The Old York Road Raiders from the Philadelphia area won the USA Hockey 14-Under Tier II 3A Division National Championship in a penalty-filled contest against the Santa Clara Blackhawks on Sunday in Williamsville, N.Y., 4-1.
Old York Road scored twice in the first, one each in the subsequent periods, and lost the shutout with eight seconds left in the game. There were nearly two dozen penalties called, including three majors, a match misconduct, and a game misconduct. After the final horn, a number of scuffles broke out as the benches emptied before order was restored.
“I thought it was the most complete game we played in as long as I can remember,” Old York Road coach Justin Adamski, Sr. said. “From start to finish we were focused and ready to go.”
Justin Cole opened the scoring at 12:17 of the first period. He raced down the right side and fired the puck in near side.
“It was a big goal, the opening goal,” Cole said. “I just remember beating the kid and shooting it in.”
“We nicknamed him ‘JC,’” Adamski said. “He’s a special hockey player. He only has one speed — ready to go.”
Three minutes later, Jeff Frese made it 2-0 on a slow-to-develop odd-man rush. Houston Wilson from the right side passed it to a wide open Jeff Frese in the middle. Frese wristed it in.
Greg Sakland made it 3-0 at 4:22 of the second on the power play during one of the major penalties for kicking. The initial shot by Ryan Meineke was stopped, but the rebound was scooped up by the trailing Sakland. Sakland took it around the goalie’s pad to tuck it in.
At 4:43 of the final period, Cole supposedly made it 4-0. It was a goal, but Cole was not the one who scored it despite being credited as such when an airborne rebound was whacked in over the fallen goaltender.
“I didn’t score that actually,” he said. “It should have just been an assist for me. It was good teamwork.”
As more and more penalties were called in the third period, including another major on Santa Clara for butt ending, the teams had plenty of opportunity to practice their special teams. It also allowed the Blackhawks to spoil the Raiders’ shutout.
With eight seconds left while on the power play, David Adams threw the puck towards the net from the high slot. It found its way through the crowd, fooling the goaltender.
Despite losing the shutout, Timothy Browne wound up with 27 saves for the win. Geoffrey Grimm stopped 30 shots in the loss.
“This team is pretty special,” Adamski said. “This team has been together a long time. We went to Nationals two years ago as PeeWees, and we were knocked out in the quarterfinals. Two years ago we set an agenda. The first year we were going to play up and play against the bigger, stronger kids. The second year we wanted to win regional Silver Sticks, we wanted to win international Silver Sticks, we wanted to go undefeated, we wanted to win the league, we wanted to win Districts, and we wanted to win Nationals. And we did every single thing we set out to do. This team was put together with a mission. I never had a group of kids that just knows how to win. They’re a special group.”
Story courtesy of Red Line Editorial, Inc.
Tag(s): 14 & Under