Paradise Cup In Florida Highlights Top 12U Teams In U.S.
Some of the best 2009-born teams collided in Florida this past weekend for a star-studded tournament in Clearwater.
The Paradise Cup – a collaborative effort between Exposure Hockey and Eastside Elite Hockey – brought together 26 of the best ’09 teams, including six of the World Hockey Hub’s top 10 American teams, as well as a tournament team from Massachusetts.
It was a whole lot of fun at the rink, and probably just as much off of it. Participants had the opportunity to learn from Stanley Cup champions Kris Versteeg, Trevor Daley and Steven Oleksy before a kickoff party at Hogan’s Hangout – which featured appearances from WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan, and his daughter Brooke, as well as fellow wrestling entertainment icon Ric Flair.
Champions were crowned in three divisions – the Warrior Division, the GELSTX Division and the LiveBarn Division – at the end of a wild weekend on the Gulf of Mexico.
TP3 Hockey, the Massachusetts team mentioned above, won the 12-team Warrior Division, while Florida Alliance took the eight-team GELSTX bracket and Team Maryland claimed the six-team LiveBarn group.
The TP3 boys – coached by former NHL defenseman Tom Poti – played to an undefeated weekend, registering four wins and two ties in a stacked Warrior division.
They started things off with a 4-2 win over the No. 8 ranked Pittsburgh Penguins Elite on Wednesday morning, before posting a dominating 8-1 win over HoneyBaked a few hours later. On Thursday, TP3 played to a pair of 4-4 ties, first against the Dallas Stars Elite and then against the St. Louis AAA Blues.
That was enough to put TP3 comfortably in the elimination rounds. There, they started with a 5-3 win over the Buffalo Jr. Sabres in their lone Friday game. On Saturday, they muscled out a 5-4 win over the Blues in a semifinal rematch, and TP3 capped things off with a title on Championship Sunday in another rematch, this time with the Penguins Elite.
Massimo Santa Maria recorded six goals and seven assists for 13 points in the six games for TP3 to lead the tournament in scoring. Braiden Scuderi and Rocco Pelosi both had eight points apiece. James Bronson and Maddox Franks took care of business between the pipes for TP3, as well.
The hometown Florida Alliance squad ended up with the GELSTX crown. They heated up when it came to the elimination rounds, as the Alliance beat the Colorado Thunderbirds 7-4 in the quarters before registering a 3-2 overtime thriller against HoneyBaked in the semifinals.
In the finals, Florida took down the No. 9 ranked Los Angeles Jr. Kings to drive back to their respective homes with some hardware.
Trevor Daley Jr. led the team in scoring, recording six goals and six assists for 12 total points in six games. Reese Tracy was just behind Daley with 10 points on the weekend. Leo Carvahlo and Cole Brindley were in charge of crease duties for the Alliance at the Paradise Cup.
Team Maryland thrived in the LiveBarn division, recording a 5-0-1 record during their stay in Florida. TM posted a 6-2 win over Florida Alliance Blue to start things off on Thursday, and they followed that up with a 7-0 blanking of Belle Tire later in the day. On Friday, they posted a 4-2 win over the Nashville Warriors before tying the Jersey Shore Whalers 2-2.
On Saturday, they took care of the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies 3-0 in the semifinals, before finishing things off on Sunday with a 2-1 win over the Connecticut Jr. Rangers in the LiveBarn division championship.
Robert Johanson led the way for TM, racking up three goals and seven assists for 10 points in six games despite lining up as a defenseman. Brayden Godon chipped in nine points, while Christian Kolodziej had seven and Tyler Hall had six.
Other standout performances included Enzo Didomenicantonio of Little Caesars, who matched TP3’s Santa Maria for the scoring title with 13 total points. Isaac Davis of the Boston Jr. Terriers led all Paradise Cup blue liners in scoring with 12 points.
Colin Varady of the St. Louis AAA Blues, Jaydon Wrzosek of the Minutemen Flames, Ethan Sung of the Los Angeles Jr. Kings and Beckett Ertel of the Green Bay Gamblers all reached the 10-point mark in tournament play.
We’re in the home stretch of the winter season! Teams are making the final push, and World Hockey Hub will have coverage from all major youth hockey markets around the world. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube for the latest news and updates.
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