By Craig Stein
SJHL teams had a pair of wins and a shootout loss in the opening day of the SJHL/MJHL Showcase at The Cooperators Centre in Regina Monday.
In the opener at 11:00 AM, Melville’s Luke Spadafora had a goal and an assist and was named Player of the Game for the SJHL (Team Schwartz), with the MJHL (Team Garbutt) erasing a pair of deficits and going on to win 4-3 in a shootout.
Jack Lenchyshyn and Jake Tremblay of the Nipawin Hawks also scored and Estevan’s Grant Boldt made 25/28 saves in goal.
It was an offensive spectacle in Game 2, as the SJHL’s Team Mitchell exploded for an 8-5 decision over the MJHL’s Team Zajac.
The SJHL’s top two scorers, linemates Justin Ball and Carson Albrecht from Melfort, each had two goals and two assists. Albrecht was named the SJHL’s Player of the Game. A pair of defensemen, Blake Kleiner from Kindersley and Antonio Di Paolo of La Ronge each had a goal and an assist.
Weyburn forward Ben Hiltz and Notre Dame defenseman Charles Martin also scored and Melfort goalie Shawn Parkinson made 36 saves.
It was much more of a goaltenders’ duel in the nightcap, as Kindersley’s Justen Close stopped 31 of the 32 shots he faced as the SJHL’s Team Kunitz got by the MJHL’s Team Belfour 3-1.
Flin Flon teammates Calvon Boots and Caleb Moretz each scored while Humboldt’s Michael Clarke provided the winner.
Close was the Player of the Game for the SJHL, while his counterpart at the other end, Jeremy Link took the MJHL honour with a 38/41 save performance.
The Showcase concludes Tuesday with three more games. It’s an early start as Schwartz takes on Garbutt at 10:00, Mitchell battles Belfour at 1:00, with Kunitz and Belfort finishing things off at 4:00.