WEST CHESTER, Pa. — The San Antonio Rampage had the only perfect record through three days of the USA Hockey Sled National Championships.
The Rampage ultimately had to settle for second place when they dropped a championship game rematch 3-1 to the St. Louis Blues.
The championship game loss was the second straight by San Antonio, which finished third in 2011 before making its consecutive trips to the final.
The Rampage allowed just two goals in four games on the way to the final, including beating eventual champion St. Louis 2-1 when the event opened Thursday as part of the USA Hockey Disabled Festival at the Ice Line Quad Rinks.
San Antonio completed pool play with a 3-0 record by beating the UNH Wildcats 6-0 Friday and the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-1 Saturday. The Rampage reached the championship game with Saturday night’s 3-0 semifinal victory over the host Philadelphia Flyers.
Rico Roman scored the first goal and assisted on Josh Sweeney’s goal for a 2-0 lead with 8:41 left in the second period of Thursday’s game against St. Louis.
Roman scored four goals, Sweeney had two goals and two assists and Lonnie Hannah had two assists against UNH.
Sweeney led in the win over San Antonio with a hat trick. Hannah and Chris Leverkuhn added a goal and an assist each, Joshua Stein scored a goal and Roman had two assists.
Jen Lee had 13 saves in the semifinal shutout. Sweeney scored two goals, Leverkhuhn had the other and Roman had an assist.
Sweeney and Roman used their speed to both lead the scoring and help the San Antonio defense throughout the tournament.
Third through sixth
Following Sunday morning’s championship, there were still two games left. Those games determined third through sixth place out of the eight teams that made it to nationals.
The Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins won games to capture third and fifth place.
Adam Page had two goals and Chris Mann one to lead Buffalo to a 3-0 victory over Philadelphia for third place.
Nevin Gray scored, on an assist from Dan McCoy, with 19 seconds left to lift Pittsburgh over the Colorado Avalanche 5-4 for fifth place. Kelsey DiClaudio had a goal and three assists in the win.
Other champions crowned
Four other sled championships were decided Sunday. The Florida Bandits and GLASA Falcons won adult championships while the Bennett Blazers and Chicago Hornets claimed Youth titles.
Florida wound up playing the United Sled Flyers in the final two games of the Adult Open A division. The Bandits won the championship game Sunday, making it 14 straight goals against the second-place team.
United had leads of 2-0 and 3-1 Saturday when the two teams met in the final round-robin game, only to have Florida rally for a 7-3 win.
Greg Shaw had two goals in the championship game after a hat trick Saturday. Declan Farmer had two goals and two assists Sunday after two goals and four assists Saturday. Sam Robichaund added two goals and Bryan Foley three assists in the championship game.
GLASA won the Adult Open B title with a 1-0 victory over the Turnstone Flyers in the final. Chuck Wyder scored the game’s only goal on an assist from Ben Chileski with 11:16 left in the first period.
The Bennett Blazers pulled out their second one-goal victory of the tournament over Grand Rapids to take the Youth A title 4-3 in overtime. Daniel Romanchuk had a hat trick, including the overtime game-winner, and assisted on the other goal by Kyle Cavalier.
For Chicago, Michael McCarthy matched Romanchuk’s hat trick with an assist, taking part in all the scoring when the Hornets defeated the Johnstown Sitting Bulls 4-1 in the Youth B final. McCarthy completed his hat trick for a 3-0 lead with 7:49 left in the second period. He had two goals in a 5-3 win over Johnstown earlier in the tournament.
The Buffalo Warriors had five players score at least two goals each, and four of them finished with at least four points when they defeated AAHA 11-7 for the title of the four-team Standing/Amputee Division.
The competition was part of the Disabled Festival.
Buffalo scored 11 or more goals in the last four games while finishing 5-0 in the tournament.
The Disabled Festival also included a Deaf/Hard of Hearing game during each of the final three days and three divisions of Special Hockey.
A total of 14 teams competed in the Special Divisions where standings were not compiled.
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.