AMHERST, N.Y. – The 180 players participating at the USA Hockey Boys Select 16 Player Development Camp received instruction from coaches and scouts during a short practice this morning, before hitting the the ice for the first of five games in a five-day stretch later in the afternoon.
Camp invitees come from all over the country, stretching from Alaska to Florida, including 37 players committed to play hockey at the NCAA Division I level.
The opening game of camp turned out to be the highest scoring affair of the day as Team Orange topped Team Black 7-5. Forward Theodore Koufis (Palatine, Ill.) was the offensive catalyst for Team Orange, picking up four points (2G, 2A). The first of his two goals came after he gathered a loose puck in the slot and dangled around a Team Black defender.
Koufis added his second tally when he intercepted a D-to-D pass, which sent him on a breakaway that put his team up 3-1.
Providing persistent pressure on the forecheck, Team Orange consistently created turnovers on which they were able to capitalize. However, Team Black also produced no shortage of offense, with Brendan Bisson (Los Angeles, Calif.) picking up three points (1G, 2A).
Game 2 saw more of a defensive and physical tilt, as Team Red shut the door on Team Royal to pick up their first win of the week 3-0.
Goaltenders Gregory Smith (Sarver, Pa.) and Lucas Collins (Plainwell, Mich.) combined to blank Team Royal, stopping eight and 12 shots, respectively. Mark D’Agostino (North Branford, Conn.) and Killian Kiecker Olson (Andover, Minn.) had two points each.
Game 3 proved to be another offensive showcase as Team Grey defeated Team Kelly 5-3. Team Grey scored two goals in the opening 1:31 to jump out to an early lead.
Defenseman Jack Clarner (East Burke, Vt.) led the rush and showed some offensive skill as he deked around an opposing player, split the defenders and barreled in on the goalie. Primo Self (Grand Rapids, Mich.) added three points (2G, 1A) en route to the victory.
The final two games of the opening day featured Team Gold beating Team Columbia, 3-2, thanks to a goal from Jackson Jutting (Savage, Minn.) with 2:09 left in the game. Team Forest defeated Team White 7-3 in the final matchup.
The Boys Select 16 Camp continues tomorrow with Team White taking on Team Royal in the opening game of the day. Faceoff is scheduled for 10:45 a.m. ET. Visit TeamUSA.USAHockey.com for news and updates throughout the camp.