MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich.- In a dazzling display of offensive prowess, Caden Day not only stole the spotlight but also claimed the title of the Owosso Speedway Player of the Game at the Mount Clemens Ice Arena during the USPHL Detroit Showcase opener. Day's stellar performance led the Chicago Crush Premier to a 3-1 victory over the Columbus Mavericks with a hat trick.
Reflecting on the game, forward Jason Castaneda remarked, “We played a hard-fought game today and came out with a well-deserved win. It was a great team effort from every player on the team.” Castaneda's sentiment echoed the team's resilience, acknowledging the hard-fought battle.
The first period ignited with Day showcasing his scoring touch, finding the back of the net at 11:51, assisted by Capt. Nick Zehelein and Ryan Hammer, giving the Crush an early 1-0 lead. The intensity escalated, with Wilburn of Columbus serving time in the penalty box for tripping at 6:57.
"I think we were a little shaky in the start, but once we got our legs moving and pucks deep, we were able to lock them down for the win," added hat-trick hero Caden Day.
The second period saw Day lighting the lamp once again, this time on the power play at 9:55, assisted by Hammer and Zehelein, extending the Crush's lead to 2-0. Both teams faced penalty trouble with Crush's Spencer Kauke, Owen Rycerz and the Mavericks' Kididis all making trips to the sin bin.
Day completed his hat trick in style during the third period, sealing the victory for Chicago. Despite Kididis responding for the Mavericks at 9:41, Day's offensive explosion proved insurmountable.
While Day's hat trick stole the headlines, goaltender Jack Sundhall played a pivotal role in securing the win. Sundhall turned away 30 of the 31 shots he faced, showcasing his stellar performance between the pipes. His acrobatic saves and unwavering composure under pressure were instrumental in preserving the Crush's lead.
The Owosso Speedway Player of the Game award added an extra layer of recognition to Caden Day's outstanding performance. The game was a testament to the Crush's well-rounded performance, excelling both on special teams and in net. Chicago converted on one of their two power play opportunities, and their penalty kill unit stood strong, thwarting all four penalties faced.
With Day's offensive brilliance, Sundhall's outstanding goaltending, and the team's collective effort, the Chicago Crush Premier sets a high standard early in the USPHL Detroit Showcase. The team looks forward to building on this momentum as they continue their quest for success in one of the nation's most competitive hockey showcases.
The Crush now turn their attention to their next game this evening at 6:00PM EST versus the high powered Buffalo Stampede. Catch all the action live on FloHockey.tv!