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Jayden Elias was Perfect in Rhode Island Sting’s Run to Girls Tier II 16U 2A National Title

By Jim Hoehn, 04/07/24, 4:00PM MDT


The Rhode Island goaltender stopped all 105 shots she faced in the tournament.

ASHWAUBENON, Wis. — An early lead, a suffocating defense and a lockdown goalie turned out to be the championship recipe for the Rhode Island Sting (RI).

The Sting parlayed a pair of first-period goals along with the shutout goaltending of Jayden Elias into a 3-0 victory over the Glenview Stars (IL) on Sunday in the title game of the 2024 Chipotle-USA Hockey Girls Tier II 16U 2A National Championships at Cornerstone Community Center.

Elias did not allow a goal in her games in the net, stopping all 105 shots she faced, including 21 in the championship game.

The Sting dominated possession and position early and then scored two goals in the final 1:31 of the first period for a 2-0 lead.

“That is what we focused on, because we did not do a good job of setting the tone early,” said Sting coach Kurt Carter. “So, that was our message, we have to play in their zone."

Anna Hutton put the Sting up 1-0 at 15:29 with a rush up the right side for an unassisted goal from the circle.

“I think it really set the tone for the game,” Hutton said. “I was hoping I wouldn’t miss the net.”

“It feels unreal,” Hutton said of the title. “I’ve been here once before, but we didn’t make it past the quarterfinals.”

With eight seconds left in the period, the Sting made if 2-0 with an opportunistic power play goal by Lillian Loughlean.

“That’s a dagger,” said Glenview coach Nick Lavalle. “That’s a tough one. Any goal at the start or end of the period like that is tough. It was a power play goal, a shot through traffic that hit at least one body or stick or something.”

After an evenly played scoreless second period, Ashley Edmonds scored her fourth goal of the tournament with 10:14 remaining to give the Sting a three-goal cushion.

With just over 12 minutes left, the Sting had a 22-8 advantage in shots on goal. The Stars narrowed the deficit to 24-21 with an onslaught in the third period, but were turned away each time by Elias.

“After we got that third goal, they tried that final push, but we stopped them,” Elias said. “It’s either they’ll push, or they’ll fall back. And their team pushed.”

Lavalle said the Sting set the tempo early and then maintained control once they got the lead.

“The Sting had a lot of speed up and down the lineup. We struggled getting any kind of rhythm going,” he said. “You have to give them credit. They took away a lot of time and space from us and didn’t give us a chance to really get any kind of cohesiveness.”

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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