Food, family…and face-offs?
In what has become a tradition in the youth hockey world, the weekend following American Thanksgiving has become perhaps the biggest tournament weekend of the season. Turkey dinners, family gatherings, Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, and a whole lot of hockey action across the country.
It’s a wonderful way to skate off the turkey hangover, and it seems like each and every year, more and more teams are getting in on the Thanksgiving action.
When we say there was a remarkable amount of tournaments taking place across the country, we’re not exaggerating.
There were 16 U.S. tournaments listed on the World Hockey Hub alone, and it’s easy to assume there were even more taking place across the country. Those 16 events took place in 12 different cities, with more than 1,500 teams in action.
In a ‘normal’ year, plenty of Canadian teams would take part in American festivities, partaking in some of the very tournaments mentioned below. Canada, however, had its own busy weekend of youth hockey, with tournaments like Silver Sticks; more on that later this week.
Here is a look at some of the highlights from the U.S. tournament weekend:
The Stockholm District playoffs concluded over the weekend, where the top teams in the region battled it out for Swedish youth hockey supremacy. The process for crowning district champions began back in September with Group Play; teams were divided into five pools of five teams each, competing in a round-robin format over the course of three weeks. From there, the top seed in each pool advanced to District-A Playoffs, the second seed placed in District-B, third seed in District-C, fourth in District-D and fifth in District-E.
District Playoffs consisted of a second set of round-robin games, this time featuring the top five teams in the region in District-A, the next five in District-B, and continued through Districts C, D and E.
U15 (2007) District Championships
The top district among ‘07s consisted of three teams from our World Rankings: No. 5 Nacka HK, No. 6 Viggbyholms, No. 9 Djurgårdens IF, Flemingsbergs IK and Järfälla HC.
Järfälla had a strong showing in the top district, winning three games by four goals or more and producing the top four scorers in the series. Linus Rudslätt Debou led with eight goals and 10 points, while teammates Eric Nilson (nine), Viktor Klingsell (eight) and Isac Harju (eight) followed close behind. However, a hiccup in their meeting with top-ranked Nacka would end their bid at a district championship. Zacharias Berglin and Ruben Westerling combined to put up six points to help Nacka hand Järfälla its only loss of the playoff round in a 7-4 finish. Westerling would finish with seven points, as Nacka won its first three games of round-robin action.
In its final game of the series, Nacka needed to pick up just one point to clinch first place in its matchup against Djurgårdens. Goals from Jakob Görnebrand and Georgia Cservjacsenko gave DIF a 2-1 lead at the halfway point of the game though. Teodor Friberg knotted the game a 2-2 from the blue line, and Rasmus Lindström Calland and Olle Sjöstedt would continue the scoring for Nacka late into the game. A goal from Djurgårdens forward Kean Tollet would tie the game at 4-4 with 3:29 left to play, but Nacka would escape the contest with the one point they needed in the standings to finish in first place.
No. 2-ranked Täby HC headlined this group of five which also included IFK Tumba IK, Solna SK, Trångsunds IF and Vallentuna Hockey.
After four games, Solna, Täby and Trångsunds would all finish with a 3-1-0 record and nine points in the standings for a three-way tie for first place. Each of the three teams maintained a win over one and a loss of the other, only furthering the deadlock at the top. Solna’s plus-15 goal differential was enough to break the tie and crown them the winners of the series. Their leading scorer, Mattias Nyberg, led all skaters with nine goals and 11 points in four games.
Melvin Novotny, Liam Redstedt and Theo Stockselius were the most dominant trio in pool play, combining to score nine of Täby’s 23 goals and each of them finishing among the top five in points.
They came in as the highest-ranked team in the District, and No. 7-ranked AIK took care of business. Allowing just two goals against in the four-game series, Regnars Capars posted two shutouts in their two biggest games; a 3-0 victory over SDE and a 1-0 win over Tyresö Hanvikens SK. Hampus Persson and Hugo Håkansson combined to stop 30-of-32 shots, splitting time in the other two contests, as AIK finished the weekend with a 4-0-0 record and the maximum 12 points in the standings.
Torkel Jennersjö was the leading scorer of the District, with six goals and seven points for second-place Mälarö Hockeyförening.
Hässelby Kälvesta HC dominated District-D, scoring 25 goals in just four games to finish 4-0-0 and first place in the standings. Boo HC and Huddinge IK would end up in second and third respectively, but provided little resistance to Hässelby’s high-powered offense. Both opponents would fall to the eventual champion by a score of 8-4, with Artur Yanchalouski and Camilo Lovell proving to be unstoppable with 19 points and 17 points respectively. The dynamic duo accounted for 80 percent of their team’s offense, with no other player producing more than five points over the weekend.
The first game of the series would prove to be the deciding one in a matchup between Älta IF and IFK Österåker Vikings HC. They wouldn’t know it at the time — the two teams shared the ice on Friday — but they would eventually end up finishing first and second in the standings.
Österåker jumped out to an early 4-1 lead, but there would be nine total goals scored in the second half of action, as Älta made a strong push but fell to the eventual champion 9-5 in Game 1 of the weekend.
Both Värmdö HC and Göta Traneberg IK took a run at knocking off the Vikings as well, but Österåker found ways to survive not once, but twice, by way of one-goal games 6-5 and 4-3 respectively. Viking forwards Vilgot Rietz (12 points), Atle Kjellnäs (eight) and Vilmer Ytterström (seven) proved too tough to stop, leading the District in scoring and their team to a championship.
U14 (2008) District Championships
In a District that was expected to be tightly contested and close and ’08s, consisting of five teams that all won their Groups to reach the A Playoffs, one team still proved to be dominant amongst the best.
SDE HF Svart went unbeaten against the group of top teams, out-scoring Djurgårdens IF, Göta Traneberg IK Röd, IFK Täby HC and AIK by a 23-5 margin in four games. It started with a 6-1 win on Friday, and two more six-goal games on Saturday, and finished with a statement, 5-0 shutout in the final game.
Defenseman Alexander Command and center Marcus Nordmark tied for the District lead with eight goals and 13 points each. Nordmark was part of an impressive trio for Täby, alongside Viggo Björck and Max Johannesén who combined to score 15 of their team’s 20 goals. Command, on the other hand, achieved an impressive feat of his own as the only defenseman to lead his District in scoring.
Nacka HK won District-B convincingly, going 3-0-0 and finishing with a six-point cushion in the standings. A close call with Boo HC could have completely changed the outcome of the final placements, as Nacka held off a late comeback to win its final game 3-2 on Sunday.
A balanced offensive attack fueled Nacka to a championship. David Holst led his team — and all scorers — with four goals and five points, and was one of nine players to account for Nacka’s 18 goals.
Despite losing to second-place Brinkens IF on Sunday, Väsby IK HK was able to hang on to its first-place billing and rack up nine points in the standings to Brinkens’ seven.
Dorotea Forslin completed a 20-save shutout in Väsby’s 4-0 game on Friday. The offense then roared to life in its second game, with a hat trick from defenseman Adam Pawel Kubat in an 8-2 drubbing of Tyresö Hanvikens SK. Pawel Kubat finished second in the division in scoring with four goals and seven points. Teammates Mille Forslund and Troy Zajac added six and five points respectively to help Väsby to its first-place finish.
In one of the most commanding performances from District Playoffs, the Haninge Anchors won their four-team District-D with a 3-0-0 record and impressive 23-2 goal differential. Back-to-back 6-1 wins over Älta IF and Sollentuna HC, then an 11-0 win over Vallentuna, and Haninge took the District convincingly.
Anchors forwards finished one, two, three and four in scoring with Albin Hurtig (eight points), Emil Forslund (seven), Robin Horn (five) and Andreas Tingshagen (five). Jonathan Bylund Lundberg was in net for all three victories, posting a .931 save percentage in playoffs.
It was the first game of the series, but it proved to be a good one, as eventual first-place finisher and eventual second-place finisher Lidingö Vikings HC and Värmdö HC skated to a 6-5 finish on Saturday.
Värmdö jumped out to a 5-3 lead just past the halfway point of the game, with two goals and an assist from the team’s leading scorer, Melwin Lundberg Bergström. However, Lidingö would rattle off three consecutive goals in the span of just two minutes and 10 seconds of game action from Ludvig Malmström, Hugo Friberg and Charlie Eriksson Hedin to roar back to a 6-5 lead and the win.
That victory eventually led to a District championship as the Vikings won their next three games by a margin of 26-1.Tibor Baran’s nine goals and 12 points led all skaters in the District as well.
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Six of the best 2007 birth-year teams in the United States converged on Metro Detroit over the weekend for an impressive collection of young hockey talent.
The 14U Detroit Challenger Series brought together a stacked lineup for a six-team showcase, which were (from the latest U.S. Rankings):
No. 1 Shattuck-St. Mary’s
No. 2 Chicago Mission
No. 3 Little Caesars
No. 6 Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers
No. 8 Middlesex Islanders
No. 10 Los Angeles Jr. Kings
They all played each other, and nobody left Viking Ice Arena in Hazel Park, Mich., with a perfect record.
The highlight of the weekend? No. 1 vs. No. 2 of course, and Chicago Mission emerged victorious.
The No. 2 ranked team in the country finished with a 3-1-1 record, the highlight being a 4-0 win over No. 1 Shattuck-St. Mary’s on Sunday to conclude the weekend with an exclamation point for the black and green squad.
Mission accomplished what no other team has done this season; defeat Shattuck.
It’s the first loss for a Shattuck 14U team since last September — not September 2021, but September 2020. Last season’s ’06 team that won a national championship finished the ’20-21 campaign on a 38-0-2 run. The ’07s carried the torch into this season with a 30-0-0 run before falling to Mission on Sunday.
Mission is now 31-3-2 on the season after staking their claim for the top spot with the big win over SSM. The only team to beat Mission this weekend was a team that had already topped them once before — Little Caesars. The host team topped Mission 3-2 on Saturday morning; in October, LC won 6-4.
Forwards Ryan Aaronson, Cole McKinney, Nathan Jastrzebski, Ronny Bender and Cameron Aucoin have been bringing the fire for Mission so far this season, while goaltenders Dane Chock and Bjorn Bronas form an intimidating tandem between the pipes.
Shattuck still had quite the impressive weekend, of course – especially when you consider they recorded three straight shutouts. After topping the L.A. Jr. Kings 4-3, the Sabres found their stride in their second Friday game, blanking Little Caesars 3-0.
They didn’t give up a single goal on Saturday, registering a 3-0 win over the Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers in the morning and a 5-0 win over the Middlesex Islanders 5-0 in the evening.
Shattuck now holds a 30-1-0 season record. They have already wrapped up a state title and a bid to nationals at the end of the season. Two players who were on last year’s roster — defenseman Henry Brzustewicz and forward Gavin Kor — will try to help the storied Minnesota program repeat after a dominating performance last spring in Dallas.
Six forwards have recorded at least 30 points already, according to Elite Prospects — Masun Fleece, Lucas Sawchyn, Aaron Obobaifo, Kor, William Belle and Owen Chartier — while Brzustewicz is leading the attack from the blue line with 26.
Harrison Boettiger and Liam Joyce split the goaltending duties, and they’re both some of the top goaltenders in the 2007 age group.
The team that traveled the farthest to be there had a pretty good showing, too. The Kings finished 2-2-1, and with strong showings even in defeat, falling to the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the country by one goal. As previously mentioned, the Kings played Shattuck to a 4-3 final in their first contest, and then they dropped one to Mission 2-1 Saturday evening. Alongside those games, however, they tied Mid-Fairfield 3-3, posted a 5-2 win over Middlesex and a 3-2 win over Little Caesars.
Through 29 games, the Kings are led in scoring by Benjamin Kevan, who has a whopping 59 points in the timeframe. Jake Stuart has 36, Christian Plaga has 25 and Stevie Grumley has 24. Seid-Ali Nabiev and Kyle Jones split responsibilities between the pipes.
The Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL) resumed regular hockey activities on Nov. 1, but its teams have been up and running for a regular hockey season since October. That means plenty of hockey to analyze and start figuring out who the teams to beat are in the most storied youth hockey league in North America. Here are our teams to beat in the GTHL this season.
The Toronto Jr. Canadiens are the team beat to beat in the GTHL this season at the U16 age level. As we head into the third weekend of November, they hold a perfect 14-0-0 record, which puts them in the top spot of the Canadian Rankings, and No. 2 in the world. On Oct. 10, the Jr. Canadiens gave the Mississauga Senators their first loss of the season by a 6-4 final; on Nov. 14, they did it again, this time with the scoreboard reading 6-2 at the final buzzer. It’s early in the season, sure, but the Jr. Canadiens are picking up steam and its hard to see anybody derailing them at the moment.
Much like their 2006 counterparts, the Toronto Jr. Canadiens are dominating early in the season at the U15 age group, too. Checking at No. 1 in the Canadian Rankings and No. 3 worldwide, the Jr. Canadiens have a nearly flawless 10-0-1 record on the young season. The Jr. Canadiens kicked off their 2021-22 campaign against the Toronto Marlboros and picked up a 5-3 win. To make sure it wasn’t a bit of opening-game luck, they did the same on Oct. 10, beating the Marlboros 4-2. The Jr. Canadiens’ one tie came at the hands of Ottawa Myers Automotive, a squad that has played to a 13-7-4 record so far this season. We’re not counting out the Marlboros just yet though — an 18-2-1 record makes them a terrifying next-on-schedule for any of the GTHL clubs.
They won the Toronto Red Wings Early Bird tournament to bring in some early-season hardware, and the Vaughan Kings have won a whole lot of other games too. Ranked No. 1 in Canada and ranked No. 2 worldwide, the Kings have a 15-0-0 record alongside an 82-18 goal differential so far this year. Some of their wins have come against top competition, as well, as the Kings have taken down the No. 4-ranked Peterborough Petes, the No. 5-ranked North York Rangers, the No. 6-ranked Toronto Jr. Canadiens, the No. 8-ranked Toronto Marlboros and the No. 10-ranked Elgin Middlesex Chiefs.
The Don Mills Flyers have been climbing up the World Rankings, and for good reason. They check in at No. 2 this week as their record grows to 14-2-0 on the season. In a recent battle of No. 1 vs. No. 2, it was Don Mills prevailing over top-ranked North York Rangers 4-3, and they celebrated by beating the No. 3-ranked Toronto Red Wings 4-0 three days later. Don Mills has No. 4 ranked Ottawa Myers Automotive next on the calendar, and they have also already beaten the No. 6-ranked Toronto Titans. One of their two losses came at the hands of the No. 7-ranked Sun County Panthers, the other a 5-4 OT thriller to the Huron-Perth Lakers.
It was a close call between No. 1 and No. 2, but when No. 1 has already beaten the team below it in the rankings, you have to go with the top dogs. The Toronto Marlboros have a 19-2-1 record so far this season, including a win over the No. 2 Vaughan Kings (a 3-1 final, if you were interested). Both of their losses have come to ranked opponents (No. 4 Toronto Jr. Canadiens in overtime and No. 7 Soo Jr. Greyhounds), and they’re outscoring their competition 96-28 in 2021-22. Other big victories for the Marlboros include two over No. 5 North York and one over No. 10 Oakville, as well as a win to avenge the OT loss to the Jr. Greyhounds.
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One of the most demanding positions in any sport is playing goalie. All eyes are on them. They can’t hide from a mistake or a misstep. When the game is over the goalie is analyzed by everyone including their own coach, teammates, parents of the team, the opposing team and coaches, and even themselves.
The position often receives the most credit for a team win, but at the same time receives the most criticism following a loss. The most elite goalies not only require physical strength but mental and emotional strength as well.
An invaluable asset to goalies is to have a mental recovery plan. One that works following a loss, but also can be used right after a bad goal.
Goalies have, on average, less than a minute to get ready and set for the next play. That means if the goalie is thinking about the past mistake, what they should have done better, complaining about the ref, or worrying about their teammates, their mind is not where it needs to be.
If your mindset is not focused on the present play, your performance suffers.
A great question I like to ask athletes I work with is, “Who is the person you listen to the most?” Often, answers include parents, coaches, teammates, or teachers. Many people tend to forget that saying “myself” is an option.
The person you listen to most is yourself. Your internal narrative or self-talk consists of the thoughts and dialogue in your mind that you have all day long. This occurs automatically and we may not even pay attention to messages we send ourselves daily.
When goalies are in the crease, they need to be intentional about the messages they have on repeat. Their self-talk is critical for top performance.
If your self-talk is negative, overly critical and harsh, you are not helping yourself. You need to support yourself through positive self-talk. You don’t have to lie and tell yourself everything is great. But you need to be intentional about helping yourself perform better.
Cue yourself with instruction; “see the puck,” “play strong,” and “quick feet.” These phrases help you stay on task. You can also use motivational self-talk; “trust yourself,” “I got this,” “I’m ready,” or “I trained for this.”
Have 3 to 5 self-talk phrases that help keep you ready, positive and focused. Don’t help your opponents out by beating yourself. Create your top performance through great self-talk.
The best way to let your opponent know they’ve gotten the best of you is through body language. Many athletes don’t recognize the importance of body language.
Picture your opponent throwing their head back, then putting their hands up as if to blame their teammates for a bad play. Or if your opponent bends over, slams and breaks their stick, and skates slowly to the bench. Or imagine the players who have their head down on the bench and no one’s communicating with each other. Those players have already lost. They have been mentally beaten. They have checked out and their mindset is not in a place for their top performance.
As a goalie, you cannot let the opponent take up space in your mind. Be intentional about your body language. Imagine 5 things a goalie with good body language does.
Could you do all those things in practice and in games? Don’t allow your body language to be something that just happens. Practice it. Do not allow your body language to give anything away for free.
Positive body language for goalies includes keeping your head up, eyes on the play, standing tall in between plays and communicating effectively with teammates. Work to avoid blaming teammates, slamming your stick, throwing your head back or hanging your head, bending over in disappointment or getting in the referee’s face.
Goalies need to use their mind to their advantage. It’s great to keep the positivity up through self-talk and body language but these skills bring you back to your baseline performance. Imagery and visualization take your performance to the next level.
You cannot outperform your self-image. That means if you don’t see yourself making incredible saves, showing up big in the third period or shutting down the opponent’s power play, your chances of doing so greatly diminish.
Imagery involves all the senses — seeing, feeling, hearing, movement, smelling, taste — to recreate positive plays in the mind’s eye. The mind is so powerful that simply imagining great plays and good techniques solidify those brain-thinking patterns leading to quicker reaction times, increased performance and improved self-confidence.
Create a self-image of an elite goalie. See yourself succeeding and making the clutch plays.
It’s easy to get stuck in the last play. Our minds want to analyze the past and make corrections for the future. But there is not time to go through that thinking process during a game. This activity is better saved for after the game.
Instead, you need to forget the last play and re-focus on the immediate task. This is easier said than done, it’s a skill that requires practice.
With intentional attention shifting, you can get yourself back into the present by focusing on exactly what is right in front of you.
One of my favorite re-focus cues from a collegiate goalie I’ve worked with is, “Next Shot. Next Save.” This four-word phrase moves the attention to the next play. The past play doesn’t matter anymore, I need to focus on my next save.
Another goalie reset focus through a physical routine of tapping the goal post with their stick, adjusting their pads and getting back into their ready stance. Doing this routine intentionally helps them reset their mind and body.
The paradox of being a goalie is that you must be alert while at the same time relaxed.
If you become too anxious, you may play ahead of yourself. Getting yourself out of proper position, cheating on your corners or playing too far off the crease.
If you contract your muscles too tightly, you lose reaction time, your movements lose their flow and you get tired much more quickly.
If your mind is not relaxed, tunnel vision occurs and you may not be able to see the entire ice as you should. You may start overthinking about the last couple of plays and losing present focus.
The best performances for goalies requires the right amount of energy.
I’m not saying you should be falling asleep out there; that’s too far in the other direction. You need to find the right energy level for you. Some of your teammates require their energy to be at 10, headbutting one another, jumping up and down, and hyping themselves up. Others require a lower energy level of 3 or 4, listening to music and being calm but ready.
Think of your best performance, what was your energy level at on a scale of 1 to 10. It’s important to work to recreate that exact energy level. Many professional goalies tend to have a lower energy level where they are intensely focused, in the zone and ready for anything.
If your energy level gets too high, which is often the case, you need to be able to relax the body and the mind. Through squared breathing you can calm the mind and the body. This technique requires four-second inhale, four-second hold, four-second exhale, four-second hold and then repeat. This short breathing exercise can be done in between plays, after a goal or during the period break.
Also combine your self-talk and re-focus cues to bring your energy level to where it needs to be. These techniques do not have to occur in isolation and help improve your recovery plan while used together.
Having a planned recovery plan will set you apart from your competition. Some of the best goalies in the NHL credit their success to sports psychology skills. Those goalies include Braden Holtby and Carter Hart.
Create your personal recovery plan using the suggestions above. As a goalie you need to be able to shake off the last play. Good or bad, it’s in the past. The most important play is the next one.
By Blaise Fayolle, EdD, CMPC, LLPC
Blaise Fayolle holds a doctorate in Sport and Performance Psychology and is credentialed as a Certified Mental Performance Consultant® through the Associated for Applied Sport Psychology. Blaise is also a licensed mental health professional in Michigan.
It may only be November, but a few Massachusetts teams already know where they’re going to be in April.
Massachusetts Hockey crowned its 15O, 16U and 18U state champions last weekend, helping a few teams punch their tickets to the USA Hockey National Championships a little earlier than their peers in other districts.
The field of teams for USA Hockey Nationals is divided into 12 districts, and by winning a district tournament, teams automatically qualify for the country’s national tournament at the end of the season. With the Massachusetts District playoffs concluding this weekend, these three teams have become the first wave of programs to earn a spot at Nationals still more than four months away.
At the 15-only age group, the Minuteman Flames posted a perfect 3-0-0 record to earn a state championship banner. They scored four goals in every game; a model of consistency en route to a national playoff berth.
In their tournament opener Saturday, the Flames beat Boston Hockey Academy 4-3, thanks to goals from Matt McDonald, Dom Connearny, Drew Carr and Aiden Higson, and a strong outing between the pipes from Mason DeCaire. Later in the day, they beat the Cape Cod Whalers 4-2, on goals from Nate Walsh (two), Carr and Brendan Keaveney. Sam Difore was in between the pipes for the second victory.
In the championship bout, the Flames once again had balanced scoring, as Carr, Walsh, Matthew Welch and Danny Buckley all found the back of the net, giving DeCaire the cushion he needed to guide the Flames to a 4-2 victory.
Walsh and Carr both finished with five points in the three games, while Neponset Valley’s Cam McGettrick led the field in scoring with six on the weekend.
The team to beat ended up being the team to win in 16U, as the Boston Jr. Eagles — ranked No. 9 in the world and No. 5 in the country — claimed the state title.
Balanced scoring started early, as Daniel Markevych, Jonathan Lanza, Nate Porter, Ethane Gardula and Jake McManus all scored in a 5-1 tournament-opening win over Top Gun Saturday morning. Sam Scopa picked up the win between the pipes.
Saturday afternoon, they met the Boston Little Bruins, and the Jr. Eagles had no problems dispatching the Original Six-branded foe. Teddy Stiga scored twice, while Shawn Leary, Jack Sadowski and Gardula also scored. Ben Hack turned aside all but two of the Bruins’ shots sent his way to record the win in goal.
In the final, Jason Zaccari, McManus, Markevych and Stiga scored in a 4-1 win over the North Suburban Wings to secure a spot at Nationals for Boston. Scopa was once again between the pipes for the victory.
Stiga ended up leading the field in scoring, registering seven points in the three games. McManus and Gardula both had five.
The Jr. Eagles are now 17-3-5 on the season.
Just like their 16U counterparts, the 18U Boston Jr. Eagles took care of business this weekend, as well.
On Saturday, they posted a 9-5 win over Boston Hockey Academy to start the tourney with a bang. Nick Bevilacqua and Ryan Kazmouz split the 60 minutes between the pipes.
We’re going to give you a final scoring total for the points leaders after we get through the short game recaps, because in their two games Sunday, the Eagles scored ten more goals. To secure their spot in the finals, they beat Top Gun 5-2, with Bevilacqua taking care of things in goal.
In the championship round, it was a 5-3 win over the South Shore Kings – no stat line on who was in between the pipes for that one.
And now for the final stats totals – Landyn Greatorex led the tournament in scoring with eight points, while Michael Callow had seven and Brendan Gorman had six.
District championships continue over the next several months of the season, and World Hockey Hub will have continued coverage of all U.S. teams to earn a spot in the national tournament. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube for the latest news from the world of youth hockey, including national tournament coverage of the U.S., Canada, Russia, Sweden and Finland.
They describe a hockey player’s experience in their program as “epic” on the Mount St. Charles Hockey Academy’s website – and it’s hard to argue that you would experience anything otherwise.
The storied organization continually captures titles and advances players to higher levels of hockey, and their 15U squad seems poised to continue the trend. The 2006 birth-year group has been nearly unstoppable so far this season, and we don’t see any reason for them to slow down.
Ranked No. 1 in the latest edition of the world rankings, Mount has a 22-1-1 record, and they already have some hardware to show off. The M’s won the USHL Fall Classic in their age group, showing off in front of scouts galore in one of the biggest early-season events on the hockey calendar. There, they recorded wins over No. 7 Windy City Storm (7-2); Compuware (6-5 in a shootout); Team Minnesota (6-1); Philadelphia Jr. Flyers (1-0) in the semifinals; and No. 3 Little Caesars (5-2) in the final.
To find their only loss, you have to go all the way back to Sept. 12, where they squared off the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite squad and lost 3-1 on home ice. That loss wasn’t anything to be disappointed about, however, as the Penguins are ranked No. 6 in the country. Mount has already evened things up in the season series with the black and gold, as they knocked Pittsburgh off 4-3 on Oct. 17.
The M’s lone tie has also been to an elite opponent. They played the Bishop Kearney Selects — ranked just behind them at No. 2 in the country — to a 3-3 tie in a neutral-site game on Oct. 16. The first time those two teams met, however, it was all Mount, as they beat BK 7-3 on Sept. 10. Expect more fireworks when these two eventually meet again, as they are the two top teams in the Northeast Pack league.
With this type of early season success, it should come as no surprise that the roster is loaded for Mount St. Charles. In between the pipes, California native and dual citizen Justin Bayers has joined a goaltender depth chart that features incumbents Dillon Hanna and John Parsons. In front of the goaltenders is a loaded blue line group; Will Felicio is one to watch.
The forwards are a dangerous group for opposing netminders, as the M’s have outscored the opposition 121-44 this season. James Hagens, a November birthday New York native, is certainly a name to know. The younger brother of Harvard commit and Mount St. Charles 16U standout Michael Hagens, James is establishing his own hype – started by scoring 19 points in seven games at the World Select Invite in 2019. Last year, he led the M’s in scoring – 57 points in the 27 games reported on Elite Prospects.
Compete against players from all over the planet at the World Selects Trophy! It's world-class competition with a first-class travel experience. Join TPH Selects, make lasting memories and lifelong friends in an environment unlike any other in youth sports.
2007 TPH Selects WST
Location: San Sebastian, Spain
Dates: May 21 - 29, 2022
2008 TPH Selects WST
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Dates: May 8 - May 15, 2022
2009 TPH Selects WST
Location: Chamonix, France
Dates: May 1 - May 8, 2022
2010 TPH Selects WST
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Dates: May 1 - May 8, 2022
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