The Los Angeles Jr. Kings’ 12U AAA team celebrated the Pee Wee AAA division championship at this year’s Quebec International Pee Wee Tournament after its 4-1 triumph over the Czech Knights in today’s title game.
Forward Oliver Morris opened the scoring for the Jr. Kings in the second period before forward Aidan Park lifted L.A. to a 2-0 lead just a few minutes later. Forward Colin Frank added two more goals in the third, including an empty-netter.
The Jr. Kings, led by head coach Brett Beebe and assistants Kyle Calder and Chase Souto, began the tournament on Feb. 16 with a 5-2 loss to the nation’s No. 2-ranked Middlesex (Massachusetts) Islanders leaving L.A. zero room for error moving forward in the double-elimination tournament, which attracts the very-best Pee Wee teams from around the globe.
On Wednesday, the 2006 birth year club rebounded with a 5-1 victory over the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers before doubling-up Ontario's Whitby Wildcats, 4-2, on Friday to punch its ticket to the quarterfinals.
In Saturday’s quarters, Frank connected for the deciding goal - his second of the game - in the Jr. Kings’ 7-6 overtime triumph over Russia’s SKA-Strelna St. Petersburg.
Later in the day, L.A. downed Team Minnesota in the semis, 3-2, thanks in part to two more goals off the stick of Frank, including the game-winner.
Other members of the team include: forwards Nolan Caffey, Tyler Chiovetti, David Ehrhard, Pat Fortune, Braeden Hoffman and Ethan Weber; defensemen Quentin Bourne, Kenny McIlwain, Drake Murray, Tory Pitner, Connolly Stice and Hunter Toms; and goaltenders Justin Bayers and Jackson Silverberg.
The championship marks only the second time a California-based team has won the highest division of the famed Quebec tournament, which this year celebrated its 60th anniversary; the 1999 birth year LA Selects, under the direction of now-Jr. Kings head coach Shawn Pitcher, celebrated the title in 2012 (Pitcher also led the Jr. Kings’ 2004 AAA team to the championship game in 2017).
Two other Jr. Kings teams have celebrated titles in Quebec, both in the International B division - in 1998 (a 1984 birth year team) and again in 2000 (1986 birth year).
Next weekend (March 1-3), the Jr. Kings’ 12U AAA team will play for its second-straight California Amateur Hockey Association state championship at Irvine’s Great Park Ice.