The 14U AA division was very competitive over the course of the AHF’s inaugural season. The top six teams showed a lot of strength and determination in securing a playoff spot, but there is more work to do. Only one of these teams will be able to emerge from this weekend as inaugural champions of the AHF 14U AA division. It should be a thrilling tournament this weekend, showcasing these six fantastic teams.
Rockets Hockey Club (15-1-0)
The Rockets finished with the best regular season record in the division, boasting a winning percentage of .938. The team saw contributions from the entire roster, but they were paced by the offensive efforts of Anthony Brereton. The division’s second-leading scorer tallied 23 goals and 18 assists, 41 points on the season. His 5 power play goals and 10 points on the power play led the division, leading one of the strongest special teams in the age group. The team also had a rock-solid defense, allowing a division-best 19 goals all season, including 6 shutouts. The team’s netminder tandem of Liam Slattery and Rasmus Bergman have proven to be one of the division’s best. Slattery’s performances have placed him top of the leaderboard in GAA (0.88), save percentage (.953), and goals allowed (7). A complete team, the Rockets will be tough to top.
North Jersey Aspen Kings Blue (13-2-0)
If you like offense, you will love the Aspen Kings. The only 14U AA team to crack 100 goals, North Jersey put 116 pucks in the net over the course of the season. The team has an impressive 7 players that average at least a point per game. The team is paced by division-leading talisman, Jase Zangara. Zangara leads the division in goals (35) and points (50), propelling the team to an impressive +89 goal differential. A strong defense has also contributed to that division-best gap in goals. Salvatore Mirra has emerged as a strong netminder for the team, recording 3 shutouts and posting a 1.28 GAA and .931 save percentage. North Jersey’s potent offense will be tough to stop in postseason play.
North Jersey Avalanche (13-2-1)
A team that is always a threat to score, the Avalanche always give opposing defensive players a tough night. The team has scored 20 special teams goals, scoring equally on the power play and while shorthanded. Their 10 shorthanded goals were comfortably the most in the division, scoring three more than any other team. Luke Isaacs (18 goals, 18 assists) and Brendan Traverso (15 goals, 14 assists) each scored three goals while on the penalty kill, displaying both their offensive talent and good defensive awareness to assist in the PK efforts. At the other end of the ice, Aidan Alvino had a remarkable season in net. He has played every game for the Avalanche as the team’s only goalie and earned that spot with outstanding performances. He led the division in shutouts, with 7, and recorded a 1.31 GAA and .935 save percentage. North Jersey keeps teams on their toes with an imposing style of play, a great game plan for the playoffs.
MYHA Blue (10-3-1)
A great team with a will to win, MYHA is never an easy team to beat. Every skater on the roster scored at least a point over the course of the season, and they saw significant offensive contributions from every forward on the line chart. MYHA Blue also holds the bragging rights of being the only team to top the Rockets Hockey Club during the regular season. They won by the score of 7-4 back in October. Kyle Metzler (17 goals, 8 assists) and Daniel McNelis (12 goals, 11 assists) each had three points in the game. The team also showed good discipline, only spending 82 minutes in the penalty box. The team will look to knock off some of the division’s elite again to chase the title.
Ashburn Xtreme (9-4-0)
Ashburn utilizes an excellent defensive game plan to stifle the attack of their opponents, then capitalizing on the counterattack. The team only allowed 32 goals all season, showcasing great play from the team’s defensive players. The team’s most consistent performer on defense was their netminder, Tyler Rounds. Rounds played every game for the Xtreme, making 242 saves and recording 5 shutouts. The team also saw steady offensive output from Luke Henry. Henry netted a team-high 11 goals, 3 coming on the power play. Ashburn will look for their defense to stand strong in a tough slate during the round robin.
Royals Hockey Club (9-5-1)
A streaky team, the Royals will look to carry the momentum of a season-finale win into the playoff round robin. The team was led offensively by a duo of Cole Gainsley (13 goals, 4 assists) and Shane Redden (9 goals, 8 assists). However, the team’s second-leading goal-scorer was a defensive player, as Peter Pereborow netted 11 goals from the blue line. The team also saw steady play between the goal pipes, with three different players putting on the pads for the Royals. The Royals will have a tough test in the round robin, but through strong team play, they can make a run to the title.