Inline scholastic leagues wrap up 2016-17 season with a golden rush
The Anaheim Ducks Inline Scholastic League (ADISL) put to bed its 2017 spring season with a flurry of championship playoff games May 21 to mark the end of its cumulative 2016-17 campaign.
Champions in six divisions were crowned in competition at The Rinks-Irvine Inline.
“The playoffs were very intense,” ADISL coordinator John Paerels explained in somewhat of an understatement before adding, “Wow, what a weekend.”
Indeed, it was.
Eleven of the 26 playoff games were decided by a single goal, including four of the six championship games, two of which were settled in overtime.
The ADISL’s spring season traditionally draws teams and players coming off the conclusion of the youth ice hockey season. Combined with roller-only players, the league’s numbers swell during the spring compared to the fall/winter season.
This season, however, got off to a late start for some teams and the schedule had to be correspondingly compacted.
“Some of the ice teams were not available until a few weeks into the spring season, necessitating double-headers nearly every week,” Paerels said. “We still had to work around various holidays and club tournaments, but we managed to stuff 160 regular season games at three different facilities and 26 playoff games into the time we had available, and it all seemed to work out.”
The playoffs saved the best for last, of course.
“Due to some teams coming in late, it was a challenge to try to break the groups up into smaller divisions,” Paerels explained. “As a result, we stayed with a smaller number of larger divisions for the regular season, then broke them up for playoffs.
“While it resulted in a few blowouts, it also allowed for playoff placements to be decided on the rink with less grumbling than usual. For the regular season, more than half of the teams had a goal-differential average between -1.70 and +1.90 per game.”
Regular season division winners included Beckman in Division 1, El Toro in Division 2, Fountain Valley in Division 3, Mission Viejo in Division 4, Irvine in Division 5 and Santiago in Division 6.
Among the division leaders, Beckman finished 10-1-1-0 in regular season play, while El Toro finished 11-1-0-0; Fountain Valley finished 10-1-0-1 while Irvine finished 9-3-0-0.
El Toro took a 10-game winning streak into the playoffs.
For postseason competition, teams competed in quarterfinal, semifinal and finals knockout stages.
Four lower-seeded teams advanced in the quarterfinal round and five lower-seeded teams advanced in the semifinal round.
Four top-seeded teams prevailed to win division titles.
Christian Huynh scored on a breakaway with three seconds remaining in overtime to lift top-seeded Beckman to the Division 1 championship via a high-scoring 8-7 win over third-seeded Santiago.
Santiago, which upset second-seeded Orange Lutheran by a 5-4 score in the semifinals, had taken a 4-2 lead in the title contest before Beckman tied the score and then took a one-goal lead early in the third period on a goal by Hayden Maxwell. Santiago, however, evened the score 7-7 on a goal by Logan Ferrell with just 1:02 left in regulation to force overtime.
Grayson Yada (Beckman) and Donovan Gutierrez (Santiago) each had three goals in the game.
Beckman’s J.P. Panisa led all scorers in the matchup with five points (two goals, three assists).
Top-seeded El Toro snapped a 2-2 tie through two periods against fourth-seeded Marina with four third-period goals to skate to a 6-2 victory in the Division 2 championship game. Jake Sujishi led El Toro with three goals and one assist while goaltender Nick Vardon set up the win with a third-period shutout.
Jacob Fallmann contributed two goals to El Toro’s winning effort while teammate Travis Alexander dished out two assists.
A.J. Green scored both goals for Marina, which upset third-seeded Aliso Niguel, 6-5, in a semifinal shootout.
Top-seeded Fountain Valley built a 4-1 lead in the Division 3 championship game only to be forced to claim the title in overtime by edging third-seeded Orange Lutheran by a score of 5-4.
Orange Lutheran, which shaded second-seeded Chino Hills/Ayala, 7-6, in a semifinal thriller, scored the final two goals in regulation to set up the dramatic finish in the championship game.
Gavin O’Bryan scored with 25 seconds left to force overtime.
John Engle gave Fountain Valley the win with an unassisted goal at 3:56 of overtime.
Blake Tallas (Fountain Valley), Hunter Schneider (Orange Lutheran) and O’Bryan (Orange Lutheran) each had two goals in the contest.
Third-seeded JSerra upset second-seeded Mater Dei, 9-8, in the semifinals and then bested top-seeded Mission Viejo by a score of -6-5 in the Division 4 championship game.
Mission Viejo battled back to tie twice after trailing earlier in the game but JSerra held on for the win. Lucas Lopez had two goals and one assist, Jack Dwyer had two goals and Jake Hager had a goal and two assists to lead JSerra while Ben Wallace had two goals and an assist for Mission Viejo.
Fifth-seeded Newport Harbor ran the table in the playoffs with three wins to capture the Division 5 championship title. Newport Harbor topped fourth-seeded Damien, 9-3, in the quarterfinals and then upset second-seeded Woodbridge, 4-3, in the semifinals. Newport Harbor finished its march to the championship with a 6-3 win over top-seeded Irvine in the finals.
Terry Glynn paced Newport Harbor with two goals and two assists while teammate Sam Christensen tacked on two goals in a winning effort.
In a low scoring battle of tight defenses and strong goaltending, top-seeded Santiago tipped second-seeded Beckman by a score of 2-1 to claim the Division 6 championship.
Chase Lorenz scored the game winner on a power play with just under five minutes remaining. Bryce Lorenz (Santiago) and Andu Tavvallai (Beckman) both scored goals in the second period for a 1-1 standoff.
Aidan Northcutt (Santiago) and Danny Tasigeorgos (Beckman) were both solid in the net for their respective teams.
El Toro’s Sujishi topped ADISL scorers in the regular season with 31 goals and 40 points. Mater Dei’s Dylan Hadfield finished right behind Sujishi in the scoring column with 39 points (25 goals, 14 assists) while Mission Viejo’s Wallace ranked third with 37 points (27 goals, 10 assists).
Fountain Valley’s Tallas (28 goals, 8 assists) and Tesoro’s Morgan Frey (27 goals, 9 assists) each tied with 36 points, followed by Beckman’s Panisa with 35 points (22 goals, 13 assists).
Rounding out the top 10 scoring leaders were Edison’s Clay Bozanich with 34 points (22 goals, 12 assists), Marina’s Evan Stapleton and Damien’s Henry Gardner each with 23 goals and 10 assists for 33 points and Orange Lutheran’s O’Bryan with 31 points (25 goals, six assists).
Of note, Hafield played in eight games, recording 4.88 points per game while Panisa also played in eight games, recording 4.38 points per game.
Six goaltenders posted eight or more wins during the regular season. El Toro’s Vardon led the group with a 10-1-0-1 record and 2.82 goals-against average. Beckman’s Max Dei Rossi ranked second with a 9-1-1-0 record, followed by Fountain Valley’s Luke Benavente with an 8-1-0-1 record.
Santiago’s Justin Lakin posted an 8-4-0-1 record while Irvine’s Kenneth Patterson and Chino Hills/Ayala’s Joseph Perry both finished with 8-3-0-0 records.
Thirty-two teams competed in the spring season while 21 teams competed during the fall/winter season.
“The ice players who come in for the spring season always add a level of higher skill to the league both for incoming and returning teams from the fall/winter season,” Paerels said. “The challenge is that often the ice goalies don’t want to play inline due tot he false belief that it will hurt their play (in ice). This leaves some of the ice teams in a difficult spot, with skaters too talented for a lower division but with goaltending not as strong as comparable teams.”
Paerels pointed to Brea native Troy Redmann and Habour City native Tommy Tartaglione as two examples of goaltenders who have not been “hurt” by playing both inline and ice.
Redmann, who played the past six seasons in the ECHL with Ontario, Colorado, Alaska and Utah, led the United States men’s national team to a gold medal at the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Inline Hockey World Championship tournament in Bratislava, Slovakia. Team USA defeated Finland, 4-2, in the championship game played July 1.
Redmann, 31, earned best goaltender of the tournament with four wins, a 2.25 GAA and a .890 save percentage.
Tartaglione, 29, played six seasons of Junior and collegiate hockey in western Canada. He participated in the 2010 and 2011 IIHF inline world championship tournaments as a player, winning a gold and silver medal. As a coach within the Los Angeles Jr. Kings organization, he was appointed last year as Southern California’s goaltending development coordinator by USA Hockey.
Five of the 14 players on the 2017 IIHF inline world championship U.S. roster were graduates of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), including Redmann and Vista native Nielsson Arcibal, who has played the past three seasons for the Columbus Cottonmouths in the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL).
The Silver Creek Sportsplex High School Hockey League wrapped up its spring season with championship playoffs May 12-13. The San Jose facility hosted 24 teams in five divisions.
All teams made the playoffs.
Second-seeded Willow Glen defeated top-seeded Leland Gold, 7-1, to capture the Division 1 championship.
Chase Edwards led Willow Glen to the division title with five goals in the title game while Joe Fordyce and Jason Weitz each scored once. Goaltender Vadim Waite stopped 19 of the 20 shots he faced to earn the win between the pipes.
Willow Glen, which finished 6-4 in the regular season standings, won all three of its playoff games, defeating seventh-seeded Valley Christian by a score of 4-1 in the quarterfinal round and then edging fifth-seeded Bellarmine, 6-5, in the semifinals.
Leland Gold defeated eighth-seeded Silver Creek Black, 6-4, in the quarterfinals and topped sixth-seeded Pioneer Blue, 5-3, in the semifinals to earn a berth in the championship game.
Second-seeded Los Gatos defeated fourth-seeded Leland Blue, 6-1, to claim the Division 2 championship.
Eric Lopes and Andrew Budzinski each scored two goals in the final for Los Gatos while teammates Chris Bout and Cole Slenkovich each contributed one goal. Nathan Fein stopped nine of the 10 shots he faced to pick up the goaltending win.
Los Gatos, which finished regular season play 6-4, defeated third-seeded Bellarmine B, 5-2 in the semifinals while Leland Blue, which finished regular season play 2-8, upset top-seeded Sobrato Black, 4-2, in the semifinals to advance to the division final.
Third-seeded Sobrato White defeated top-seeded St. Francis, 5-2, to win the Division 3 title.
Sobrato White received goals from five players in the championship game: Oliver Sjolund, Jared Galocy, Justin Ta, Elian Lopez and Jason Muhleman. Sobrato White goaltender Caleb Cueba stopped 14 of the 16 shots he faced to pick up the win.
Sobrato White entered the playoffs with a 4-6 regular season record but upset second-seeded Branham, 5-4, in overtime in the semifinals to reach the finals. St. Francis, which finished 8-2 in regular season play, topped fourth-seeded Evergreen, 8-0, in the semifinals.
Saints Orange, which finished the regular season with a 4-6 record to earn the No. 3 playoff seed in Division 4, upset second-seeded Pioneer by a score of 6-2 in the semifinals en route to a final matchup against top-seeded Leigh Green. The championship game came down to the final minutes with Saints Orange posting a 4-3 victory.
Martin Hoffnagle led Saints Orange with two goals while Bryan Del Fava and Mitchell Mabanag each tallied once. Goaltender Josh Viller stopped 20 of the 23 shots he faced to guide his team to the win in the championship game.
Leigh Green, which rolled past fourth-seeded Silver Creek Orange, 5-4, in the other semifinal contest, brought an 8-2 regular season record into the playoffs.
Top-seeded Live Oak won the Division 5 title by defeating fourth-seeded Sobrato Maroon by a score of 9-2 in the semifinals and topping second-seeded Summit by a score of 7-2 in the championship round.
Live Oak’s scoring in the title game was completed by Nic Hyer with three goals, Dennis Hill with two goals and Holly Hopwood and Ryan Avila each with one goal. Goaltender David Hernandez stopped six of the eight shots he faced to pick up the win.
Live Oak entered the playoffs with a 9-1 regular season record; Summit finished regular season play 5-5 and defeated third-seeded Bellarmine C, 1-0, in the semifinals.
The current summer league season is scheduled to launch July 8 and roll through Aug. 12. For more information, visit the website at http://www.gotoplex.com/sports/roller-hockey/leagues/jr.-high-high-school-leagues/.
After wrapping up its winter season in April the San Diego District Hockey League is now conducting its spring/summer season.
Seven teams are in the midst of varsity division play: Gold Wolverines (Westview Gold), Broncos (Rancho Bernardo), District High School, Charter (White Tigers), Escondido, Titans (Poway) and Black Wolverines (Westview Black).
Westview Gold held the division lead with a 4-0-1 record in games played through June 21.
Matthew Gautier of Charter led the division in scoring with 16 goals and 21 points in four games while Keisi Takaya of Westview Gold topped goaltending leaders with a 2.80 goals-against average.
Three teams are competing in spring/summer league play in both the junior high and 10U leagues.
Mesa Verde Junior High, District Junior High and North Junior High all were tied with 2-2 records in the early going in the Junior High League.
In 10U league play, Team 3 was out in front with a 2-0 record after defeating Team 1 and Team 2 in opening games.
The Eagles (San Pasqual) captured first place in the varsity winter league standings with an 8-1 record, followed by the Panthers (Vista) in second place with a 6-3 record, the Knights (San Marcos) and Golden Bears (Temecula Valley) in a tie for third place with 4-5 records and the Wolf Pack in fifth place with a 1-9 record.
Scoring leaders in the varsity division included Christopher Snider of the Golden Bears with 40 goals and 48 points in 10 games, Kyle Kelly of the Knights with 28 goals and 39 points in 10 games, Sam Warrick of the Eagles with 19 goals and 27 points in 10 games and Colton Grover of the Wolf Pack with 16 goals and 22 points in 11 games.
Will Meni of the Eagles posted a 3.50 GAA in eight games.
The winter league junior varsity standings featured District JV in first place with a 7-2 record, followed by the Knights and Golden Bears with 6-3 records, the Broncos at 4-4-1, Wolverines at 3-5-1 and the Titans at 0-9.
Griffin Gudat of the Golden Bears led the JV division in scoring with 21 goals and 29 points in nine games.
The winter league JHS standings featured Bear Valley in first place with a 7-2 record, followed by Mesa Verde with a 6-2 record, West at 5-4, North at 4-5 and the MLK Lions at 0-9.
Scoring leaders included Mesa Verde’s Tyler Lee with 21 goals and 39 points and Bear Valley’s Vince Keller with 25 goals and 34 points in 11 games. Bear Valley teammates Bryson Cannon (26 goals, 7 assists) and Michael Rhinehart (18 goals, 14 assists) followed with 33 and 32 points, respectively.
The Temecula Valley Inline Hockey Association (TVIHA) wrapped up its high school and middle school league championships in mid March (following conclusion of the California State Cup tournament in Irvine). The Temecula Valley Bears won the high school division while Day/Bella Vista Middle School won the middle school title.
Several teams from the TVIHA competed in the recent NARCh West Coast Finals in San Jose.
The Temecula Valley Warriors placed runner-up in the Atom Gold (8U) Division and took fifth-place finishes in both the Mite Silver (10U) and Squirt Silver (12U) divisions.
The Warriors’ Robert Michaelson earned the top goaltender award in the Squirt Silver Division with a .861 save percentage.
Skills competition winners included Temecula’s Blake Ford (Atom Gold) and Kenny Silhan (Squirt Silver) with fastest skater awards.
Many of the players who compete in the ADISL and Silver Creek Sportsplex leagues, as well as other inline scholastic leagues throughout the state, also participated in June’s NARCh West Coast Finals.
For a complete rundown on that tournament, visit www.narch.com and “NARCh Players” on Facebook.
— Phillip Brents