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Hometown Hero Ben Slavick Lifts Little Caesars to Youth Tier I 13O Championship Win

By Caleigh Burchfield, 04/07/24, 12:15PM MDT


Little Caesars captures inaugural Chipotle-USA Hockey Youth Tier I 13O National Championship.

PLYMOUTH, Mich. – Westland, Michigan, native Ben Slavick scored twice and added an assist to lift Little Caesars to a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers today inside USA Hockey Arena at the 2024 Chipotle-USA Hockey Youth Tier I 13O National Championship.

2024 is the inaugural year of the 13O tournament.

Little Caesars struck first with a power-play marker off the stick of Ben Slavick. Derek Moon blasted a wrister from the right point that made its way through traffic, and Slavick got a tip on it for the redirect with 5:18 left in the first.

Philadelphia’s Brayden Kotzen found the equalizer just over two minutes later. Noble Johnson intercepted a clearing attempt in the neutral zone and sent the puck up to Kotzen, who dangled through two Little Caesars defensemen and trickled the puck over the goal line with a shot from the left circle.

Slavick regained the lead with 50 seconds left in the period. Stephen Knight Jr. sent the puck on net from the left wing off an Aiden Kelly feed. Flyer’s netminder Charles Liu made the initial stop, but Slavick grabbed the loose puck for a rebound tally.

Cole Sipotz made it a 3-1 game 4:50 into the middle frame. Slavick found Moon along the boards, who quickly centered to Sipotz in the high slot for the finish.

Colin MacCormack brought the Jr. Flyers back within one, potting home a rebound tally of his own. Marc Ruggere made a beautiful forehand-backhand attempt off a Robert Spang feed, and MacCormack scooped up the rebound for a score with 5:39 to play in the period.

Little Caesars added a fourth goal 1:19 into the final frame. Jack Hair stole the puck off a Flyers’ stick in the neutral zone and chipped it to a streaking Moon, who flew down the left wing, fired a shot and beat Charles Liu with a rebound marker.

A fantastic play by Kelly 3:21 later brought the final score to 5-2. He stole the puck amid a line change atop the Philadelphia zone, turned on a dime and went five-hole from the low slot with a power-play goal.

Troy Falbo finished with 20 saves in net for Little Caesars in the championship win.

NOTES: The Buffalo Jr. Sabres topped the Minutemen Flames, 4-1, in the third-place game in the 13O Division. Goals came from Leo Parini, Gavin Springer and Evan Vukelic for Buffalo. Owen Lundin scored for the Flames.

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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