This week, the Power headed to Blaine, Minnesota to play three games in the 2021 NA3HL Showcase. Each team in the league traveled to Blaine to play various teams across every division, which acted as a way for scouts to look for new recruitments. In this year’s Showcase, the Power faced off against the New Jersey Titans, Oklahoma City Ice Hawks, and New Ulm Steel, respectively.
Milwaukee began their Showcase on Monday, Dec. 20 with a game against the New Jersey Titans; Spencer Northway was the starting goaltender. The Power started off strong, keeping possession of the puck for the majority of the period. It wasn’t until the last seven minutes of the period when the Power finally made it past the Titans’ defense. Michael Dalaly scored the first goal of the game with assists by Teddy Marion and Max Erstad.
During the second period, the Power clearly carried the momentum of the game. With five minutes left, Milwaukee was outshooting New Jersey 9-21. Earlier this season, the Power struggled with getting outshot, but that wasn’t the case in this game. Immediately following a Milwaukee power play, Ben Cremers scored the second goal of the game with a minute and a half left in the period. Matthew Ebersole and Mason Ausmus were credited for the assists.
The third period was game-changing for the Power with Milwaukee’s offense coming in hot. Halfway through the period, Nate Stone extended the Power’s lead to three with an assist by Konrad Clements. The Power weren’t done yet; Tommy Cassel made it a 4-0 lead with assists by Tommy Kundinger and Stone, and Riley Planey scored the Power’s fifth goal of the night just a minute later. Ausmus was credited with the loan assist on Planey’s goal. Milwaukee took a 5-0 win against the Titans, and Northway recorded his second shutout of the season and his sixth win.
The Power’s Showcase continued on Tuesday, Dec. 21 against the Oklahoma City Ice Hawks; Austin Bartell was the starting goalie. Both teams were off to a quick start, with the Ice Hawks on the power play less than two minutes into the game. While the Power were able to kill it off, the Ice Hawks scored soon after, taking a 1-0 lead. However, Milwaukee bounced back and tied it up a few minutes later. Steven Delikat scored the Power’s first goal of the game, which was assisted by Kundinger. Just over a minute later, Erstad made it a 2-1 game, assisted by David Nappier and Kundinger again. Thanks to Erstad, the Ice Hawks would go into the second period with a one-goal deficit.
After a big hit on Caden Severtson at the end of the first period, the Power started the second with a five-minute power play; Milwaukee capitalized on this by scoring twice. Less than a minute into the period, Ausmus extended the Power’s lead by two; the goal was assisted by Erstad and Cremers. Towards the end of the power play, Dalaly gave Milwaukee a 4-1 lead, assisted by Stone and Chris McGauran. This goal forced the Ice Hawks to make a goalie change. Morale was high for the Power and they weren’t ready to let their guard down. Halfway through the period, Planey scored on an odd-man rush with assists by Clements and Dominic Martinetti. While trying to kill a penalty, Connor O’Neal scored shorthanded, which was assisted by Kundinger and Stone. Although the Ice Hawks were able to get past Bartell near the end of the period, the Power would enter the third with a 6-2 lead.
Nearly two minutes into the third, Oklahoma City put a point on the board, decreasing Milwaukee’s lead to three goals. The Ice Hawks brought the energy this period, but the Power’s defense came out stronger. We wouldn’t see another goal until the final minute of the game. Stone scored on an empty net in the last 30 seconds, which was assisted by Erstad and Kundinger. With ten seconds left of the game, the Ice Hawks scored one last goal, but it was too little too late. Milwaukee took a 7-4 victory, making it their second win of Showcase and giving them a three-game winning streak.
The Power’s final game of Showcase took place on Wednesday, Dec. 22 against the New Ulm Steel; Anthony Maiorca was the starting goaltender. The first period was quiet, with both teams getting an even amount of shots. With five minutes left in the first, New Ulm scored the first goal of the game when the puck bounced off a Power defenseman into the net.
Despite the unfortunate circumstance, the Power came out even more determined in the second period. Milwaukee was managing the puck better and had more scoring opportunities. Halfway through the period, the Steel made it a 2-0 game. However, the Power’s effort paid off when Stone scored on the power play a few minutes later. Dalaly and Clements were credited for the assists.
Milwaukee was down by only one goal at the start of the third period but struggled with having too many men on the ice. Because of this, New Ulm was able to extend their lead back to two, scoring on the Power penalty. Maiorca ensured the Steel wouldn’t score on him again, but after Milwaukee pulled him to have a one-man advantage, New Ulm scored an empty netter in the final seconds of the game. The Power fell to the Steel 4-1, giving them a 2-1 record for this year’s Showcase.
Despite ending the week with a loss, Milwaukee outplayed New Jersey and Oklahoma City and tied New Ulm in shots on goal. Each player showed great potential and all three Power goalies demonstrated strength and resilience during the Showcase. Because of their two wins, Milwaukee is climbing up the Central Division standings. Currently, they’re only one point behind the Wausau Cyclones and are capable of taking over fourth place after the holidays. Their next game will take place on Jan. 7, at home game against the Oregon Tradesmen. Until then, the Milwaukee Power wishes you a Merry Christmas and happy holidays!
Story by Julia Woodcock