St. Joseph High School hockey team is representing the State of Indiana at the USA Hockey National Championships in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. St. Joe is one of 20 teams competing for the title which runs from Wednesday the 20th through Sunday the 24th.
St. Joe opened up the tournament playing the first game against the Idaho Falls Tigers. The Indians arrived in Florida at 1:30am Wednesday after their flight was delayed getting out of Chicago. The 9am game was a challenge with the limited sleep, but the Indians struck first with a goal from Jason Rink to make it 1-0 at the 14:33 mark of the first period. The Indians had sustained pressure on the Tigers early but the Tigers picked up a turnover in the Indians end and put it in the back of the net to make it 1-1 at the 13:00 in the first. The Tigers again took advantage on a failed clearing attempt with 38 seconds remaining in the first to take the lead 2-1. The Indians out shot the Tigers 14-5 in the first period.
The second period was again dominated by the Indians with 7 point blank scoring chances. The Tiger's goalie Jaeger Jensen was up to the task turning them all away. The Indians however turned the tide with a timely goal by Jake Miller with 32 seconds remaining in the 2nd period knotting the game at 2-2.
The third period had the Indians with some jump and cashed in on a rebound as Nick Tirotta slammed home the loose puck into the back of the net. The Indians ran out the clock to claim an opening win 3-2. Sam Fussey had 16 saves in net for the Indians and Jaeger Jensen had 46 saves for the Idaho Tigers.
The Indians resume play tomorrow at 4:30pm as they face the Oak Leafs from Des Moines, IA at the Panther Den rink in Coral Springs, FL.
St. Joe 3, Idaho Falls, ID 2
SJ - Jason Rink (Matt Potter, Graham Murphy)
IF - Mason Bailey (Erika Zambarano)
IF - Chris Lehto (Erika Zambarano)
SJ - Jake Miller (Graham Murphy, Mario Manta)
SJ - Nick Tirotta (Matt Potter, Jason Rink)
Goalies: SJ - Sam Fussey 16 saves, IF - Jaeger Jensen 46 saves