FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – The North American 3 Atlantic Hockey League closes out 2016 with three games on the week fifteen schedule, beginning with a matchup between the Jersey Wildcats and the Metro Fighting Moose Saturday afternoon.
NA3AHL Game of the Week
Saturday’s matchup between the Wildcats and the Moose will serve as the NA3AHL’s MyHockeyTV.com Game of the Week. The Moose have won two of the three games between the teams thus far, with the teams splitting games at the Aviator Sports Complex and the Moose downing the Wildcats at Aspen Ice on Nov. 19.
And then there were three…
With a perfect 24-0 record, the Long Island Royals are one of three remaining unbeaten teams in Tier 3 junior hockey, per Tier3juniorhockey.com. Of the three remaining perfect teams, the Royals are ranked first in goals for (181).
Returning to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton lineup, forward Jake Fuss (Fairfield, CT) continues to lead the NA3AHL in points with 90 (42G 48A); a 10-point edge of fellow Knight Josh Kim (Livonia, NY). Although he has nine fewer games than Tier 3 points leader Martins Vitolins, Fuss is outpacing the Long Beach forward in points per game by nearly a half-point (4.29-3.79). Fuss is currently the third leading scorer in Tier 3 juniors and is tied with Kim as Tier 3’s leading goal scorer.
Long Island’s Matthew Araujo (Brookhaven, NY) continues to lead NA3AHL defensemen in points with 44 (19G 25A), which also places seventh among all players and places among the top-40 players in Tier 3 juniors.
Sunday morning’s game between the Wildcats and the Exton Bulls will be the final game of 2016 for the NA3AHL. The league will have a three-week break between games for the holidays. League play will resume on Saturday, January 7, 2017 when the Bulls host the Central Penn Panthers at Hill School at 1:45 p.m.
The magic number for the Long Island Royals to win the inaugural NA3AHL regular season championship is 8. Any combination of Long Island wins or Wilkes-Barre/Scranton losses that total eight will result in the Royals winning the President’s Cup.
Four unanswered goals, as part of a five-goal third period, powered Team Black to a 9-6 victory over Team Red in the NA3AHL All-Star Game at Aston Ice Works. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton forward Troy Smith (Churchton, MD), Royals forward Bryan Whelan (Rockville Center, NY) and Exton Bulls forward Erik Stager (Myerstown, PA) each scored a pair of goals in the victory and Wildcats goaltender Ondrej Smalec (Cranford, NJ) picked up the win in net.
Jake Fuss had a pair of goals for Team Red and Moose netminder Thomas Sullivan (Floral Park, NY) had 14 saves in between the pipes.
Week Fourteen's top performers
Josh Kim led the Wilkes-Barre offense with seven points (two goals and five assists) in victories over Central Penn and Exton.
Ryan Messinger (New York, NY) and Gabriel Nadell (Short Hills, NJ) combined for 62 saves in the Wildcats' 2-1 overtime victory over the New Jersey Renegades. Shawn Meneghin (Clifton, NJ) had the OT-winner.
Keith O'Brien (East Setauket, NY) had a pair of goals and an assist, Matt Araujo had three helpers, but it was John Krause (Oakdale, NY) that stole the show in Long Island's streak-extending, 6-0, victory over the Renegades. The keeper tallied 50 saves in pitching his first shutout of the season.