The first-ever U18 AA playoffs wrapped up this past Sunday. Six teams entered with championship aspirations but only one could leave victorious. And after round-robin games that saw numerous close games, the Ashburn Xtreme stood tall and clinched the championship with a 6-2 win over the Philadelphia Blazers.
Day one saw a lot of ice time for the teams competing, with each team in action twice. MYHA Blue took home the first victory of the round-robin with a 7-2 win over the Rockets Hockey Club Black. Joshua Weitzman led the way for MYHA, recording two goals and an assist. Later that afternoon, Ashburn forward Connor Gnatek (two goals, one assist) and goaltender Patrick DePault (25 saves) led the Ashburn Xtreme to an impressive 4-1 win over the Igloo Jaguars Black. All four goals scored by the Xtreme came in the final period of play. The Philadelphia Blazers then won an all Philadelphia match-up, beating Team Philadelphia in a close 4-2 contest. Max Maddalo and Brady Baehser each had two goals for the Blazers.
The Igloo Jaguars Black bounced back from its loss to Ashburn earlier that day by stunning the top-seeded MYHA Blue 5-1. Jaguars goalie Michael Lieze made 30 saves and forward Dylan Faulhaber scored twice for Igloo. The Rockets took out Team Philadelphia 3-2 in its second contest of the day, with Richard Arale scoring the game winning goal late in the third period. The Ashburn Xtreme capped off day one with a 6-4 win over the Philadelphia Blazers, riding a three goal third period for the victory.
Day two started off with Max Maddalo striking twice for the Philadelphia Blazers in a 3-2 win over MYHA Blue. Ashburn had 11 different players score in a dominant 11-2 victory over the Rockets Hockey Club Black. Round robin action concluded with some overtime heroics, as Nick Fonseca’s overtime tally lifted the Igloo Jaguars Black to a 2-1 win over Team Philadelphia.
The U18 AA championship game saw the Ashburn Xtreme take on the Philadelphia Blazers. It was a back and forth start, with the Xtreme leading 3-2 after the first 20 minutes. Max Maddalo started the scoring off for Philadelphia with his sixth goal of the postseason, but Derek Zhou responded for Ashburn to tie the game at 1-1. Sean Marshall got Philadelphia back on top with a goal to make it 2-1, but the Xtreme responded with two goals from John Ryan and Jospeh Sciavolino to give Ashburn a 3-2 lead after the first period.
Josh Shewbridge added to the Xtreme’s lead with a second period goal to make it 4-2. Kevin Donnelly and Evan Gould added insurance goals in the third period, leading to the Ashburn Xtreme’s 6-2 win over the Philadelphia Blazers for the championship. Leo Quattrone put together one of his best performances of the season for the Xtreme, turning aside 37 shots. Leo is now 3-0-0 when making 30 or more saves in a game this season.