Proud to be a Saint!!!! AJ Smith certainly is.
Big news today! AJ Smith, former Dallas Ice Jet AAA Midget Goaltender from Dallas Texas, was called up to the North American Hockey League’s Soo Eagles.
Smith will be in uniform tonight as the Eagles take on the Coulee Region Chill..
While the Saints have two important games left on this weekends MNJHL home schedule, they are committed to developing and creating opportunity for every Saints player to move up to Tier II.
AJ is taking his team leading .911 save percentage to a defensive minded Soo Eagles team.
The entire Saints organization wishes AJ all the best as he gains valuable experience in the NAHL.
#3 Wooster Oilers (15-11-1-1) vs. #4 Central Wisconsin Saints (13-12-0-0)
It was a chance for two teams to make big statements heading into the Thanksgiving break, in the end, the Central Wisconsin Saints took advantage of their home ice and put together an impressive weekend sweep of the Wooster Oilers and jumped back into the top half of the Great Lakes Division standings.
After a tight first period finished in a 1-1 tie, the Saints broke the opening night game wide open in the second period, outscoring the Oilers 4-1 in the second to take the 5-2 lead. The Saints added to their lead in the third, scoring two and giving up just one to finish off the 7-3 win.
Defenseman Joseph Cashman led the way offensively for the Saints, collecting his first hat trick of the season, while Alex Rupp added two goals. Jay Shifra and Kevin Miller each added goals. Miller finished the night with four points and Rupp had three points.
Saints goaltender AJ Smith stopped 35 out of 38 shots for his fourth win of the season prior to being called up to the NAHL’s Soo Eagles. Find out more about Smith’s call up to the Soo on www.mnjhl.com.
Kyle Hickman, Austin Graf and James Bradshaw each scored for the Oilers, while Hickman and Bradshaw both finished with two points. Reigning GL Division Goaltender of the Month Daniel Kemter was solid in net despite the loss, stopping 41 of 47 shots.
Saturday’s game was close from the start, with each team scoring a goal each in the first and second period and two each in the third, sending the game to overtime. The extra period wouldn’t be enough, however, as both goaltender stood tall, sending the game into a shootout.
The Oilers went first in the shootout, but they were unable to capitalize, missing each of their four attempts, but the Saints had a goal in the third round from Shifra and the game winner in the fourth round from Miller to take home the 5-4 win.
The Saints score was much more spread out in Saturday’s win, with goals from four different scorers, including Rupp, Miller, Dominic Manachio and Andrew Veglucci. The shootout winner was Miller’s second goal of the game. Dax Deadrick collected just his third win of the season, stopping 33 out of 37 shots, including all four he faced in the shootout.
The Oilers had goals from Bradshaw, Addison Collins, Remington Reynolds and Dillon Kessy, but were unable to solve the Saints goaltending in the shootout. Creighton Furber had another solid Oilers netminder performance, despite the loss, stopping 36 of 40 shots.
After a close game on Saturday night finishing in a shootout, Sunday’s game was a different story. The Saints took an early first period lead and didn’t look back. Jason Wrbelis started the scoring for the Saints, scoring two in the first and finishing his hat trick late in the second. Rupp and Miller each continued their hot offense on the weekend adding a goal each.
Chet Tooker picked up his third win of the season in just his fourth start, stopping all 25 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season.
The Oilers will look to get back on track after taking two weekends off when they head to Bay City, MI to take on the surging Tri-City Icehawks Dec. 13-15. The Saints get a little shorter break, taking just Thanksgiving weekend off before playing host to the Ft. Wayne Federals Dec. 6-8 in Stevens Point, WI.
AJ Smith (from Dallas Texas) got called up to the NAHL Soo Eagles and will be in uniform tonight as the Soo are in Coulee Region taking on the Chill.
Good luck AJ, you've earned this opportunity with hard work and stellar play.