The New York Bobcats and Walpole Express skated to victories on Tuesday night in the first two of four Atlantic Junior Hockey League (AJHL) exhibition games being held in conjunction with the United States Hockey League (USHL) Fall Classic in Sioux City, Iowa.
The Bobcats downed the Boston Jr. Rangers, 5-3, in one of the contests. Forward Patrick Schule stole the show offensively for New York with a hat trick and two assists, while forward Christopher Wallace put home two goals of his own, including the game-winner.
The Express bested the Cyclones, 3-1, in the other AJHL exhibition. Forward Collin O’Neil struck for a goal for Walpole and assisted on forward Nicklas Balboa’s game-winning marker. Between the pipes, Express goaltender Kyle Shapiro turned aside 26 shots.
On Wednesday, the Fall Classic exhibitions will conclude with the Cyclones taking on the Bobcats (9:30 a.m. CST) and the Jr. Rangers facing off against the Express (10 a.m.). Both games will be broadcast live via the Internet through FASTHockey.com.
The Jr. Rangers (formerly the Bulldogs), Bobcats, Cyclones and Express were the four semifinalists in the AJHL playoffs last season.
Considered one of the more high-profile junior showcases in North America, the USHL Fall Classic, which will be held from Sept. 19-22 in Sioux City, traditionally attracts hundreds of collegiate and professional coaches and scouts.
The AJHL will host its first Showcase of the season this weekend (Sept. 21-23) at IceWorks in Aston, Pa. At the event, all 12 AJHL teams will play three regular-season games.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2012-13, the AJHL, a USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier III Junior A league boasting 12 teams from seven states, prides itself on the social maturity and skill development of student-athletes ages 16-20 with aspirations of advancing to collegiate and/or professional hockey.