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Notebook: HoneyBaked Rolls Over Opponents En Route to 14U Finals

By Russell Jaslow - Special to, 03/30/15, 1:30PM MDT


The Michigan team had the division’s leaders in goals, assists and points.

AMHERST, N.Y. -- The HoneyBaked Hockey Club out of Michigan, founded by the president of the HoneyBaked Ham Company, is traditionally one of the strongest youth programs in the country.

Thus, it was little surprise when HoneyBaked plowed its way through the Toyota-USA Hockey Youth Tier I 14U National Championships this week in Amherst.

Prior to Monday’s championship game, which HoneyBaked won in double overtime, the team scored at least six goals in every game, notching 39 goals in the five games.

In the round robin, Honeybaked beat the host Amherst Knights (9-2), fellow Michigan team the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies (11-0), and the Mid Fairfield Jr. Rangers (6-1). Honeybaked defeated another local team, the Buffalo Jr. Sabres (7-3), in the quarterfinals. HoneyBaked then had no trouble winning the semifinal against yet another Michigan team, Compuware, 6-1. It outshot Compuware, 37-15.

It was also little surprise that when all was said and done, HoneyBaked players led all the scoring categories: Calen Kiefiuk had seven goals (and Bode Wilde had six), Valentino Passarelli had nine assists, and Kiefiuk and Passarelli each had 13 points.

Buzzer Beater
Perhaps the closest buzzer beater in the division occurred during pool play between Dallas Stars Elite and Boston Jr. Eagles.

Boston got a first-period goal by Andrew Holland on the power play. Michael Gildon tied it in the second. Holland then scored again midway through the third period, and it appeared that would be the game winner.

However, Connor Griebenow had other ideas. He scored with two seconds left. No one scored in overtime. Boston was able to recover in the shootout, taking the extra point.

It was Dallas’ only point, as it lost its first game to Minnesota’s Shattuck-St. Mary’s (6-3) and its last game to the Anaheim Jr. Ducks (4-3).

Meanwhile, it also marked Boston’s only win, as the team lost a pair of 3-1 decisions to the aforementioned teams.

Scoring Bursts
Three of the four shootouts occurred on Friday. Perhaps none was more exciting than the seesaw game between Shattuck-St. Mary’s and Anaheim.

The teams traded goals within 47 seconds in the first period. Jonah Gold gave Anaheim the lead on a breakaway until TJ Walsh tied it. Oliver Wahlstrom gave Shattuck the lead before the period ended.

Another burst of scoring saw three goals within 1:26 in the second.

Stanislav Denim tied the game for Anaheim. Niklas Norman then put Shattuck back in the lead on a shorthanded breakaway. And just 25 seconds after that, James Cates III tied it right back up.

Then, the scorers were shut down, and the score remained 3-3 for the rest of the period, through the third and overtime.

Each team got a goal in the five-shot shootout. Each team scored on the first sudden death shootout attempt. On the seventh shot, Anaheim missed. Shattuck’s Wahlstrom faked forehand and put it in with his backhand for the win.

“They’re a really good team,” Shattuck coach Adam Nightingale said of Anaheim. “That was a really good test for us. We got better as the game went on. The third period was our best period. Proud of the guys for sticking with it. Our goalie did a great job in the shootout for us. It was a big win.”

Round Up
Shattuck won its other two games in regulation, sending the Sabres to the quarterfinals against Little Caesars (Mich.), 5-4.

Little Caesars jumped out to 3-0 lead before Shattuck came roaring back with four straight goals. But Matthew Cameron then scored twice, the first shorthanded, in the third to give Little Caesars the win.

Despite Anaheim’s shootout loss to Shattuck, the California team won two other games to advance to the quarterfinals. Anaheim’s run ended there with a 2-1 loss to Compuware, despite outshooting the Michigan team 37-25.

Compuware’s Zachary Faremouth scored a goal in the first and second before Anaheim’s Joseph Holman managed one late in the third with the extra attacker.

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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