle for most of the games because of the talent gap as the players were at a Double A level at best with their respective Travel Teams. They had a few glimpses of brilliance during the Showcase.
The best performance came on Friday Morning when they were able to draw within 1 goal on two occasions at 2-1 & 3-2 with goals coming from Doss Allen (Midlothian) & Chance Summers (GCISD) in the 2nd period.
Also during the game against the San Jose Jr. Sharks had the game tied at 1-1 in the 2nd period when Hayden Marshall helped tie the game early in the 2nd period & had them even at 1-1 till early in the 3rd period, but didn't have any major chances to take a lead where they were down the entire showcase Event after finishing 0-5.
Dallas U18 best showing came on Friday against the St. Louis Selects where they were able to get their only leads in the Showcase where Hayden Meshell (Dallas Jesuit) scored twice in the 1st, after Payton Baldillez made it 3-2 early in the 2nd. They couldn't get anything else going later in the game as the Selects stifled any hopes of the Dallas U18 Team holding on when the Selects scored 4 unanswered goals, including a hat trick by Tommy Daniels in a pair of instances midway through both the 2nd & 3rd periods when they scored within 3 minutes of each other on both occasion's.
However, the Dallas U18 Team did exceed expectations by scoring 12 goals when many experts thought they would blown out and hard pressed to score at all in every game.
Dallas U18 Results
Among other teams & Individuals that stood out this week was the U18 Game between the Pikes Peak Miners & Pittsburgh Viper Stars on Wednesday Night as both teams were fighting to get on top of the NAPHL U18 Standings.
It included one of the best finishes of any game during the Showcase when Pikes Peak scored 3 unanswered goals, including goals by Justin Tutag & Kirk Van Ankel who scored 90 seconds apart to go up 4-2 with less then 7 minutes to go.
Then the Viper Stars were able to comeback with their leading scorers Bob Tritschler & Heinz Kolster just 37 seconds apart to tie the game at 4-4, to force the SO where they eventually won the game with Tritschler & Elliott Tisdale who scored in the Shootout to win 5-4 and keep their NAPHL U18 Lead with an impressive 16-1-1 record where they went a perfect 5-0 in Dallas and are unbeaten since October 22 when Orange County beat them 2-1.
Also among the Standout Teams in the U16 Level was the Omaha AAA Lancers who managed to score double digit goals three times this week, which was lead by NAPHL U16 Leading Scorer Chris Wilkie who has an impressive 35 points (16G 19A) in just 14 NAPHL U16 Games this season. During the Dallas Showcase, Wilkie had an amazing 21 points in 5 games this weekend (11G 10A) including a 6 goal game in a 15-4 victory against Oz Fitness, the Omaha AAA Lancers U16 Team also beat Pursuit of Excellence 10-0 on Wednesday & the St. Louis Selects 10-1 on Saturday
Even though they are currently sit in 6th in the NAPHL U16 Standings, the gap from the NAPHL U16 leading San Jose Jr. Sharks to the Lancers is just 4 points as they were able to close the gap on the U16 League Leaders.
They were also a pair of bizarre moments from games involving Dallas Area Teams as well. On Wednesday Night in the Texas Tornado U18 Game against the Detroit Falcons, Falcons Head Coach Chris Slater protested a pair of Misconduct Penalties against Trevor Hillman & Mike Munoz at the 11:14 mark of the 3rd period by throwing a bunch of the players sticks onto the ice. He was also tossed from that game and was suspended for their against the Pittsburgh Viper Stars as well.
Then in the Dallas U18 VS. Pittsburgh Viper Stars Game on the Thursday night, when the Viper Stars were looking to clear the puck & get a line change, the puck that was going around the glass shattered a piece of pexi-glass that delayed the game in the 2nd period and might have killed the momentum for the Viper Stars to help prvent the game from becoming a much bigger blowout with the Viper Stars leading 6-1 at the time late in the 2nd period at the time of the inicident.
The NAPHL will return to Dallas in May when the league hosts the annual NAPHL Top Prospects Tournament from May 4-6 at the Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco, which will be going on as well as the NAHL Robertson Cup Tournament that the Texas Tornado will be hosting from May 3-8 at the Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco.