Tier I girls nationals features three California teams
A trio of California teams traveled to Blaine, Minn., in late March and early April for the USA Hockey Tier I girls Youth Nationals.
Tier I – 19U
The Anaheim Lady Ducks went 1-2 in their trip to nationals.
The opened with a 3-2 defeat to the Minnesota Elite White. Lillian Marchant had a goal and an assist and Devyn Gilman scored. Tia Stoddard added an assist and Kai-Lilly Karpman made 29 saves.
On April 1, they secured a 2-1 victory over Mid-Fairfield. Stoddard got them on the board in the first period, and Marchant scored the game winner on an assist from Isabel Hanson in the third. Karpman stopped 22 shots.
The Lady Ducks fell 2-1 in overtime to the Massachusetts Spitfires on April 2. Stoddard’s third-period goal forced overtime.
Tier I – 16U
The California Wave turned in a solid showing, advancing to the quarterfinals in the 16U bracket.
The Wave lost 4-1 to the Minnesota Elite Sky on March 31, Aubrey Pritchett with the lone goal. Their 5-3 win over Detroit Little Caesars on April 1 was sparked by four first-period goals. Tanner Gates, Mikayla Lantto, Brooke Bryant, Pritchett and Samantha Smigliani all scored. Danielle Marquez stopped 28 shots.
On April 2, they skated to a 6-2 win over the Buffalo Bisons. Bryant scored twice and added an assist, while Gates, Elizabeth Humphrey, Kiersten Goode and Smigliani also found the back of the net and Julieana Tarantino made 12 saves. Their run came to an end on April 3 with a 5-1 loss to the Boston Jr. Eagles, Lantto getting the goal.
Tier I – 14U
The Lady Ducks won one of their three games at nationals.
They dropped a 2-0 decision to the Pittsburgh Pens Elite on March 31 and on April 1, fell 4-0 to the Chicago Young Americans. On April 2, the Lady Ducks secured a 2-0 win over the St. Louis Blues. Jennifer Russell lit the lamp on an assist and Anna Gallagher also scored. Lindsey Labadie and Lilla Nease combined on the 26-save shutout.
— Greg Ball