Barnes, Petrie leading the way for California’s new wave of girls hockey stars
Factor in that these two were selected the captains for USA Hockey’s Under-18 and Under-22 teams tells us that not only is the state producing high-caliber players, but its programs also are helping develop some of the top players in the women’s game.
For that, the Anaheim Jr. Ducks, Lady Ducks, California Stars, Los Angeles Jr. Kings, LA Selects and San Diego Jr. Gulls all should take a well-deserved bow.
Cayla Barnes led Team USA’s U22 squad, while Dominique Petrie wore the “C” for the U18 team.
The teams competed in the three-game series against Canada in Calgary from Aug. 16-19 with the U22s going 3-0 and the U18s going 1-2, with an overtime loss and another one-goal loss.
Barnes and Petrie have represented USA Hockey in international competition multiple times, and those lists are bound to grow.
Barnes, who played for the Jr. Ducks, Lady Ducks, Stars, Selects and Jr. Kings, added to her already impressive resume in February when she helped Team USA win an Olympic gold medal at the 2018 Winter Games in compelling fashion, ending Canada’s gold-medal run at four. A 1999 birth year and Eastvale native who is a freshman defenseman for Boston College, Barnes played a regular shift in all five games and was the team’s youngest player.
That Barnes led the U22 team at age 19 is not insignificant. It’s also not out of character. She also captained Team USA to a gold medal at the 2017 U18 World Championship, scoring six points and going plus-5 in five games.
Her A-plus game is only one reason she has added to an impressive collection of Cs, a pattern that began in California.
“She was the captain on our Selects Pee Wee AAA team (that won prestigious Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament in 2012) as well as on one of our Jr. Kings Bantam teams,” said University of Denver freshman Cole Guttman, himself a former captain for the Jr. Kings and Dubuque Fighting Saints of the United States Hockey League. “She was one of the best defensemen on our teams and she led by example.
“Her being a girl on a boys team really wasn’t an issue because it was obvious how good of a player she was. She always has been tough. She never let people walk on her, and she would stand up for her teammates in a second.”
The 2017 U18 World Championship team, which Petrie also was a member of, marked Barnes’ third consecutive gold medal in that event and for good measure, she was named the tournament’s Top Defenseman in both 2017 and 2016, when she had six assists and was a plus-10.
She left an indelible impression on Petrie, a Hermosa Beach native and forward who was a longtime member of the Jr. Ducks’ 2001 birth year teams before playing a season of Midget 16U AAA with the Jr. Gulls last year. She played with Barnes on the U18 Select Teams each of the past two seasons and on the U18 Worlds team last year.
“After we lost (a game at the U18 World Championships) she (Barnes) reminded us, ‘Fine, we’ll get them next time,’” said Petrie. “She didn’t want us to get down. She led by example the entire time – she never took a shift off.
“I looked up to her. She’s very poised and her skill level is so high it’s hard to believe some of the moves she makes. I want the confidence to do that.”
Petrie, who is a freshman at Harvard University, was an alternate captain on the 2018 gold medal-winning team at the U18 Worlds and put up eight points in five games.
“She is a ball of energy,” Barnes said. “She loves to be around the rink, and she brings an infectious energy.
“It was pretty clear she’s a good leader, and USA Hockey made the right choice. She shakes off mistakes and is not afraid to speak up when something needs to be said.”
Petrie played boys ice hockey her entire time in California, and her 2001 group with the Jr. Ducks has had eight players make NCAA Division I commitments, and a handful more are expected to join them. Just making that team is impressive enough, but she was a key member, said Jr. Ducks director of coaches Craig Johnson, who coached the 2001s with Scott Niedermayer.
“When she played for us, she was on a very good hockey team, and she was well respected by everyone on the team,” Johnson said. “Her compete level was really high, and her care factor was really high for the team.
“She not only sought to improve as an individual but to help the team improve. I have been very impressed with her drive.”
Petrie, who had 10 points in 15 ECEL games and seven points in 10 CAHA games for the Jr. Gulls last season, has said for years her goal is to join some of the states women’s hockey legends – Angela Ruggiero, Chanda Gunn and now Barnes – in representing her country at the Olympics.
“She’s very focused,” Johnson said. “From Day 1, she wrote her goals down and went to work, and she hasn’t stopped working. You can see where that has gotten her.”
Barnes didn’t broadcast that, but playing with a group of players growing up that includes NHL draft picks Jake McGrew, Jack St. Ivany, Sasha Chmelevski, Ivan Lodnia and Guttman, as well as college standout Brannon McManus, undoubtedly helped.
“I’m not surprised at all by the success she’s had,” Guttman said. “We called it from the start. Her skating and vision were unbelievable when we are kids and they’re even better now.
“You couldn’t ask for a better representative for our country.”
Top photo/Andrea Mazzarelli/USA Hockey
Action photos/Nancie Battaglia/USA Hockey
— Chris Bayee
(Oct. 3, 2018)