WEST CHESTER, Pa. — The Chipotle-USA Hockey Girls Tier II 16U National Championships were just getting started Thursday morning when Honeybaked and the Philadelphia Jr Flyers showed just how evenly matched they were in Class 1A.
Three periods of hockey and five minutes of overtime were not enough to produce a winner then, but when the teams got back together Monday, championship game rules meant a full 17 minutes of overtime could be used if necessary.
The extra time made the difference for Honeybaked, as the Michigan-based team avenged its tournament-opening shootout loss with a 2-1 victory on Madison Klamo’s goal 7:16 into the extra session.
“We skate a lot at practice,” Honeybaked coach John McMahon said. “Our mantra is: We’re a third-period team; we’re an overtime team.”
Honeybaked proved that point by outscoring opponents, 10-4, in third periods and overtimes over the course of the tournament.
“For the last two or three months, we’ve been skating for 10 minutes at the end of practice,” McMahon said of being a third period and overtime team. “We honestly believe that.”
The victory allowed five Honeybaked players to repeat the national titles they won on the 14U level last season. But it was never easy, with a difficult road to the final where they met a Jr Flyers team that was unbeaten for the tournament and had given up just two goals in five games while playing the event at home at the Ice Line.
Philadelphia won the American Division over Honeybaked during pool play on the strength of the shootout win.
“Winning Nationals is something that is very difficult to do because all the teams are good and all the games are close,” McMahon said.
Close games were played all around the tournament for five days. Of the 150 games played across the six divisions, 16 were decided in shootouts, 30 were tied at the end of regulation and a total of 72 were decided by one goal.
Monday’s series of championship games was even closer than what had taken place for the previous four days.
Klamo made sure Honeybaked avoided a championship game shootout.
Other players got the team through Sunday’s first two rounds of elimination play. Meghan McLuckie, one of the repeat national champions, had the overtime game-winner in a 6-5 victory over Little Caesars in the all-Michigan semifinal. The quarterfinal game-winner came from Ella Dumas with 5:42 left in regulation.
It was one of four goals scored by Dumas, who also had an assist. Teammate Lucy Zate finished as the team’s leading scorer with four goals and four assists.
Reese McMahon was another of the repeat champions. She tied for second on the team in tournament points with two goals and three assists.
Zate and McMahon had the assists on the tournament-deciding goals.
Forward Anna Schultz and both goalies, Camryn Schwartz and Kendall Felser, were the other players to win titles in a second age group.
“We won the championship game in overtime, we won the semifinal game in overtime, and our first game with Philadelphia went to a shootout in day one of the tournament,” coach McMahon said. “We had played them four times during the year and split the games.
“We were very evenly matched. They play super hard. They’re a bunch of grinders, kind of what you’d expect from a Philadelphia team.”
Elizabeth Muther led Philadelphia with five goals and an assist.
The tournament’s top scorer was Avery Brooks from Little Caesars with six goals and three assists.
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.