HACKENSACK, N.J. — Seven of the eight series in the USA Hockey Atlantic District Tournaments for Youth Tier I and II were decided in two-game sweeps of best-of-three series March 17 and 18 at the Ice House Ice Rink in Hackensack, New Jersey.
Familiar foes battled and needed all three games in the Tier II 18U series to determine Pennsylvania’s representative at the Chipotle-USA Hockey Youth Nationals, April 5-9, in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
The Quakers from the Ice Line in West Chester, Pennsylvania, shook off a loss in the second game and a late Warwick Wildcats rally in the decisive game to pull away for a 5-2 victory. Players from teams that qualified for both 16U and 18U nationals last year are part of the team the Quakers will send to Green Bay.
Warwick tried to prevent that return trip, scoring with 7:51 left to get within 3-2, and applying pressure over the next four minutes in search of the tying goal. Matt Stoll assisted on the first goal and scored the second for Warwick.
“They kind of put the pedal down and we were able to get behind them because they were pressing,” Quakers coach Rich Brown said.
Matthew Owens scored on an assist from Nick Ferraro with 3:06 left for a 4-2 lead. Warwick went on a power play with exactly two minutes remaining and pulled the goalie for a two-man advantage. Ferraro locked up the win by scoring from just beyond the red line into an empty net with 1:09 left.
Kevin Brown scored the team’s first two goals after also having a goal and an assist in a 4-1 win to start the series.
“The first game, we played them perfectly,” said Brown. “I don’t know if it was fatigue, but we didn’t play as well in Game 2.
“The third game was an all-out battle.”
Warwick extended the series when Eric Slater had a goal and an assist while Blaze Ferris had two assists during a 3-1 win in Game 2.
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Youth Tier I
14U: New Jersey Colonials
15-Only: Mercer Chiefs
16U: New Jersey Avalanche
18U: New Jersey Avalanche
Youth Tier II
14U PA: Palmyra Black
16U PA: Hershey White
18U PA: Quakers
14U NJ: New Jersey Wildcats Black
16U NJ: Jaguars Green
18U NJ: New Jersey Freeze
Girls Tier I
14U: Philadelphia Junior Flyers
16U: New Jersey Colonials
19U: New Jersey Colonials
Girls Tier II
16U: Princeton Tiger Lilies
19U: Montclair Blues
Double Overtime in Tier I 14U
The New Jersey Colonials swept Virtua Hockey for the Tier I 14U district title, but it was not easy.
The Colonials won both games, 4-3, in overtime.
Greg Spitznagel scored two goals, including the overtime winner in the first game. Mike Roby’s second goal for Virtua tied the game with a goalie pulled and 11 seconds remaining in regulation. Virtua came from 3-1 down to force another overtime on Jayden Sisson’s goal with 8:35 left in Game 2.
Matthew Brille scored the clincher with 2:55 left in overtime. He had an assist earlier in the game. Evan Brown scored the first two New Jersey goals, then assisted on the overtime winner.
Mercer Chiefs, New Jersey Avalanche Win Tier I Titles
The Mercer Chiefs took the Tier I 15-Only championship by beating Virtua 4-2 and 4-0.
Lachlan Getz and Peter Poulanas had third-period power-play goals in the first win to help offset a short-handed goal by Virtua during the period. Shane Albert assisted on both power-play goals, then had a goal and assist in the clincher.
The host New Jersey Avalanche won both the Tier I 18U and 16U titles, also in two-game sweeps.
Hershey White, Palmyra Black Join Quakers
Hershey and Palmyra won the remaining Pennsylvania berths in Tier II.
Hershey White swept the Warwick Wildcats, 5-2 and 7-1, for the 16U title.
Palmyra Black defeated the Quakers, 4-1 and 8-0, to take the 14U championship.
In the clincher, Hershey outshot Warwick 36-11, including 14-2 in the second period when it was stretching a 3-1 lead to 6-1. Cade Freer had a goal and an assist in each win. Hunter Neiss matched that in the first game.
Jake Herman scored twice in Game 2. Jack Straub also had a goal and an assist while Cade Helmer and Connor Baer had two assists each to give Hershey five players with two points each.
Defense carried Palmyra Black to hold the Quakers to 12 shots in the first game, then got a 14-save shutout from Evan Petras in the second.
Trevor Kruczek had two goals and one assist in the clinching win. Isaiah Croft added two goals while Kyle Kerrigan had a goal and an assist.
Wildcats Black Win New Jersey Tier II
New Jersey Wildcats Black won the Tier II 14U title in the only championship decided during the March district event in Hackensack.
The Wildcats followed up a 2-1 overtime win over the New Jersey Avalanche in the opener by winning the second game 6-1.
Anthony Caruso supplied the overtime winner to back a 41-save effort by Joseph Colecchia.
Nathaniel Block had two goals while Anthony Dowd and Nicholas Colao had two assists each in the second game.
The New Jersey Freeze (18U) and Jaguars Green (16U) won district tournaments that were held in November to also land berths at nationals.
The Ice Vault Bandits Black were also awarded a 16U berth as host of the Chipotle-USA Hockey Youth Tier II 16U Nationals in Wayne, New Jersey, April 5-9.
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.