This weekend the JV team travelled up to Holland, Michigan to play three games against tough travel teams from Michigan, Texas, and Illinois. In the first game, the Stampede played the host Grand Rapids Griffins. Until the closing minutes of the 1st period, it was a scoreless teeter-totter affair, with both teams clogging up the neutral zone. That's when Max Janczak (#94) broke down the slot, glided in from the circle, and surprised the Griffins' keeper with a back-handed shot that snuck its way to the back of the net, making it 1-0 at the end of the first period. The score remained 1-0 through the end of the second period, during which Stampede goalie Mickey Fanella made a nice breakaway save as well as a snappy toe save to preserve the slim lead. But in the 3rd period, The Stampede broke things wide open with a scrappy goal by Sam Gerovoy (#47) in a battle in front of the net. Shortly after that, Gerovoy released a wrister from just above the hash marks and a charging Max O'Connell (#17) grabbed the rebound and flipped it in to make it 3-0 (Gerovoy with the assist). The Stampede defense, led by Jack Cesek (#4), Logan Chessick (#32), and Duke Diesing (#20), was relentless for three periods, making it possible for Goalie Fanella to get his 4th shut-out in 7 games.
In the next game The Stampede found themselves pitted against The Warriors, a formidable team from Texas. The Stampede got on the board early and often in this battle, with Jack Cesek (#4), Max Janczak (#94), Luke Janczak (#89), Anthony Samperi (#33), Jason Wiener (#3), Max Shukman (#2), Sam Gerovoy (#47) all scoring hitting the back of the net. Texas got on the board late in the third, but, again, the Stampede defense was stellar, with solid play from Alexander Dishchuk (#14) and others.
Games 3 and 4 were played against the Chargers from West Meadows/Mt. Prospect. Although the Chargers came out on top both games, goalie Mickey Fanella (#31) saved 75 shots in the two games. The lone goal by The Stampede in the two games was scored by Stefan Tujarov (#21). Special shout out to first-year Stampede player, Riley Manthy (#67) for a few really nice shifts, including a near-miss shot on goal. Kudos to all the boys and their coaches for playing hard on every shift and making it to the finals, where, regardless of the score, the crowd was treated to a very competitive hockey battle. This is a tight-knit Stampede crew, and they keep getting better.