Little Caesars, Big Expectations

Dec 22, 2021 | Craig Peterson


U.S. Team Looks To Play The Role Of Spoiler At Champions League

They are not the No. 1 team in the United States. In fact, Little Caesars enters the 2022 Champions League hockey tournament ranked behind two other participants in top-ranked Windy City Storm and No. 2 Los Angeles Jr. Kings. Now, it takes a stellar team to be ranked third in the country, with a 30-4-2 record so far this season. However, that ranking does allow Caesars to fly under the radar a bit as teams like Windy City and L.A. enter the tournament with a much bigger bulls eye on their backs.

Little Caesars will have an opportunity to play spoiler in next week’s event, opening up play with Barys on Tuesday before playing Kiekko Blues and Yale Jr. Bulldogs the next day. Games with Järved IF and Los Angeles will wrap up pool play. Can LC last long enough to make it to the elimination rounds?

The team has produced 167 goals for, while allowing just 51 against. They thrive in low-scoring games, with nine wins coming in contests with four or fewer total goals scored. Having a good-sized defensive group helps, with Colten Dwarzski, Drake Gram, Dominic Pajkic and Jona Zimbalatti all measuring at 5-foot-8 or taller. Keegan Jordan and Shawn Lane help round out the unit that does a fantastic job of containing opposing offenses.

Goaltenders Trevor Paden and Vincent Sabala have a combined 1.42 goals-against average and 12 shutouts on the season. At one point, the duo played 12 consecutive periods without allowing a goal. 

Offensively, Caesars has a great balance of size and speed. Tyler Hatcher, Stephen King, Waylon Rivet and Brooks Rogowski ‘bring the boom’ with large statures and long reaches for the 2008 age group. Donovan Durbin, Ethan Garden, Camden Langfeld, Landen Maltby and Jacob Monks provide an element of speed and skill that makes this a very dangerous three-line team with depth and diversity in playing styles.

The field of teams is loaded with top talent from around the world. Little Caesars is in a position where they could very easily go undetected until the playoff rounds, and capable of being a dangerous ‘underdog’ type team. 

Look out for Little Caesars at next week’s Champions League, and be sure to follow World Hockey Hub on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube for continued coverage of the tournament, upcoming features, highlights and recaps, and so much more! 

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