TROY, Mich. -- In a game where goals were at a premium, the Shoreline Sharks managed to get a couple past Wisconsin Black Cats goaltenders Sydney Seeley and Caitlyn Erickson.
It turned out that was enough to beat the Black Cats 2-0 and capture the 2017 USA Hockey Girls Tier II 14U National Championship at the Troy Sports Center, in Troy, Michigan.
“It was awesome,” said Sharks Head Coach Ed Rodham after a wild celebration on the ice following the win. “Both teams played hard. It was a back and forth game and either team could have won the game.”
Sharks goaltender Carina Mancini was perfect in net as she stopped all 28 shots.
“At first I was a little bit nervous, but after a few minutes into the first period I kind of calmed down and realized this was like any other game and whatever happens, happens.”
The first period was wide open with both teams getting scoring chances. Early on, Black Cats forward Mallory Thompson was denied on a partial breakaway, and minutes later, teammate Nikki Olund let go a shot that rang off the post.
The Sharks had a narrow miss just after four minutes of play, but made up for it with the game’s first goal off the stick of forward Mcallister Dixon, on her backhand from in front of the net.
Dixon was a thorn in the side throughout the game and was easily the best forward on the ice. The puck just seemed to follow her everywhere she went.
”Mcallister just battles every shift,” Rodham said. “She is very similar to our other forwards, she just tries to give it her all every time she hits the ice.”
After the game, Dixon was very excited.
”Basically, it was a low shot from the point by one of our defenseman and I stopped the puck, settled it down and I flicked it toward the net with my backhand and it went in.”
The score remained 1-0 until the dying seconds of the second period. With six seconds to play, the Black Cats were assessed a tripping penalty and it took the Sharks all of two seconds to score a power-play goal. Off the faceoff, Taylor Nowak got the puck to Melissa Montesi, who was parked in front of the net and she managed to put the puck past the sprawling goaltender to give the Sharks an insurance goal. As it turned out, it was more than they would need.
Mancini faced a couple of tough saves in the final stanza. With less than four minutes to play, the Black Cats went on the power play and tested Mancini, but she stood her ground.
Mancini thought the girls were exceptional in front of her. “My teammates are the best, they played wonderful,” said the young goaltender, who found out she was named the starter by her head coach the minute she entered the rink in the morning. “The girls played great defense. They kept the puck out of my area and I was able to see most of the shots that came my way.”
The Sharks have two very good goaltenders and the decision to start one of them is always tough for Rodham.
“Both Mancini and Jenna Guglieimi have been excellent all year,” said Rodham. “It’s a tough decision every time we have a game, as to who to start.”
The Black Cats played a really good game and head coach Mike DeLong was very proud of how they played throughout the entire national tournament.
“Our team played with a lot of heart but the puck was not bouncing our way today,” said DeLong. “The girls battled all week and they did not stop until the final buzzer.”
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.
|Youth Tier I (14U)||Scottsdale, Arizona||Arizona Amateur Hockey||April 6-10, 2017|
|Youth Tier I (15-year-olds only)||Scottsdale, Arizona||Arizona Amateur Hockey||April 6-10, 2017|
|Youth Tier I (16U, 18U)||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||Pittsburgh Penguins Elite||April 6-10, 2017|
|Girls Tier I||Rochester/Macomb, Michigan||HoneyBaked Hockey Club||April 6-10, 2017|
|Women's A, B, C||Rochester/Macomb, Michigan||HoneyBaked Hockey Club||April 6-9, 2017|
|High School||Cleveland, Ohio||Cleveland Suburban Hockey||March 22-26, 2017|
|Girls Tier II||Troy, Michigan||Troy Youth Hockey Association||April 6-10, 2017|
|Youth Tier II (14U)||Coral Springs, Florida||Florida Panthers Ice Den||April 6-10, 2017|
|Youth Tier II (16U)||Frisco, Texas||Texas Amateur Hockey||April 6-10, 2017|
|Youth Tier II (18U)||Lansing, Michigan||Lansing Hockey Club||April 6-10, 2017|
|Sled||San Jose, California||Sharks Ice||April 6-9, 2017|
|Adult Rec Men's||Wesley Chapel, Florida||Florida Hospital Center Ice||April 20-23, 2017|
|Adult Rec Women's||Ellenton, Florida||Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex||April 27-30, 2017|