FOXBORO – When the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies and NJ United met at Foxboro Sports Center on Saturday afternoon, the score sheet played out as the tale of two halves. A five-goal first half and one-time route turned into a tight finish as Oakland outlasted United 6-4 in the opening round of the 2016 Pre-Draft Showcase.
United was the first to draw blood when Ethan Hendrickson converted for the fifth time of the tournament just 1:58 into the contest. The lead was short-lived, however, as Josh Deluca had the game back to even at 2:34 and Andrew Andary then had Oakland in front at 5:08.
The Grizzlies made their margin all the more comfortable as the opening half neared it’s conclusion. Strikes from Cannon Green and Perry Winfree just 13-seconds apart at 20:53 and 21:06, respectively, helped Oakland breakaway from their foe at 4-1. Paul Bryer added one more for good measure with just 51-seconds remaining, giving the Grizzlies a 5-1 advantage at the break.
The tone, however, was a bit different in the second as United began to claw their way back on the scoreboard. Goals from Donny Flynn at 3:25 and Paul Michura at 10:35 had the deficit down to 5-3, but Josh Wildauer stemmed the tide with a goal at 12:11 to make it 6-3.
United was not done yet as Lucas Rowe closed the gap one more time with his goal at 21:55, but the 6-4 deficit was as close as the rally came.
A trio of Grizzlies went home with multi-point afternoons, Andary (1G, 1A), Green (1G, 1A) and Chase Danol (2A) credited with two points apiece.
Michura, Hendrickson and Flynn each totaled a goal and an assist for United.