California State Cup to roll out March 19-20 at Irvine Inline
After a delay and late call for entries, the California State Cup inline hockey championship tournament will finally roll forward this weekend at The Rinks-Irvine Inline.
This year’s tournament will include an intimate field of 11 teams in varsity and junior varsity divisions. The puck will drop Saturday, March 19, with championship games scheduled for Sunday evening, March 20.
The Varsity Division includes four teams: Escondido Charter from the CIF-Metro Conference in San Diego County, Temecula Valley, Damien and Santa Margarita Catolic high schools.
The Junior Varsity Division is a bit more robust with seven teams: Woodbridge, Damien, San Luis Obispo, Temecula Valley, Santa Barbara Gold, Santa Barbara Blue and Villa Park.
Any team representing a California high school or junior high school, public or private, is eligible to enter a team in the State Cup tournament, including ice hockey teams.
Divisions will be split by skill level, according to event director John Paerels, who also serves as the coordinator for the Anaheim Ducks Inline Scholastic League (ADISL), the event host.
The ADISL, which is centered in and around Orange County, featured 24 teams in six skill levels for its 2015-16 fall/winter season and is set to roll with more than 30 teams for its upcoming spring season.
Paerels said this year’s State Cup field was limited due to the presence of several events – both inline and ice – taking place within a short time frame around the tournament.
“Teams were over-committed,” he said.
This weekend’s State Cup tournament finds itself sandwiched between two Western Inline Hockey Association (WIHA) tournaments — March 12-13 in West Covina and March 26 in Huntington Beach. Ice hockey playoffs also took place the weekend of March 12-13, which the State Cup had initially reserved before pushing its schedule back a week to avoid a conflict.
To compound that, the ADISL playoffs were pushed back a week due to the Winter Wars West inline tournament booking rink time at both Huntington Beach Inline and Irvine Inline for games Feb. 26-28. Five ADISL championship games took place earlier this week (March 13-16), with one yet to face off due to a rainout.
In the meantime, the State Cup is set to crown its champions for the 2015-16 season.
The final three games on Sunday (March 20) are reserved for championship contests. The varsity division title game is scheduled at 6 p.m. on the Casey rink, followed by the JV-1 championship game at 6:40 p.m. on the Casey rink and the JV-2 title game at 7:20 p.m., also on the Casey rink.
The tournament schedule can be found at www.irvineinline.com.
La Verne’s Damien High School is sending two teams to this year’s State Cup tournament while Santa Margarita Catholic High School is sending one team. Both schools participate in the Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League during the ice hockey season, but also compete in inline hockey during ADISL’s spring season.
Santa Margarita Catholic High School will be fielding three teams during the ADISL’s spring season that faces off after this weekend’s State Cup tournament.
Escondido Charter competed in this year’s CIF-Metro Conference Kiwanis Cup championship playoffs, earning a quarterfinal-round berth.
Santa Barbara Gold, Santa Barbara Blue and San Luis Obispo are members of the Central Coast High School Hockey League, which is based in Santa Maria.
Santa Barbara Gold, which won the league’s recent varsity championship title, made history by winning last year’s State Cup JV-1 championship.
ADISL teams have traditionally dominated play in the annual State Cup tournament, and it’s been a busy past couple weeks in finally closing out the 2015-16 campaign. The final regular season games of the ADISL’s fall/winter schedule wrapped up on March 4, with quarterfinal and semifinal playoff rounds commencing on March 6.
Championship games took place March 13-16 in five skill divisions, with an additional final scheduled on March 20.
Three championship games took place on March 13.
In the Division 5 opener, top-seeded Mission Viejo skated to a 4-0 lead on the strength of three second-period goals before edging second-seeded Santiago, 5-4.
Austin Koeblitz led Mission Viejo with two goals and two assists, while Vinny Love and Jack Frye each contributed a goal and assist. Zack Bjerno also scored once for Mission Viejo, which finished the season with an 11-1-1-1 record, playoffs included.
Andrew Niedziela scored two goals to lead Santiago, which also received goals from Brandon Baldwin and Chase Lorenz.
Santiago made the game interesting by scoring four third-period goals, but could not net the equalizer despite pulling its goaltender for an extra attacker in the dying moments of the contest.
Santiago finished ADISL play with a 9-4-0-1 record, including playoffs.
Jason Laird earned the goaltending win for Mission Viejo, while Josiah Simmons took the loss for Santiago.
Laird ended the season with a 2.67 goals-against average and an 11-2-1 record, while Simmons recorded a 2.91 GAA, 9-5-0 record and three shutouts.
Frye was credited with the game-winning goal.
The second game in the March 13 championship triple-header featured a Division 1 Tier 2 matchup between fifth-seed Canyon and fourth-seeded Santiago. Canyon won handily by a 7-1 score behind a four-point performance (three goals, one assist) by Kyle Mayhew while Canyon teammates Cory Mater (two goals, one assist) and Daniel Chladek (one goal, two assists) each continued three points.
Canyon (pictured), which finished ADISL play with an 8-6-0-0 record, blew the game open with three first-period goals and led, 4-0, before Santiago was able to push a shot past winning goaltender Xander Rogers. Canyon closed out the game with three more goals in the third period.
Dakota Ristow scored the lone goal for Santiago, which finished ADISL play 5-5-0-1. Frankie Sanchez took the loss in the Santiago net.
The March 13 championship triple-header ended with a nail-biter as fifth-seeded Villa Park slipped past seventh-seeded El Toro, 3-2, in the Division 4 championship game. Villa Park took a 2-0 lead on a pair of goals by Sean Jansky in the opening two periods, but teammate Colin McCray’s goal with three minutes remaining stood up as the game-winner after El Toro rallied with power-play goals by Eddie Wolbert and Nick Vardon.
Villa Park improved to 7-5-0-2 in ADISL play, while El Toro dropped to 4-8-1-1.
The Division 3 championship game took place on March 15.
Top-seeded Woodbridge jumped out to a 2-0 lead four minutes into the second period, but second-seeded Newport Harbor roared back with three goals in each of the final two periods to claim the title with a 6-2 victory. Sean Lipps and Chandler Littley each had two goals for Newport Harbor, which improved to 10-3-0-1.
Woodbridge, which received goals from Aaron Laxamana and Kameron Shahabi, finished ADISL play 10-4-0-0.
Terry Glynn contributed a goal and assist, while Griffen Gout dished out two assists for Newport Harbor, which was backstopped to the victory by goaltender A.J. Roth. Lipps received credit for the game-winning goal.
Roth finished the ADISL season with a 3.06 GAA and 0.818 save percentage to go with a 10-4 record and three shutouts.
The ADISL’s showcase Division 1 Tier 1 championship game took place on March 16, and did not disappoint as top-seeded Laguna Hills held on for a 6-5 win over third-seeded El Toro.
El Toro ended the game on a six-on-four power play, with an empty net, in the final minute of play to place fans on the edge of their seats.
Paul Selleck scored three goals to lead Laguna Hills (11-1-0-1), while Brandon Bergado chipped in with a pair of goals, Kyle Kosmos scored once and Sam Gerrard collected a pair of assists.
Travis Alexander and Tyler Verna each paced El Toro (7-5-0-1) with a pair of goals.
Amy Hogan received credit for the win in the Laguna Hills net, while Selleck was credited with the game-winning goal.
The Division 2 championship game will close out the ADISL’s fall/winter playoffs on Sunday (March 20) as top-seeded Fountain Valley (10-2-1-0) faces off against second-seeded Marina (7-6-0-0) at 8 p.m. on Irvine Inline’s Casey rink (immediately following the conclusion of the State Cup playoffs).
Division 1 was split into two tiers for the playoffs. In a Division 1 Tier 1 semifinal contest on March 6, third-seeded El Toro defeated second-seeded Beckman, 6-3, while in a Division 1 Tier 2 semifinal game, fifth-seeded Canyon shut out sixth-seeded Mission Viejo, 6-0.
El Toro benefited from three goals each from both Jake Sujishi and Colton Huard and three assists from Travis Alexander in its victory, while Marty Torres scored two goals, and Nolan Yano and Kyle Mayhew each contributed one goal and one assist in support goaltender Xander Rogers, who stopped all 24 Mission Viejo shots.
In the Division 2 quarterfinals, third-seeded Mater Dei skated past sixth-seeded Edison, 7-4, while fourth-seeded Irvine defeated fifth-seeded Capo Valley, 8-3.
In Mater Dei’s victory, Noah Lachance racked up two goals and one assist, while teammates Blaise Johnson and Jake Thomas each scored two goals.
Garrett Bawana, Nathan Craig, Ruslan Patterson and David Marlin led Irvine past Capo Valley on the strength of two goals each.
That set up the semifinals played later that evening. Top-seeded Fountain Valley eliminated fourth-seeded Irvine, 8-5, as Stephen Stewart and Blake Tallas each registered hat tricks, while second-seeded Marina eliminated third-seeded Mater Dei, 8-2, as Chris Bos Teruya collected two goals and two assists and teammate A.J. Green contributed two goals and an assist.
In Division 3 semifinal games, top-seeded Woodbridge eliminated fourth-seeded Trabuco Hills, 6-3, as Brent Buckland scored three goals and one assist, while second-seeded Newport Harbor eliminated third-seeded Pacifica, 7-2, behind three goals from Chandler Littley and two goals from Griffen Gout.
In a pair of Division 4 semifinals played on March 6:
Fifth-seeded Villa Park overcame an early 1-0 deficit against eighth-seeded Northwood to post a 2-1 comeback win as Joseph Toelkes and Sean Jansky each recorded goals for the Spartans. Jansky’s game-winner came in the third period.
Meanwhile, seventh-seeded El Toro recorded a 7-3 upset win over sixth-seeded Marina as El Toro’s Brady Agor tallied three goals and one assist.
In a pair of Division 5 semifinal games, top-seeded Mission Viejo edged fourth-seeded Marina, 3-2, while second-seeded Santiago eliminated third-seeded Edison, 10-4.
Austin Koeblitz, Kyle Cota and Jack Frye each collected one goal and one assist to pace Mission Viejo, while Frankie Bayo (two goals, two assists), Brandon Barela (two goals, one assist) and Chase Lorenz (two goals, one assist) helped fuel Santiago’s win.
Players of the Month
Pacifica High School freshman Sawyer Pomeroy earned recognition as the ADISL’s Student-Athlete of the Month for February.
Despite his newcomer status, Pomeroy was able to make the adjustment to the speed of high school hockey and established himself as himself as a standout defenseman for his team. According to Pacifica coach Steve Evans, Pomeroy exhibits great hockey instincts, is always striving to improve, is a pleasure to coach and is a great teammate.
Pomeroy has been playing hockey for three years in the recreation divisions at Huntington Beach Inline as both a skater and a goaltender, and sometimes plays both in the same season. He also competes in cross country and track and field for his high school, and earned a 4.0 grade-point average in his first semester, with perfect attendance since the start of junior high school.
Besides three more years of playing for Pacifica, Pomeroy’s future plans include attending college to earn a degree in engineering … and continue to play hockey.
Previous ADISL Student-Athletes of the Month award-winners included Beckman High School freshman Max Dei Rossi for December and Rowland High School senior Rebekeh Paerels for November. No award was presented in January.
Dei Rossi has played goaltender for the past four years. He used money saved up to buy used gear on Craigslist to get his career going. He also plays club inline hockey for the Mission Cyclones Pee Wee team and won a championship (JV-B) for Orchard Hills Junior High School last year.
He is also part of a garage band that was formed several years ago and which played at the Give Blood Play Hockey charity inline tournament last October.
Paerels, who competes for Trabuco Hills in the ADISL, is a fearless defender who has played four years of club inline hockey for Notion and the Mission Cyclones. She has applied to attend Cal Poly Pomona or Cal State Fullerton and is planning on majoring either in English, computer science or liberal studies. She is ranked 10th in her class with a 4.27 GPA.
Irvine’s Ruslan Patterson finished as the ADISL’s top scorer (regular season and playoffs combined) with 51 points on 44 goals and seven assists.
Fountain Valley’s Ian Bast ranks second overall with 41 points (30 goals, 11 assists), followed by Pacifica’s Ryan Lothman with 40 points (23 goals, 17 assists), Laguna Hills’ Paul Selleck with 39 points (27 goals, 12 assists), Pacifica’s Jeremy Morgan with 39 points (24 goals, 15 assists), Woodbridge’s Brent Buckland with 36 points (22 goals, 14 assists), Laguna Hills’ Alec Grace with 35 points (26 goals, 9 assists), El Toro’s Jake Sujishi with 33 points (29 goals, 4 assists), Marina’s Evan Stapleton with 31 points (22 goals, 9 assists) and Marina’s Andrew Stapleton with 30 points (13 goals, 17 assists).
Bay Area winter league champions crowned
The Silver Creek Sportsplex High School Hockey League wrapped up its 2015-16 winter season with championship playoffs in late February. Division champions included Mitty Gold (Division 1), Leigh Gold (Division 2), Mitty Black (Division 3), Pioneer White (Division 4) and Saints Black (Division 5).
Jacob Kim had two goals for Mitty Gold in its 5-3 Division 1 championship game victory against Saints Blue.
In Leigh Gold’s 4-2 Division 2 championship game win over Sobrato Black, Joey Cascarano and Daniel Cascarano each scored two goals, while Tarah Thompkins made 21 saves.
Jason Coopersmith scored the game-winning goal early in overtime to lead Mitty Black past Bellarmine B, 3-2, in the Division 3 championship game.
Cole Matthews and Eric Ananmalay each scored two goals in Pioneer White’s 5-3 Division 4 championship game victory against Leigh Green.
Martin Hoffnagle and Cameron Vinzce each scored two goals to pace the Saints Black’s scoring in its 5-2 Division 5 finals win over Leigh White.
— Phillip Brents