The Affton Americans claimed the USA Hockey Tier II 12 & Under Conference 3A National Championship on Sunday by defeating the Brandon Jr. Bulls, 3-2.
The Americans defeated the Bulls 6-0 in their first game of the tournament in Reston, Va. They then bulldozed their way past the host team, the Reston Raiders, 12-2, and the Metro Maple Leafs from Maryland, 12-2. Saturday’s quarterfinal and semifinal rounds brought shutouts over the Concord Capitals and the Fort Wayne Komets.
“I told them that they need to expect to come out and be loose and determined, for anything worth winning must be earned and that they should expect a tight game against Florida,” Affton coach Dave Garth said. “They needed to be disciplined and the team with the best speed and skill would win. Florida came out very aggressive.”
Not only were the Americans undefeated all week, defenseman Drew Croghan also claimed four of five titles in the Easton Skills Challenge. While he did not have any points in the final game, Croghan recorded 12 points on seven goals and five assists in the tournament.
“[It’s] amazing. We practice 2-3 times a week and now I get to show off my medal to my friends and siblings. Our team is awesome,” Croghan said.
Affton forward Cole Chatham scored the game-winning goal with 7:22 left in the third period. He also assisted on Affton’s other two goals.
“I feel unbelievable right now,” Chatham said.
“After Florida scored first in the first period, it took us until the end of the second period to regain our compsure — the kids felt a bit panicked,” Garth said. “They knew they had 15 minutes to go out and finish the game and to have it as their own, to refocus and come out as champions, which they did in the end.”
Story courtesy of Red Line Editorial, Inc.
Tag(s): 12 & Under