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Billings team wins USA Hockey National Tournament opener

Posted at 5:32 PM, Mar 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-06 09:33:56-04

(Billings Bulls release)

PLYMOUTH, Minn. – The Billings Bulls high school hockey team opened the 2018 USA Hockey National Tournament Thursday in Plymouth, Minn., with a 7-3 win over the Wichita Jr. Thunder.

Dylan Chirrick scored unassisted with 5 minutes left in the first period to put the Bulls on top.  Within a minute, the Jr. Thunder answered. The Jr. Thunder scored again on a power-play goal by Corbin Hanus to end the first period.

Midway through the second, the Bulls were out-shooting Wichita by nearly a 2-1 margin, but weren’t able to capitalize. Duke Cherpeski, assisted by Seth Hamilton, scored with 13 seconds left in the second for a 3-2 Thunder lead.

The Bulls came out strong in the third period, led by assistant captain Dylan Chirrick who found the back of the net three times in the third period to end the game with four goals and an assist.

John Stears hit the top right corner from the point on a pass from Simon Minch to open the Bulls five-goal scoring flurry mid-way through the third.

Paulie Tevlin capitalized on a pass from Chirrick to widen the lead to 5-3.  Chirrick netted the last two goals for a 7-3 Bulls win.

Billings plays Greenville, S.C., at 6 p.m. (MDT) on Friday and the Las Vegas Jr. Knights Saturday at 10 a.m. (MDT) in pool play.

The top two teams out of pool play continue into Sunday tournament action.  T

The USA Hockey National Championship games are being streamed live on HockeyTV.com.