Jr. Generals suffer 1st loss in regulation
The surprise of the North American 3 Hockey League Showcase in Romeoville, IL for Michigan teams was not necessarily Battle Creek's first win of the season, but maybe Flint's first loss in regulation and then a second defeat in overtime.
The Jr. Generals entered the showcase with a 21-0-1 record and in their first of four games found themselves in a shootout with the Chicago Bulldogs after finishing regulation and a five-minute overtime in a 3-3 tie with goals from Zach Koonce, Mark McGee and Justin Fisher.
After the first five shooters produced yet another tie thanks to Gens' Austin Fletcher's goal to tie it, the shootout went into sudden death. Flint's seventh shooter Jacob Lainesse put it ahead and then goalie Nathan Klebe made his sixth save in the shootout for the win.
On Day 2, Flint faced a team that entered the showcase with only one regulation loss this season, the North Iowa Bulls. After a scoreless first period Caleb Gannelli put Flint ahead, but the Bulls turned the tide taking a 2-1 lead before the end of the period and adding an insurance goal in the third to lay the 3-1 setback on the Jr. Gens.
In game 3 Flint let a solid 3-1 second period lead (goals by Nicholas Gnagni, Fisher and McGee) slip away in the third period to the Alexandria Blizzard, who settled the affair with a goal just 49 seconds into OT. Flint took out its frustrations in their final game with Sugar Land Imperials, busting open a 1-1 game after the first frame to go home with a 9-1 win. McGee led the offensive with two goals and three assists.
Meanwhile, Battle Creek was 0-17-0 after losing its first showcase game 9-1 to Toledo. But on Day 2 the Central Division cellar dwelling Revolution took on the South Division's first place team, the Topeka Capitals.
Two Battle Creek goals by Michael Schmitt and a third by Eric Stewart in the second period gave the Revs a 3-1 lead. Topeka struck first to close the lead in the third period only to see Chris McCausland score the game winning goal with less than six minutes to play.
Topeka added a late goal to make the final 4-3, but the big star of the game was BC goalie Zach Kooi, who stopped 40 of 43 shots on goal.
The two other Michigan teams, the Michigan Mountain Cats and the Metro Jets both came away with one win at the showcase, Metro with a 6-5 overtime victory over Minnesota and the Mountain Cats with a 6-4 win over Sugar Land.