Friday, November 23, 2018

By Lee Samuels

Las Vegas – Wanna take a ride? The Wally Lacroix-coached AA Vegas Jr Golden Knights did just that here on Friday night at the Ice Center.

Vegas had to deal with a smaller, ultra-speed hockey-smart AA Arizona Sun Devils 16u club in a maddening fast game which wound up as a 2-2 tie.  Las Vegas had an opportunity to win via an OT/Shootout goal with 0:03 to play but the puck – which was lasered in and beat the Sun Devils goalie – clanged off hard against the red crossbar above the net area.

Trent Carter and JJ Williamson scored for the the Golden Knights in this Silver Sticks Regional game.

The Sun Devils skate out of the Oceanside Arena in Tempe, Arizona. This was their first game in the tournament.

The game-saver for Las Vegas was the fiery play from goalie Zackary Ortolano who snagged some very hard shots – at different levels – during the third period.

On Saturday Las Vegas, 0-1-1 here, will take on big rival AA Arizona Bobcats 16u at 12:30 pm, then face the AA Anaheim Jr Ducks 16u here at 9:15 pm. Both games are on the North Rink. These are important games for Las Vegas which is looking to advance to the eliminator round of games.

Las Vegas goals

LV – Trent Carter – assisted by Jacob Underhill

LV – JJ Williamson – unassisted

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AA FAIRBANKS ARCTIC LIONS 16u STUN AA ARIZONA BOBCATS 16u 3-2

Las Vegas – In a marquee game which had plenty of heat the AA Fairbanks Arctic Lions 16u scored with seconds to play to stun the AA Arizona Bobcats 16u by 3-2 in a Silver Sticks Regional game played before a massive and loud crowd late Friday night at the Ice Center. And after Fairbanks scored late, Arizona looked like it scored a tying goal but officials rubbed it off saying the clock had ticked down to end the game. Fairbanks during the game attacked all Arizona puck carriers resulting in over a dozen turnovers. Jaren Beckley, one of the Fairbanks captains, had a tremendous skate while pressuring puck carriers and he looks like one of the best players in this tournament – very, very exciting athlete. – Lee, from the Blue Line

Team records so far: Anaheim Jr Ducks 2-0-0, Fairbanks Arctic Lions 2-0-0, Arizona Bobcats 1-1-0, Orange County Hockey Club 1-1-0, Empire Hockey Club 1-1-0, Park City Miners 1-1-0, Vegas Jr Golden Knights 0-1-1, Arizona Jr Sun Devils 0-1-1, Utah Golden Eagles 0-2-0.