Friday, November 29, 2013


By Lee Samuels

Las Vegas – It all came down to the final precious seconds. Las Vegas was working on a 6 on 4, the clock was ticking down, fans from both teams were pressing their faces against cold rink glass on the Las Vegas Ice Center’s south rink.

But somehow, someway the gold-shirt AA Channel Island Riptide 18u skaters held off the Las Vegas sharpshooters and won 4-3 here at the Silver Stick Regional. It was the first win here for the Riptide. It was the second heart-wrenching one-goal loss here for Las Vegas.

Las Vegas got off to a quick start when Hayden Breceda, from the right point, took a snap shot and the puck took a high-rising flight hard into the top right shelf area of the net.  Breceda scored with 9:51 left in the first period. Las Vegas led, 1-0.

Las Vegas had more shots 13-12 in the first period, then the Riptide’s top skaters began winning hard-fought puck battles, took off on fast attack runs towards Wranglers goalie Chase Smith. The Riptide had more shots 23-8 in the second period and scored four times.

This was after Mitchell Province had scored on a neat backhand to tie the game 2-2.

The Riptide took a 4-2 lead going into the third period.

The game got dicey when Eric Williams of Las Vegas drove towards the slot area and unloaded to blue-streak a puck into the upper right corner.

That made it 4-3 Riptide early in the third period.

That was as close as Las Vegas got, however. The game took a turn and had a physicality about it, with hard checks in the final period.

The loss eliminated Las Vegas from participating in the Final 4 of this tournament. However, the Jr Wranglers next get a crack at the team all have been buzzing about here – the unbeaten Orange County Hockey Club #1 18u team at the Ice Center on Saturday morning.

Channel Island Riptide……0…..4…..0=4

Las Vegas Jr Wranglers…..1…..1…..1=3

Las Vegas scoring, in order – Hayden Breceda, Mitchell Province, Eric Williams

Las Vegas goalie – Chase Smith (41 saves)

Shots on Goal

First Period – Las Vegas 13-12

Second Period – Riptide 23-8

Third Period – Riptide 9-7

Total – Riptide 45-27

Las Vegas Stars of the Game

#1 Eric Williams

#2 Mitchell Province

#3 Brandon Williams