It was an exciting weekend of sled hockey action in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for Week 2 of the Toyota-USA Hockey Disabled Hockey Festival. With the Adult Sled Hockey National Championship, six additional adult divisions and five youth divisions, there was no shortage of action, talent and fun this weekend at the Festival.
It all came down to overtime in Sunday's Adult National Championship game. In front of a packed crowed at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex, Malik Jones scored in the extra session to crown the Colorado Avalanche the Adult National Champions after defeating the Northeast Passage Wildcats 4-3.
After a scoreless first period, Rico Roman opened the scoring with 4:18 to play in the second period to put the Wildcats up 1-0. Just over a minute later, Declan Farmer leveled the score after he cleaned up a loose rebound and found the top left corner of the net.
Farmer generated another chance immediately after his goal, but his shot was blocked aside by Northeast Passage netminder Griffin LaMarre.
With 19 seconds on the clock in the second, Roman reclaimed the lead for the Wildcats, scoring his second of the day.
Less than a minute into the third period, Colorado tied the game up, 2-2, with a shorthanded goal from Rob Easley.
With 7:30 left in the third, fans let out a loud gasp after LaMarre got his glove on a long shot from Colorado that then trickled down his back and skirted just wide of the net.
Brendan Cormier scored his first goal of the Festival to give the Wildcats a 3-2 lead with five minutes left to play. Less than two minutes later, Easley nabbed his second goal of the game to once again even the score, 3-3, and force overtime. Ralph DeQuebec and Brandon Adam took credit for the assists on the play. Easley finished with two goals and an assist on the day.
Jones scored 2:30 into the overtime period off a pass from Farmer to secure the victory and the championship title, 4-3.
The Mighty Penguins Sr. team were crowned the Adult Tier I champions after putting up nine goals to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets, 9-2. Auren Halbert scored a hat trick and had two assists and Erik Knotts tallied two goals and four assists for the Mighty Pens in the championship game. Darrion Allensworth also recorded three points (2G, 1A) for the Mighty Pens.
Despite trailing the Hurricanes 1-0 at the start, Isaac Escobedo scored a hat trick, including the game-winning goal, to help the Vegas Golden Knights bring home the Adult Tier II Championship title, defeating the Hope Hurricanes 4-3 in regulation. Ahmad Karimzada scored the equalizer for the Golden Knights in the second period and also registered two assists in Vegas' championship victory.
After trailing Sitting Bulls 1-0 entering the third, Warren Craig scored two goals to lead the ASPO Wildcats to a 2-1 comeback victory against Sitting Bulls Sled in the Adult Tier III championship game. Casey Followay had two assists while Jacob Baker and Dan Brenneman each tallied an assist in the Wildcats' win. Daniel Wilson scored the lone goal for the Sitting Bulls.
Kayden Beasley scored two goals to help the Hurricanes Sled Sr. team defeat the Boston ICE Storm 4-0 in the Adult Tier IV championship game. Sean Eberle scored opened the scoring in the first period and Zyree Fuller added another tally for the Hurricanes. In addition to his two goals, Beasley registered an assist on Fuller's first period goal.
With a 3-3 tie at the end of regulation, Michael Wilson netted his third goal of the game in overtime to make the Spaulding-Boston Shamrocks the Adult Tier V champions, defeating the Knoxville Sled Bears 4-3. Wilson finished with three goals and one assists while teammate Jeff Bauman finished with one goal and three assists. Robert Delorme scored two of Knoxville's three goals.
Cody Isaac scored all five goals to lift the Ohio Warriors past Carolina Sled (SC) 5-1, claiming the Adult Tier VI championship. James Baker scored first to give Carolina Sled a 1-0 lead, but Isaac responded with five unanswered goals, two coming in the first and three in the third. Paul Majewski had three assists for the Warriors and Nich Penwell had two.
The Grand Rapids Sled Wings claimed the Disabled Hockey Festival Youth Tier I title after defeating the Minnesota Jr. Wild, 1-0, on Sunday morning at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania.
Philipe Hernandez scored an unassisted goal for the Sled Wings with 2:26 to play in the first period to give Grand Rapids a 1-0 lead. Hernandez finished the weekend with five goals and three assists for a total of eight points at the Festival.
With the clock ticking down in the third, Minnesota's Isaac Hess rushed into the offensive zone for a shot on net, but it was controlled by Grand Rapids goaltender Daniel Williams to keep the Sled Wings ahead 1-0 with less than two minutes to play in the third.
The Junior Wild pulled their goalie late, but the Sled Wings came out on top 1-0 in the end.
Heath Fitzgerald and Kasey Yates scored two goals apiece to help the Nashville Jr. Sled Preds defeat the San Diego Jr. Ducks, 5-1, to take home the Youth Tier II championship title.
In addition to his two goals, Yates registered an assist on every other Nashville goal and led the team with five points (2G, 3A).
After a scoreless first period, Fitzgerald scored his first of the goal of the day less than five minutes into the second period.
Yates scored a pair for the Preds in the second and Ashley Hamblin added another tally for Nashville to make it 4-0 heading into the third period.
Fitzgerald scored his second of the day with 1:17 to play in the game. James Williams scored for San Diego with just under a minute to play to secure the final score at 5-1.
Two goals from Logan Soleas gave the Bennett Blazers the Youth Tier III championship title, defeating the Indy Steel Sled team 2-0 Sunday morning at the RMU Island Sports Center. Rebecca Woods earned the assist on both of Soleas' goals. Soleas finished the weekend with five goals and one assist for six point at this year's festival.
Ryan Zolnier scored five goals to lift the ASPO Boom past the Columbus Blades 6-4 to secure the Youth Tier IV Championship title on Sunday at RMU. Zolnier scored four goals in the first period, three of which were unassisted. Kelly Shipman scored the sixth and final ASPO goal in the third period and also assisted Zolnier's first goal of the game to finish with two points.
Despite a 2-0 lead for the Hornets after the first, three unanswered goals from Hurricanes Sled Jr. led to a 3-2 win and the Youth Tier V championship title. Hunter Wise, Javier Farias and Brayden Spruill each scored a goal in the Hurricanes' victory. Olivia Lavieri earned an assist on all three of those goals. Rowan Karge scored both goals for the Hornets.
|Adult Sled National Championship||UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex||Colorado Avalanche A||Northeast Passage Wildcats||4-3 (OT)|
|Adult Tier I||UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex||Mighty Penguins Sr.||Columbus Blue Jackets||9-2|
|Adult Tier II||RMU Island Sports Center||Vegas Golden Knights||Hope Hurricanes||4-3|
|Adult Tier III||RMU Island Sports Center||ASPO Wildcats||Sitting Bulls Sled||2-1|
|Adult Tier IV||RMU Island Sports Center||Hurricanes Sled Sr.||Boston ICE Storm||4-0|
|Adult Tier V||RMU Island Sports Center||Spaulding-Boston Shamrocks||Knoxville Sled Bears||4-3 (OT)|
|Adult Tier VI||RMU Island Sports Center||Ohio Warriors||Carolina Sled (SC)||5-1|
|Youth Tier I||UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex||Grand Rapids Sled Wings||MN Jr. Wild||1-0|
|Youth Tier II||UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex||Nashville Jr. Sled Preds||San Diego Jr. Ducks||5-1|
|Youth Tier III||RMU Island Sports Center||Bennett Blazers||Indy Steel Sled||2-0|
|Youth Tier IV||RMU Island Sports Center||ASPO Boom||Columbus Blades||6-4|
|Youth Tier V||RMU Island Sports Center||Hurricanes Sled Jr.||Hornets Sled Hockey||3-2|