The Southeastern District wrapped up its championship series this weekend at the Coral Springs Sportsplex and set the stage for the Toyota-USA Hockey National Championships that will take place later this month.
The Carolina Jr. Hurricanes and Thunder AAA had the best overall showings in the tournament and each will send teams to the national championships.
Thunder AAA Claims Top Honors in 18U
Thunder AAA won the Tier I 18U championship with a 5-0 victory over the North Broward Prep squad in a Saturday evening contest.
Thunder AAA also defeated North Broward Prep earlier in the tournament and outscored them 11-0 in the best-of-three series. They were the only two teams in the Tier I 18U division.
The Atlanta-based Thunder AAA program sent teams to nationals at the 16U and 14U level last season. Its teams practice in Atlanta as well as Nashville and Huntsville, Ala.
The North Broward Prep team had the home ice advantage, as the Eagles were the local team at the tournament. The high school team had enjoyed great success all year, and the whitewash was uncharacteristic of a team that features many players who will go on and play hockey collegiately.
Former Florida Panthers and Colorado Avalanche player Peter Worrell coaches the Eagles, who have won back-to-back Florida state championships.
Thunder Strikes at 14U, Too
Thunder AAA defeated the Jr. Hurricanes 5-1 to capture the Tier I 14U division title.
In the championship game, the Thunder secured the title by having five different goal scorers. Sean Macavoy led the way with a goal and an assist to propel the Thunder to the victory. Mack Gudza stopped 17 of 18 shots faced and was stellar between the pipes for the Thunder.
In the Thunder’s semifinal on Saturday, David Dedo had two goals and an assist in a 6-2 win over Team Maryland. Cole Kodsi scored a goal for the winners and assisted on two others. Netminder Jacob Lefton played all 45 minutes and had 15 saves out of 17 shots faced.
For the season, the 14U Thunder are 41-17-6. Macavoy leads the team in scoring with 27 goals 44 assists and 71 combined points. Lefton has eight shutouts in the net, while Gudza has five.
Hurricanes Win One
The Canes did get some revenge as they won the 16U title by defeating the Thunder AAA squad in overtime 1-0.
“We have a very good junior hockey program in Carolina,” Hurricanes 16U coach Clay Cotie said. “The kids and coaches take their hockey very seriously, and we start the kids at a young age and the kids progress as they get older.”
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.