HC Dallas 1, Nichols Prep 0 – It was a tough start for the Big Green in Detroit as they fell to a hard-nosed team from Dallas, TX. Members of the NAPHL, Dallas played a tight checking game and received strong goaltending as the Vikings were unable to find the back of the net. A second period goal from Dallas proved to be the game winner as Josh Graziano (00/Clarence) was strong in the loss making 18 saves.
Nichols 4, Chicago Young Americans 1 – No rest for the weary as Nichols turned around six hours later to face a speedy and creative Chicago Young Americans team. Tom Elia (99/Lewiston) put Nichols on the board in the first shift with a shot that found it’s way through traffic in front. Cole Donhauser (99/Kenmore) gave the Vikings some breathing room a few minutes later. However, Chicago would find the net before the end of the first period keeping the game within reach. A scoreless second period saw both teams trading chances, but neither was able to break through. Steve Senese (99/Niagara Falls) added two third period goals to put the game away. Robbie Nuchereno (01/Williamsville) was strong in net making 21 saves for the win.
Nichols 2, MDHL Green 2 – Nichols came out on Saturday with a strong effort only to see a lead disappear in the last three minutes. Once again, the Big Green scored in the first shift with a nice wraparound goal from Cole Donhaiser (99/Kenmore). Mid way through the first, Donhauser scored his second of the game to give the Vikings a 2-0 lead. This lead held up until MDHL was able to spring a player free with three minutes to play and added a goal in the final minute with the extra attacker on the ice. Josh Graziano (00/Clarence) was strong in nets again making 22 saves.
Nichols 4, Esmark 2 – Although it was game 4 in 2 days, Nichols needed a win to place first in their bracket and earn a birth in the Gold semifinals, and the boys delivered. Although it was a scoreless first period, Nichols was establishing their game, and Cole Donhauser (99/Kenmore) broke through in the second period with a power play tally. The power play came through again when Bryan Bylsma (99/Buffalo) defelected a point shot past the Esmark goaltender for a 2-0 lead after two periods. Esmark scored early to cut the lead in half, but Nichols continued to play their game. Brandon Hausler (99/Montgomery, TX) responded quickly to re-establish the 2 goal lead. Dylan Lugris (01/Buffalo) extended the lead to three goals. Esmark would score late in the game, but Nichols held on for the win. Robbie Nuchereno (01/Williamsville) put together another strong performance making 22 saves for the win.
Michigan Hockey Advancement 2, Nichols 1 – The run for the title came to an end as Nichols fell to a very good Michigan Hockey Advancement team in the Gold Semifinals. Both teams traded opportunities all game long, but Michigan was able to strike first in the second period. Cole Donhauser (99/Kenmore) would even the score before the second period came to a close. A bounce off of a skate with five minutes to play would prove to be the game winner for Michigan despite some great opportunities for Nichols down the stretch. Josh Graziano (00/Clarence) was outstanding making 31 saves in the loss.