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Arizona, Esmark win 2018 Dixon Cup Championships

February 19, 2018

The Arizona Bobcats (top) won the 16U NAPHL Dixon Cup Championship, while the Esmark Stars (bottom) took home the 18U NAPHL Dixon Cup Championship on Monday.

16U Dixon Cup Championship Game: Arizona Bobcats 3 vs. Meijer AAA 2 (SO) – In a very even game, which featured great goaltending and back and forth action, the Arizona Bobcats captured their first-ever NAPHL Dixon Cup Championship, thanks to a 3-2 shootout win over Meijer AAA. After a scoreless 1st period, which featured both goalies shining, the scoring didn’t open up until late in the 2nd period as Arizona opened the scoring thanks to forward Aidan Carney. Just over two minutes later, Meijer AAA tied the game thanks to a goal from Joey Hildebrand. Arizona forward Carson Kuche gave the Bobcats back the lead midway through the period on a rebound goal, but Meijer again had an answer as Anthony Davis scored his 2nd goal of the event.  After two scoreless, five-minute overtimes, the Bobcats netted the only goal of the shootout as Skylar Miller scored and Bobcats goalie Anthony Bonaldi shut the door on three Meijer shooters. Bonaldi made 31 saves in the win, and Meijer goalie Michael Morelli made 31 saves in the loss. Boxscore
18U Dixon Cup Championship Game: Esmark Stars 5 vs. Tampa Scorpions 2 – The Esmark Stars picked up their second NAPHL Dixon Cup Championship in organizational history and first in 18U program history as they scored the last three goals of the game to defeat the Tampa Scorpions, 5-2. In an active 1st period, the Scorpions got on the board first as Phillip Vanderlaat opened the scoring with his second goal of the playoffs. Esmark then struck for two quick goals to take a 2-1 lead as Oldrich Virag and Nicholas Carretta scored within less than an a minute of one another. Early in the 2nd period, Colton Sipperley tied the game for Tampa at 2-2. Esmark then seized control of the game as Alex Singley converted on a turnover for the eventual game-winning goal. Virag then scored two goals in the 3rd period to complete a hat-trick to give the Stars the 5-2 win. Nico Pidro made 24 saves in the win, and Marcus Alfaro made 28 saves in the loss. Boxscore
16U Silver Division Consolation Championship Game: Washington Little Capitals 2 vs. Thunder Bay Kings 0 – Washington goalie Connor Leslie stopped all 15 shots that came his way as the Little Caps won the 16U Consolation Championship over Thunder Bay, 2-0. It wasn’t until the 3rd period than someone broke through as Ethan Privman scored his 3rd goal of the playoffs, which would stand as the game-winner. Austin Pick added an empty-net goal. Eric Vanska made 31 saves in the loss for the Kings. Boxscore
18U Silver Division Consolation Championship Game: Madison Capitols 4 vs. Wenatchee Wolves 0 – Nate Severtson made 30 saves for the shutout as Madison, who had won the last two Dixon Cup Championships, won the 18U Consolation title thanks to a 4-0 win over Wenatchee. The Capitols opened the scoring late in the 1st period with the eventual game-winning goal from Hunter Leonhard. The lead swelled to 3-0 as Madison scored two goals in the 2nd period from Jacob Cummings and Joshua Linn scored a pair of goals. In the 3rd period Matt Gruber scored his 3rd goal of the playoffs. Austin Ryman made 26 saves in the loss for the Wolves. Boxscore
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