Competitive ADISL playoffs crown quartet of fall/winter champions
The Anaheim Ducks Inline Scholastic Hockey League (ADISL) held its fall/winter playoffs Feb. 8-10 at The Rinks-Irvine Inline.
All 17 teams participated to determine titles in four divisions: Varsity, JV-A, JV-B and JV-C.
Many playoff matchups proved to be see-saw battles between teams, with lead changes taking place until the final horn. The 13 playoff games featured seven decided by three goals or less and five one-goal games, including four that ended in overtime.
The El Niño-infused wet weather played havoc at times with the regular season schedule, though the playoffs started on time, according to ADISL coordinator John Paerels.
“We ended up with the full slate of nine games to wrap up the season (on Feb. 3) — all at Huntington Beach Inline due to the weather, but we got them finished,” Paerels noted with pride as well as with a sigh of relief.
“It came down to the wire for playoff placement in some cases. For playoffs, we split the Division 1 into Varsity and JV-A divisions with four teams in each, and Division 2 into JV-B (four teams) and JVC (five teams).”
The playoffs faced off with a pair of semifinal match-ups and one play-in game on Feb. 8.
The opening spate of games established the trend for the weekend as two of the three games were decided in overtime.
Mission Viejo skated past Villa Park 6-1, while Beckman II edged Norco, 5-4, in overtime in a pair of JV-A semifinals. Cypress slipped past Mater Dei 6-5 in a JV-C overtime play-in contest.
Mission Viejo (6-6-1) used four third-period goals to break open a close game with Villa Park (6-7-0). Tucker Abel led the winners with three goals and one assist while teammate Ben Wallace dished up two goals and one assist.
Beckman II (5-8-0) scored twice in the third period to force overtime against Norco (3-9-0-1), which had led 3-2 through two periods. With the teams tied 4-4, Thibault Caballero supplied the winner for Beckman II on an unassisted goal at 2:00 of the sudden-victory period.
Caballero’s game-winner landed him with a hat trick. He finished the game with four points on three goals and one assist. Max Ferrari tacked on a goal and assist.
Alec Trujillo and Liam Culligan each had a goal and assist to lead Norco.
Fourth-seeded Mater Dei (2-10-0-1) and fifth-seeded Cypress (2-11-0) kept pace throughout their play-in contest as each team matched the other goal for goal in each period. The teams were tied 1-1 at the first break, 2-2 after the second break and 5-5 at the end of regulation.
Nathan Larson won it for Cypress with an unassisted goal at 1:30 of overtime.
Larson, Jacob Fisk and Dylan McFall each scored twice for Cypress while Noah Lachance led Mater Dei with four goals.
Friday’s preliminaries set the stage for the following Sunday’s main event that featured 10 games – six semifinal contests and four championship finals.
El Toro, Crossroads Christian and Edison II had all received byes as Mater Dei and Cypress, the bottom two teams in the five-team JV-C Division, played off to determine the final semifinal berth.
El Toro, the top-seeded team in the JV-C Division, eliminated Cypress by a score of 10-2 while second-seeded Crossroads Christian slipped past third-seeded Edison II by a score of 7-6 on a goal with just 25 seconds remaining in regulation play.
Jacob Fallman (four goals, three assists) and Alex Cahill (one goal, six assists) led the charge for El Toro (8-5-0-1) with seven points apiece. Jason Laird and Killian Powell each tallied two goals for the winners.
Fisk scored both goals for Cypress (2-12-0).
Crossroads Christian and Edison II carried a 4-4 deadlock into the final period in which Crossroads Christian chalked up a 3-2 scoring advantage to win by a goal.
Connor Northcutt led Crossroads Christian (6-8-0) with a hat trick while Aidan Northcutt and Cade MacRitchie each contributed a goal and assist.
Shane Stubbs countered with a hat trick in a losing effort for Edison II (3-10-0) while teammates Jaden Austin (two goals) and Caden Borns (three assists) also had big nights in the scoring column.
A pair of JV-B semifinal games took center court next. Fourth-seeded Irvine eliminated top-seeded Pacifica, 9-7, in a stunning upset while second-seeded Woodbridge topped third-seeded Laguna Hills 9-3.
Irvine led 6-5 entering the final period but Pacifica came back with two goals to lead 7-6. Irvine tacked on the final three goals of the game to win by a pair with a late scoring rush.
Six players scored goals for Irvine (8-5-0). Yuuki Fujimura led the group with two goals and two assists while Terry Glynn chipped in with three points on a goal and two assists. Garret Banawa and Nathan Craig each scored two goals to help fuel the upset victory. Banawa was credited with the game-winning goal.
Matt Cornish led Pacifica (10-3-0) with six goals and one assist while Tyler Belthius collected three points on a goal and two assists.
Woodbridge (10-3-0) scored two goals in the first period, three goals in the second period and four goals in the third period to win by six goals over Laguna Hills (9-4-0).
Takeo Kuno led Woodbridge with four goals while Charlie Kennedy tacked on two goals and one assist. Brian Wong collected two goals, including the game-winner, while Kevin Wagner contributed a pair of assists.
Gio Hernandez scored twice for Laguna Hills, which had tied Woodbridge for second place in the division standings during regular season play.
Two more semifinals took place to set the rest of the championship match-ups. Both Varsity Division elimination games proved to be upsets.
Beckman I had posted a perfect 12-0-0 regular season record to earn the No. 1 playoff seed in the division while Santiago had finished in fourth place with a 5-6-1 record. But the tables were turned in the playoffs as Santiago grabbed a stunning 5-4 overtime win.
Beckman I led 2-0 after the first period and 3-1 at the end of two periods. But Santiago rallied with three goals in the third period to send the game into overtime with the teams knotted at four goals apiece.
Aiden Flores scored at 2:55 of the sudden-victory period to send Santiago into the championship round.
Bryce Lorenz led Santiago (6-6-1) with two goals and two assists while Flores added two goals and one assist.
Ryan Fehrenbach keyed Beckman I (12-0-0-1) with a hat trick in the semifinal setback.
In the other semifinal match-up, second-seeded Huntington Beach had edged third-seeded Edison I for second place in the division standings by a single point. The playoff pairing reversed the teams’ order of finish as Edison I upended Huntington Beach by a 4-1 score.
Edison I (7-4-1-1) snapped a 1-1 first-period standoff with the final three goals of the game.
Nathan Hana notched two goals, including the game-winner, to lead Edison I while teammates Joey Mataviesko and Lance Erskine each tallied one goal.
Jonathan Radcliffe scored the lone goal for Huntington Beach (7-5-1).
With the final eight teams set, the JV-C championship game rolled out into the spotlight first pitting El Toro and Crossroads Christian.
El Toro scored five goals in each of the opening two periods to win 11-3 to finish the season 8-5-0-1.
Cahill led El Toro with four goals and one assist in the division final while four other players each collected three points: Fallman (two goals, one assist), Laird (two goals, one assist), Rory Agor (two goals, one assist) and Powell (three assists).
Aidan Northcutt led Crossroads Christian (6-8-0) with a hat trick.
The JV-B championship game matching Woodbridge and Irvine was next, with Woodbridge winning 6-1.
Kuno and Kameron Shahabi each recorded hat tricks for Woodbridge (11-3-0) while Kennedy amassed three assists.
Fujimura scored the lone goal for Irvine (8-6-0).
Mission Viejo (7-6-1) shut out Beckman II (5-9-0) by a score of 6-0 to capture the JV-A championship. Abel had the big game on the score sheet with three goals and five assists while Aaron Parsons received credit for the shutout. Austin Koeblitz chalked up two goals and one assist for Mission Viejo, including the game-winning goal.
The last of the weekend’s 13 playoff games may have been the best as Santiago (7-6-1) completed its upset run through the Varsity Division bracket with a 5-4 overtime win over Edison I (7-4-1-2).
Santiago’s Noah Shoemaker scored the only goal in the third period to send the game into overtime tied at four goals apiece. Lorenz broke the stalemate 3:05 into overtime to hand his team the championship amid cold (temperatures in the high 40s) and damp conditions.
The winning goal was the fourth tally of the game for Lorenz. Shoemaker, who drew the assist on the winning goal, finished the game with a goal and two assists.
Ryan Newton led Edison I with two goals and one assist.
“Play in the overtime was fast and offered multiple chances for both teams until Santiago scored on a two-on-one,” Paerels noted.
Santiago streaked to the Varsity Division championship with overtime wins in both of its playoff games.
Pacifica’s Cornish led all ADISL scorers with an average of 5.3 points per game after compiling 53 points in 10 games on 43 goals and 10 assists.
Woodbridge’s Kennedy (27 goals, 17 assists) and Laguna Hills’ Keegan Mooney (24 goals, 20 assists) tied for second place in league scoring with 44 points.
Mission Viejo’s Abel ranked fourth in the ADISL scoring ledger for 2018-19 with 42 points (25 goals, 17 assists), followed by Laguna Hills’ Hernandez with 37 points (26 goals, 11 assists).
Villa Park’s Cory Mater (30 goals, 5 assists) and Mission Viejo’s Wallace (23 goals, 12 assists) tied for sixth with 35 points.
Santiago’s Lorenz (25 goals, 9 assists) and El Toro’s Fallman (21 goals, 13 assists) tied for eighth with 34 points.
Crossroads Christian’s Connor Northcutt finished 10th in league scoring with 33 points (27 goals, 6 assists).
Woodbridge’s Corey Hickson and Pacifica’s Bradley Henke led ADISL netminders with 10-3-0 records, each posting the most wins by a goaltender through the regular season and playoffs.
Huntington Beach’s Vincent Dunton led the league’s goaltending corps with two shutouts.
Max Dei Rossi (Beckman I), Nathan Burger (El Toro), James Pritchett (Villa Park), Miles Gurrola (Norco) and Mission Viejo’s Parsons each recorded one shutout through the season.
The ADISL’s spring season, which will include players and teams from its sibling ice hockey league, the Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League, is set to roll out the weekend of March 1-3.
The ADISL’s Junior High League’s winter playoffs are scheduled March 29.
In games through Feb. 15, Sowers Black and Jeffrey Trail led the six-team group with 4-1-0 records, followed by Lakeside I and Rancho Santa Margarita with 2-2-1 records, Sowers White at 1-3-0 and Lakeside II at 1-4-0.
Scoring leaders include Sowers Black’s Michael Jagiello with 18 points (13 goals, 5 assists) and Rancho Santa Margarita’s Max Meltzer with 16 points (15 goals, 1 assist). Jeffrey Trail’s Ryan Le (11 goals, 3 assists) and Sowers Black’s Brendan Stirbu (10 goals, 4 assists) each followed with 14 points.
Jeffrey Trail’s Luke Weir and Sowers Black’s Jack Lyon led the division’s goaltenders with 4-1 records, with Weir posting one shutout to buttress a 3.20 goals-against average.
The San Diego Inline Hockey League and the Western Collegiate Roller Hockey League (WCRHL) joined forces to promote a crossover event Jan. 26 at the Escondido Sports Center.
Four WCRHL teams participated: Cal Poly Pomona, Long Beach State, UCLA and UC Irvine.
The event also featured a Learn to Play program supported by the San Diego Gulls (American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL Anaheim Ducks), two youth games and a high school all-star game.
It was the first regular season WCRHL event to take place in San Diego County since 2010.
Pomona swept its three games – defeating Long Beach State (4-3 in an overtime shootout), UCLA (9-3) and UC Irvine (11-1) – to improve its division-leading record to 11-1 on the season.
UCLA, meanwhile, finished 2-1 to create a three-way tie for second place in the division standings with UC Berkeley and Long Beach State heading into the WCRHL’s final regular season event Feb. 16-17 in Huntington Beach.
The high school all-star game was an obvious highlight of the event.
“Talking to (WCRHL director) Brennan Edwards, we both agreed that the high school all-star game was awesome,” SD Inline Hockey League director Daryn Goodwin said. “It’s a natural fit to bring up the awareness of the college opportunities to play to the high school players. To showcase the best players in the SD Inline Hockey League in this all-star game is something they will never forget.
“Unify Gamewear did an amazing job designing and delivering the jerseys for the event, and the players got to keep them. It’s something they will cherish for a while.”
Eight skaters and one goaltender represented each squad as the Red team prevailed over the Blue Team 7-5.
Noe Santos paced the victorious Red Team with a hat trick, sealing the win with an empty net goal with 10 seconds to play. Griffin Gudat, Vince Keller and Thomas Farwell each contributed a goal and assist for the Red Team.
Jake Maurer led all players in scoring with four goals and one assist for the runner-up Blue Team, which also received a goal and assist from Andrew Day.
The current winter season faced off Dec. 12, with teams playing eight regular season games.
Playoffs, which will feature a Gold Division (top three teams) and Silver Division (bottom five teams), are scheduled Feb. 27, followed by championship games on March 6.
An end of season awards banquet is scheduled March 15.
The next season starts March 20.
— Phillip Brents
(Feb. 23, 2019)