GATES MILLS, Ohio — Six champions were decided this past weekend at Gilmour Academy in the USA Hockey Mid-American District Tournament. Tier I champions will head to Irvine, Calif., for the Chipotle-USA Hockey National Championships while the Tier II champions will head to Amherst, New York. Both tournaments take place April 4-8.
Arrows spoil Steel City sweep bid in Tier II 19U
The Armstrong Arrows defeated the Steel City Selects 5-1 for the 19U Tier II title. Armstrong’s victory ended the opportunity for the Selects to sweep Tier II as they did last year.
Amara Marrese, Grace Johnson, Leigh Ann Jacobs, Juliana Farr and Brigid Carroll chipped in the goals for Armstrong while Erika Sabilla, Keegan Fulton-Schuller and Marrese each had an assist. Mia Commendatore earned a pair of assists.
Alexandra Adams, after an assist from Victoria Wilson, scored the lone Steel City goal.
The Steel City Selects are celebrating their 10th anniversary during the 2018-19 season. Prior to this year, according to MidAm Girls and Women’s Section Representative Ladd Wagner, all three levels of the Selects entries in the MidAm District Tournament have advanced to the national championships.
The Selects will also be celebrating the MidAm district titles earned at the 14U and 16U Tier II levels this year.
Cameron Evans scored the only goal in the 14U Selects championship clinching game and Alyssa Fetsko and Hailey Flaherty each tallied a trio of goals during the tournament.
After scoring a shootout winner in the Selects 16U opening game, Sara Burr scored a pair of goals in the team’s final game on Sunday, a 7-0 win over the North Hills Vipers.
Lauren Callahan also tallied a pair of goals in the Selects’ final game victory.
Selects 16U Tier II defenseman Scout Spong has a unique hockey experience in her past. Her parents, Ben Spong and Sarah Selmer, are both professors at West Virginia University and a sabbatical journey landed the family in South Africa. While in Cape Town, Scout skated for the local Cape Town Griffins and was also selected to skate for the Western Cape Provincial team in an inter-provincial tournament.
Penguins add 16U Tier I title to 14U
The 16U Tier I title was earned by the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite via a 6-1 victory against Gilmour Academy.
Hannah Humes and Lily Stumm each netted a pair of goals in the championship game while Brianna Medved and Aubrey Suttelle added a goal each.
Culver Academy wins Tier I 19U
Culver Academy won the Tier I 19U round-robin format championship. Both of their matches were decided by a single goal. Culver defeated Gilmour Academy 3-2 and Pittsburgh Penguins Elite 1-0. Goal scorers for Culver were Abby Marohn, Abby Fennell, Cecily Hetzel and Mallory Dolorfino.
Off-ice activities add extra fun
As the old saying reminds one that the best way to eat an elephant is “one bite at a time,” Wagner has divided the geographically large district into pods in which events are held to encourage increased interest and participation in girls/women’s hockey.
Such an event was held on during the final day of the district tournament.
“We are going to bring in girls from across the MidAm District to come in to play cross ice games and have a pizza party after they’re done. They are going to be around to watch some of the games,” explained Wagner.
Wagner has encouraged similar events throughout the district the past two seasons.
“We do an hour on ice and have an off-ice team building activity. Those [off-ice activities] have varied. I have purchased [Indy] Fuel tickets, have done broomball, deck hockey, movie nights and pizza parties. At Miami [Ohio] we went to a women’s hockey game and afterwards they did a skill session. Each year it has gotten a little bigger,” Wagner said.
2019 Mid-American District Girls’ Tournament Champions
14U: Pittsburgh Penguins Elite
16U: Pittsburgh Penguins Elite
19U: Culver Academy