The USHL's top draft-eligible talent was on full display Tuesday night at the Ice Box. Led by masterful performances from Ethan Phillips, Brady Meyer, Shane Pinto, and Isaiah Saville, Team West took home a 5-3 win.
In the first period, Phillips kicked off the scoring at 12:40 after a largely goalie-dominated first half to the frame. Brady Meyer fed Phillips for the West's 1-0 lead. Jack Malone would follow that up at 14:10, after Shane Pinto dug a puck out of the corner and flipped it to Matt Brown who found Malone for the 2-0 advantage. Isaiah Saville was dominant in net, flashing impressive athleticism and poise, stopping all 10 shots he faced in the opening 20 minutes. Keegan Karki battle well through a host of good chances, stopping 13/16 in his period and a half of play.
The West added to a 2-0 lead in the second when Phillips repaid Meyer's earlier favor by sending a feed in front, where Meyer beat Karki. The East answered and cracked onto the scoreboard off of Lynden Breen's perfect snipe, top-shelf to beat Saville at 5:17 in the second. Ryan Siedem picked up a helper on the score. In the final minutes of the period, Matt Brown and Shane Pinto combined to set up Zac Jones for a West 4-1 lead. Robert Mastrosimone got the goal back a minute later, burying a deflection in the slot and sparking a strong push from the East to close the middle period. Grant Silianoff and Will Francis tallied helpers to cut the East's deficit to two.
In the third, the West came back with a surge of their own. Bolstered by Ben Kraws in net for the second half of the contest, they began a heavy attack to open the final period of play. Kaden Bohlsen crashed the net and put the puck by the East's second goalie, Logan Stein for a 5-2 lead. Robert Mastrosimone answered, ripping a perfect shot past Kraws to once again bring the East back within two. It would prove not enough for the East's cause however, as at the final horn, Team West would earn a well-fought, 5-3 victory.
Ethan Phillips received the MVP award for team West for his one goal and one assist effort. Two goals and a gritty night of two-way play from Robert Mastrosimone earned him the hardware for the East.
Lincoln Stars head Coach Cody Chupp won his first Top Prospects Game in his first appearance as a head coach.
The Lincoln Stars would like to thank the players, coaches, the USHL, the NHL, team and rink staff, and all those who attended and tuned in for their participation and effort in making the 2019 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game a success!