Blaine, Minnesota- The Minnesota Magicians opened up the 2018-2019 season on a strong note, ending the North American Hockey League showcase with a record of 3-1-0.
On Wednesday, the Magicians took advantage of an early power play, with a goal by defenseman Moritz Wirth (Fuerth, Germany) with the assists going to Carter Wagner (Lino Lakes, MN) and Jackson Jutting (Prior Lake, MN). However, the Magicians didn’t stop there. They netted one more at the end of the first, scored by Captain John Keranen (Delano, MN) assisted by Alternate Captain Cameron Buhl (South St. Paul, MN). Valentino Passarelli (Macomb, MI) assisted by Jackson Nauss (Wayzata, MN) posted the last goal in the middle of the 2nd Period. 17-year-old goaltender Ethan Haider (Maple Grove, MN) blocked 38 shots, 17 of which where in the scoreless third period, to shut out the Aberdeen Wings. Haider helped lead the Magicians to their first win of the season, as well as recording the only shut out on day one of the showcase.
On Thursday, the Magicians special teams were put to the test against the Topeka Pilots, as the Magicians battled through seven penalty kills. Despite the fact that the Magicians had just as many chances on the power play, they were unable to capitalize on the advantage, and remained scoreless. The Pilots struck first, with Austin McCarthy scoring on the power play in the first period. The goal was assisted by Hugh Quinn and Brenden Schultz. The Magicians tried to get on the board, putting up 15 attempts during the second period. Topeka went on to add two more to the score sheet, with a goal by Quinn Green, assisted by Brenden Rons and Cole Thiessen, and a short handed goal from Zeke Zeier, assisted by Matthew Francois. The Magicians out-shot the Pilots 31-22, but fell in the end with a final score of 3-0.
The Magicians bounced back from their loss to Topeka quickly, storming in against the Bismarck Bobcats with three quick goals in the first. Matt Stanton (Stillwater, MN) struck first for the Magicians, with assists being credited to Carter Breidenfeldt (Plymouth, MN) and Joey Trifone (Kenosha, WI). After a penalty for tripping was assessed to the Bobcats, Stanton continued his streak and added one more, with assists going to Cameron Buhl and Moritz Wirth. John Keranen ended the first period with a power play goal of his own, sending the Magicians up 3-0 into the second. Cameron Buhl and Carter Breitenfeldt assisted on Keranen’s goal. At 4:47 into the second, Keranen netted his second of the game, again on the power play, with assists going to Breitenfeldt and Stanton. The Bobcats answered after Joel Pavey (Sarnia, Ontario) was given two for slashing, their goal being scored by Jacob Marti, assisted by Alex Pollock and Julian Timba. With less than a minute left in the second, Tino Passarelli put up one of his own, with Jackson Nauss and Cameron Buhl adding the assists. Bismarck responded quickly in the third, adding a goal by Tim Piechowski, assisted by Kirklan Irey and Sam Malinski. They struck again halfway through the third, with Piechowski getting his second of the game. Austin Jouppi and Adam Stacho assisted on the goal. However, a 5-3 lead wasn’t enough for the Magi, and Tino Passarelli, assisted by Jackson Nauss, scored his second of the game. Mitchell James was in net for the Magicians, stopping 29 of the 32 shots sent his way.
Early on Saturday, the Magicians took on their last opponent of the showcase, playing the Odessa Jackalopes. It started out slow with an uneventful first period, with both teams going to the locker room tied at 0-0. After a penalty heavy second period, Matt Stanton put the Magicians on the board at 18:43, assisted by Chris Konin (Eden Prairie, MN) and Andrew Kruse (Delano, MN). Stanton scored again in the third, a power play goal assisted by Cameron Buhl and Moritz Wirth. Haider blocked all 32 shots from the Jackalopes, earning his second shutout of the showcase. Haider was named the NAHL Midwest Star of the Week due to his performance with the Magicians this past week.
The Magicians will play their first series at home this weekend against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs, with the games starting at 7:15pm on Friday and 7:00pm on Saturday. You can catch the action live on HockeyTv, as well as follow along on our Facebook, Twitter (@MNMagiciansNAHL) and Instagram (@MinnesotaMagicians) pages for in-game updates.