WEST CHESTER, Pa. — The North Jersey Avalanche Tier I 16U and 18U teams spend a lot of time together.
“We travel with them everywhere,” Avalanche 18U assistant coach Peter Lompado said. “We practice with them. We’re family. We’re one big family.”
So, it only made sense that when the two teams won USA Hockey Atlantic District Tournament titles 15 minutes apart on March 17 at Ice Line Quad Rinks, they made their way onto the same sheet of ice, not long after formal awards presentations, for the continuation of the celebration.
“All of our road trips are scheduled so we’re in the same place at the same time,” Lompado said. “We support each other. They’re like brothers.
“That’s what we preach in the program. Everybody is like family and is a brotherhood.”
It’s a winning family with another family trip scheduled. The 16U and 18U Chipotle-USA Hockey Youth Tier I National Championships are both in Grand Rapids, Michigan, April 3-8.
The Avalanche dominated the 18U championship series with the Jersey Hitmen, winning 8-1 and 6-1.
Tyler Sedlak had a hat trick in the first game, all in a 9:39 stretch of the second period when it was North Jersey that resembled an avalanche, scoring the game’s first five goals in rapid succession.
It was John Lundy’s turn in Game 2. Lundy, who had three assists in the first win, had the hat trick.
Lucas Sedlacek added two goals in the first win. Kenny Riddett had four assists in the second.
The 16U Avalanche had a bit tougher time, needing overtime to win the opener over the Mercer Chiefs, 4-3, then completing the sweep with a 4-2 victory.
Tyler Studant scored the game-winner after Shane Albert’s second goal of the game for Mercer, with 17 seconds left, had forced overtime.
Michael Cameron assisted Studant’s winner and also had a goal for a 3-2 lead in the third period.
Mercer scored first in the second game, but North Jersey took control with three straight goals in a stretch from late in the first period to early in the second. Cameron scored the first and last of those goals.
Jeremy Wilmer assisted the first two goals and finished with three in the game.
Rockets, Minutemen win in Tier I 14U and 15-Only
The New Jersey Rockets prevented the North Jersey Avalanche from taking the top three Tier I titles, posting a 7-2, 6-2 sweep in their 15-Only series.
Cole Hanan had two goals in the first game. Gleb Veremyev added a goal and two assists while Michael Rubin had three assists.
Eric Bush, Matthew Brille and Veremyev all had a goal and an assist in the second game.
The Valley Forge Minutemen swept the Devils Youth, 5-1, 5-0, in 14U.
Tied 1-1 after one period, the Minutemen got goals from five different players in the first win.
Jeffrey Hammond, who also had an assist, and Billy Batten scored twice each in the second win.
Three Pennsylvania champions decided in Tier II
Quakers (18U), Hatfield Ice Dogs Blue (16U) and Blazers (14U) won the Pennsylvania Tier II titles decided at the Atlantic District tournament.
The Quakers swept Warwick Wildcats, 5-3, 6-1.
Nicholas Ferraro had two goals and an assist in the opener and one goal in the second game.
Nicholas Castrura, who had an assist, and Jakob Moleski each scored twice in the clincher.
Max Maddalo had two goals in the second game to help the Blazers complete their 5-3, 4-2 sweep of the Hatfield Ice Dogs in 14U.
Avalanche win New Jersey Tier II title
The New Jersey Avalanche swept the Protec Ducks, 3-1, 3-0, for the New Jersey 14U Tier II nationals berth.
Hughes Matthews had the first and last goals of the opening game.
Rorro James posted the shutout.
2019 USA Hockey Atlantic District Youth Tournament Champions
14U: Valley Forge Minutemen
15-Only: New Jersey Rockets
16U: North Jersey Avalanche
18U: North Jersey Avalanche
14U NJ: North Jersey Avalanche
14U PA: Blazers
16U: Ice Dogs Blue
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.