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Big third period lifts Honeybaked to a repeat at 16-U Tier I boys level

By Lindsay Fetzner, 04/03/11, 7:30PM MDT


HoneyBaked and Shattuck-St. Mary’s went head-to-head in the final game of the USA Hockey 16-Under Tier I boys National Championships on Sunday in Simsbury, Conn. HoneyBaked used three goals in the third period to earn a 3-2 come-from-behind victory to successfully defend their national title.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the guys,” HoneyBaked coach Mike Hamilton said.

It’s a celebration that came two years in row for HoneyBaked, which beat the LA Selects 3-2 in overtime last season in the final.

“These guys won last year,” Hamilton said of the Detroit-based team. “It’s back-to-back. It’ll be a fun bus ride home.”

Honeybaked’s march to the title included victories over the Thunder (5-0 in the quarterfinals) and the Pittsburgh Hornets (4-2 in the semifinals).

Shattuck led the first two periods. Forward Alex Rodriguez scored the first goal in the first period with 14:02 to play. Forward Mike Louria and defenseman Willie Raskob had the assists.

Shattuck’s 1-0 lead held up through a scoreless second period. HoneyBaked forward Evan Allen tied the game in the third period on an assist from defenseman Trevor Hamilton with 13:15 to play. Rodriguez’s goal gave Shattuck a 2-1 lead on an assist from Sean MacTavish with 8:41 left. Forward Tyler Motte scored both the game-tying and game-winning goals in the third period. Forward Jon Pierret assisted on the first goal, and Hamilton set up the second.

“It was an intense back and forth,” Pierret said.

Pierret was part of the team that took home the win last year against the LA Selects. But, Pierret said, “This one’s sweeter.”

He described the overall experience in the tournament and the eventual win as “unreal.”

As Adam Ulfsax’s father Mike waiting for his son to come out of the HoneyBaked locker room, the Michigan resident shared the pride he had for his son being part of the victorious team.

“It has been a long, rewarding season,” Ulfsax said. “It’s been one heck of a ride.”

Shattuck coach Christian Bragnalo said despite the loss, he was proud of his team’s performance and gave credit to Honeybaked for their win.

“I thought we had a great week of hockey,” Bagnalo said. “Our boys played well and I am very proud of them. We lost to the better hockey team.”

Story courtesy of Red Line Editorial, Inc.