Brett Gravelle records hat-trick, David Johnson makes 31 saves to lead Bulls to third Silver Cup title
ROMEOVILLE, ILLINOIS – Brett Gravelle had a hat-trick and David Johnson made 31 saves as the North Iowa Bulls captured the 2015-16 NA3HL Silver Cup National Championship on Sunday afternoon at Canlan Ice Sports in Romeoville, Illinois. It was the Bulls third Silver Cup title in the last four years.
The game got off to a good start and has a very quick pace. The Jets took advantage of an early power play opportunity as a face-off win by Jacob Drinkard got the puck to the point to defenseman David Chavis, who let a hard wrist shot fly that went through traffic and straight down of the crossbar into the back of the net over Bulls goalie David Johnson’s shoulder for a 1-0 Metro lead. Six minutes later, it was the Bulls who struck back on the power play as Kohei Sato got a pass in the neutral zone and used his speed to get around the outside and slide a puck past Jets goalie Kam Limburg to tie the game at 1-1, which is how the period would end. Shots in the period were 10-9 in favor of the Jets.
The 2nd period began with North Iowa on the attack and it didn’t take long for the Bulls to grab their first lead of the game as forward Brett Gravelle set up shot behind the net and centered a pass in front. After the initial shot was stopped by Limburg, the rebound came to the side the net where Gravelle had skated to and he fired home a shot past a sprawled out Limburg for a 2-1 lead. Five minutes later, Gravelle struck again on the power play as some nice passing found him on the back door to tap in a pass to make the score 3-1. That’s how the 2nd period would finish with the Jets outshooting the Bulls 12-11 in the period.
For the 3rd period, the Bulls and goaltender David Johnson put the Jets on lockdown. Whenever the Jets had a chance in close, Johnson was there. Brett Gravelle posted his hat-trick as he scored on an empty Metro Jets net to secure the title and the 4-1 win. Johnson ultimately finished with 31 saves in the victory on his way to being named the All-Tournament Goaltender. Limburg made 23 saves in the loss.
2016 NA3HL Silver Cup All-Tournament Team
Forward: Kohei Sato, North Iowa Bulls
Forward: Kevin Shand, Metro Jets
Forward: Brett Gravelle, North Iowa Bulls
Defense: Paul Stehr, Twin City Steel
Defense: Connor Bump, North Iowa Bulls
Goalie: David Johnson, North Iowa Bulls
About the NA3HL
Now in its sixth season, the North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL), one of eight USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier III Junior leagues, serves as one of the top training grounds in the country by providing the best coaching, exposure and developmental vehicles available for student-athletes in its classification. The primary mission of the NA3HL, which is managed organizationally by the North American Hockey League (NAHL), is to provide a structured developmental environment for student-athletes whose youth options are limited but are still reaching their potential and have aspirations of playing in the NAHL or United States Hockey League and eventually the NCAA or American College Hockey Association. For more information, visit www.na3hl.com
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