The Los Angeles Jr. Kings’ Pee Wee AA1 team punched its ticket to the California Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) State Championships after advancing through 12U AA Tier II Playdowns, which were contested last weekend (Feb. 24-25) at The Rinks-Lakewood Ice.
The Jr. Kings opened Playdowns on Saturday with a 2-0 triumph over San Diego Jr. Gulls 1, 2-0, followed by a 4-1 setback to Golden State Elite Eagles 1. In its decisive third game on Sunday, L.A. came through with a 1-0 shootout victory over the San Diego Saints.
“The boys have one saying: ‘Play for the guy next to you,’” said Jr. Kings head coach Maik Tatavosian, who’s assisted behind the bench by Brett Beebe and Jeremy Daughaday.
“As a coach, I couldn’t be more proud of them - and not because they’ve had success on the scoreboard, but for the sacrifices they make for each other. We’re a family and take pride in being (tough) to play against.”
The Tier II State Championships will be played from March 16-18 at Ice-Plex Escondido.
“The kids take a lot of pride in playing both for the Jr. Kings and representing the tradition of excellent teams that have come before them,” Tatavosian added. “We just want to represent our families and the club well. We've worked really hard this year and are excited to see what the future holds for us.”
The Jr. Kings’ 14U AA1 team fell short of advancing to states after putting together a 1-2 record at Playdowns.
In the Flight II bracket, the Jr. Kings and Toyota Sports Center - the Jr. Kings’ home facility - will host the CAHA 12U AA Championships the weekend of March 3-4.
The tournament will feature the Jr. Kings’ AA2 team, along with Ice Dogs Hockey Club, OC Hockey Club 2 and Jr. Gulls 2, playing a three-game round-robin with the top two teams (points) advancing to the championship game.
The following weekend, the Jr. Kings’ Tier I state champion 18U AAA, 16U AAA, 15U AAA and Bantam Major teams will compete in the Pacific District Championships, which will be showcased from March 8-11 at Solar4America Ice at San Jose, to play for the right to compete in April’s USA Hockey National Championships.