Saturday, November 24, 2018

By Lee Samuels

Las Vegas –  In a staggering awesome performance the Wally Lacroix-coached AA Vegas Jr Golden Knights 16u took control, handled and eliminated the AA Anaheim Jr Ducks 4-2 here at the Silver Sticks Regional Championships on the North Rink at the Las Vegas Ice Center on Saturday night.

Anaheim needed a win to advance to the gold medal game. Instead the AA Fairbanks Arctic Lions with a tremendous captain in Jaren Beckley and the AA Orange County Hockey Club with a premier goalie in Liam Scott will play for the gold here Sunday with the winning team to advance to the Silver Sticks U.S. Nationals.

This was by far the biggest win in the Wally Lacroix coaching era with the AA Jr Golden Knights. Vegas defenseman Trent Carter played his best game ever to protect goalie Colton Miller who was strong in the net for the second straight game. Carter, in the closing high-tension moments, took control, used head feints, directed play and helped moved the puck out of the Jr Golden Knights defensive zone. Trent is unquestionably one of the great new defensemen in Las Vegas.

Vegas has a small army of sharpshooters and scoring goals in this game were TJ Toth, Trent Carter, Heath Mensch and Jacob Underhill. 

Vegas went 2-1-1 here in a Silver Sticks qualifier loaded with strong teams and awesome talent offensively, defensively and in goalie areas. Teams here were extremely quick, moved the puck effectively and had top goalie play. It was amazing how many great players there were in this tournament.

From the Blue Line – An unheralded player is Mick Corrigan for the AA Vegas Jr Golden Knights 16u. Mick, a quarterback for Meadows H.S. here in Las Vegas, plays a hard game on the ice and does his work effectively….Why is the Vegas win so big and important. It is very rare, at least in the last few seasons for a Vegas team to beat the Anaheim Jr Ducks which has a strong tier hockey program.