By Joshua Boyd / NCDCHockey.com
Team Atlantic turned a 2-1 first period lead into an eventual 5-2 victory over Team New England in the 2024 NCDC All-Star Game played at Agganis Arena on the campus of Boston University on Jan. 15, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The first team to take a lead was the team that went on to win, as the Connecticut Jr. Rangers’ ’03 forward Jack Houser blistered in from the left side, assisted by Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights teammates William Jasmin and Justin Ryan, both ’03’s. Jasmin made a great check to force a turnover leading to the goal at 2:57 in.
New England chimed in themselves on the power play, after Atlantic took a too many men on the ice call. The Utica Jr. Comets’ Fuji Suzuki – an ’05 out of Japan – registered the equalizer for the moment from 2003-born Utica teammates Payne Gatewood and Nick Dimatos.
The tie score would not live to see the first intermission as eventual The Dan K Show Star Of the Game Sam Blanton, an ’04 from the Rockets Hockey Club, put in his first of the game. Rockets teammate ’03 Cam Bergeman had one assist, the other going to ’04 Ryan Kearney of the P.A.L. Jr. Islanders.
The second period saw neither team able to register a goal, as a nice goaltender mini-duel developed between the Islanders Hockey Club’s ’04 Frank Murphy and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights’ ’03 Tade Carman. As a great backstory, both players experienced success in the USPHL Premier as recently as just last season and were both Premier All-Stars in 2022-23, Carman with the Knights own Premier team and Murphy with the Toledo Cherokee: #USPHLAdvancement in action!
Carman stopped all 11 shots faced to give him his shutout period in the second.
Murphy made 14 saves on the 14 shots he faced to blank Atlantic in the second as well.
The Rockets’ Blanton had the next goal as well, 6:15 after the third period was back in action. Once again helped out by the Jr. Islanders’ Kearney, Blanton struck paydirt.
Henri Spoof sent in a laser to pick up a 4-1 lead for Team Atlantic, representing the Mercer Chiefs well.
Team New England wasn’t done yet, however. From the blue line, Utica defenseman ’05 defenseman Riley Joslin delivered a goal to give his team a jump. He was assisted by Islanders Hockey Club ’03 forward Tikhon Ashikhmin and ’04 Junior Bruins forward Shane Baker.