Hometown team mounts third-period comeback in championship game against Czechs

Teams from six countries came to Quebec for the prestigious tournament, but it was the hometown team that emerged victorious.

With a come-from-behind 5-4 overtime victory over the Czech Knights, the Montreal Canadiens won the AAA division at the 2022 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament Sunday afternoon.

It was the first of its kind — a springtime showcase for the famed international youth hockey tournament. Due to COVID-19 restrictions interrupting the previously scheduled February tournament, organizers made sure the Pee Wee Quebec still took place, this time running it from May 1 – 15. The AAA division started on May 9, with the championship wrapping things up Sunday.

The Canadiens battled back in the final — more on that later — but they also battled back for the duration of their Pee-Wee Quebec experience. The little Habs, coached by former NHL pro Jason Pominville, started tournament play with a 3-2 loss to Latvia’s Riga HS on Wednesday, which put them on the brink of elimination from the start.

It turns out that the loss was the wake-up call the Canadiens needed, as they exorcised some demons over the next three games. On Friday, they posted an 8-1 win over the Middlesex Islanders to let everybody know they weren’t bowing out of their hometown tournament easy.

From there, they posted a 7-1 win over the Adirondack Jr. Wings on Saturday morning. Later in the same day, they hit double digits in the scoring column, as the Habs beat Providence Hockey Club 11-1 to earn a date with the Czechs in the final.

Montreal outscored the competition 26-3 in their bounce-back run to the title game.

There, they needed to once again prove their mental toughness, as the Czechs raced out to a 2-0 lead after the first period, and a 3-1 lead after the second. The Canadiens scored four goals in the third period, however, and despite the Knights finding the back of the net one more time, the game went to overtime.

There, Alexis Joseph — who scored the last goal in regulation for the Habs — broke a 4-4 tie at the 0:45 mark of the extra period to give his team a championship victory at the Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament. 

Joseph, who accomplished something the majority of players could only dream of with his third period and OT goal in one of the biggest youth hockey tournaments in the world, also led the tournament in scoring with nine goals and eight assists for 17 points in five games.

His teammate, Jayden Pominville, had four goals and seven assists for 11 points to tie for second in the tournament scoring race.

Jeremy Freeman of the Oakville Rangers and Braiden Scuderi of the Philadelphia Flyers also had 11 points in tournament play; Freeman hit that points total in four games and Scuderi in only three. 

Zack Arsenault of the Quebec Ramparts and Jaakko Wycisk of the Sun County Panthers were the two other players to crack double digits at the tournament, as both finished with 10 points in four games.

Vincent Dussiaume-Latour led the way for the Canadiens between the pipes, playing 112:18 worth of hockey over four games. He finished with a 4-1-0-0 record (that’s one overtime win) and a 1.98 goals-against average. Crease partner Zack Desmarais played in 72:42 over three contests, and finished with a 2.04 goals-against.

Marek Besta of the Czech Knights played in 111 mins of action over three games, and finished with a 1.67 goals-against average. 

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Top 2009 AAA Teams Go Front And Center At Iconic Tournament

It’s not usually in May, but nobody’s complaining.

The AAA division of the Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament kicked off on Monday, as a select group of young hockey players from across the world are fortunate enough to experience one of the coolest events in all of youth sports.

Twenty-two teams are participating in this year’s tournament, after tournament organizers jumped through as many hoops as possible to make sure the prestigious tournament would take place, albeit in the spring instead of its usual middle-of-winter locale.

The tournament is taking place across two weeks (15 days to be exact), with the AA-Elite, AA and A divisions playing from May 1-8, and the AAA, BB and School divisions playing May 9-15. In all, 130 teams from 13 different countries are taking part in the unique springtime Pee Wee Quebec. For the AAA teams, six countries are represented – Canada, the United States, Latvia, Hungary, Czechia and Slovakia. 

“It wasn’t a simple task to move the tournament,” said Patrick Dom, the general manager of the Pee-Wee Tournament in January when the organizers announced the move to May. “Our biggest challenge was the availability of the Videotron Center. It is between shows and games of the Remparts de Québec that the schedule will be built. We have no choice but to hold the event over two weeks to get it all together.”

It won’t look like it normally does, but that doesn’t mean that the 22 AAA teams won’t be bringing the heat.

Canada’s squads seem ready to defend home ice, as five of the top 10 teams on our last World Hockey Hockey Canadian rankings for the age group appear on the Pee Wee Quebec schedule. 

The No. 1 ranked Huron Perth Lakers are coming off a historic season in which they captured the first All-Ontario Championship in their association’s history, and they also won an Alliance title too. Needless to say, they’re a heavy favorite heading into this one, especially when you consider that they’ve gotten a little rest after winning those winter season titles. 

The other four ranked squads will have something to say about that, of course. The No. 5 North York Rangers, the No. 8 Semiahmoo Ravens (from all the way on the west coast of Canada), the No. 9 Sun County Panthers and the No. 10 North Shore Winter Club (from Vancouver) will all be ready to go in the biggest tournament these kids have ever played in.

Meanwhile, the U.S. clubs participating will be looking to make their spring hockey opportunities count, too. The New Jersey Devils squad is a collection of top players in the area, but when you consider that the New Jersey Hockey Academy finished the season ranked No. 2 in the country, that means they’ve got some strong skaters getting ready to don that Devils black and red for the tournament. The Boston Jr. Terriers finished ranked No. 6 in the country, as well, so expect some bite from them.

The teams that are traveling in from across the pond certainly will want to make their stays count, as well. They look to be a collection of tournament teams hailing from the aforementioned Latvia, Hungary, Czechia and Slovakia. The Czech Knights ’09 group just watched their 2010 counterparts win a World Selects Invitational title in dominating fashion – if they skate anything like their younger peers, they will certainly be a team to watch in Quebec.

The other foreign clubs competing are the Hungary Talent, Riga HS, and Slovakia K&B Stars. We can’t wait to see what they do against their North American competition after the last few seasons have limited – or prevented entirely – cross-continent competition in youth hockey. 

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Czech Selects go ‘from worst to first’ in impressive playoff turnaround

In one of the more stunning outcomes in World Selects Invitationals history, the Czech Selects shocked the girls youth hockey world last week, winning the 14U championship. 

After the conclusion of pool play, the Czechs were fifth out of six teams in the standings, and it’s only regulation win was over the sixth-seeded Alps Selects. When the elimination rounds began, the Czechs needed a 2-0 win over Germany Selects in the quarterfinals. That win gave them a rematch with top-seeded Sweden Selects; a team that had beaten them 4-1 just three days earlier. The Swedes had dominated their way to the top spot, out-scoring opponents 26-3 in round-robin action. 

It was a tough semifinal, but a pair of goals from Alena Luxemburgová would change the tides in the rematch. That early offensive surge helped the Czechs knock off the No. 1 team 3-1 and advance to the gold medal game.

The stage was set for the Czechs to take on the No. 2-seeded Finland Selects; another team they lost to earlier in the tournament. Again, this rematch would be all about the Czechs as Merkéta Kafková scored four goals to lead the team to a 6-1 victory and WSI championship.

A pair of Finns Yenna Kolmonen and Julia Kuhta led round-robin action in scoring with 12 points and 10 points respectively. Eventual champion Aneta Florýková also had 10 points. Goaltender Wilma Hallbeck played 139 minutes of scoreless hockey and didn’t allow a single goal against until playoffs. France Selects Lysa Nogaretto had a .914 save percentage, stopping 53-of-58 shots.

It’s just the second time that the Czech Selects have won a girls WSI event and the first time since 2015. This tournament in particular is a unique accomplishment after the WSI had been on pause for the past two years. Circumstances surrounding COVID-19 and international travel had made such events virtually impossible to operate. However, in 2022, the situation was such that several European countries were able to travel in some capacity and the six-team event was able to go off without a hitch. 

The early success of this event — and the 12U Boys Elite event — is an encouraging step back towards normalcy regarding WSI. The World Selects Trophy in Nashville will feature 30 teams from eight different countries next week as well. Coupling all that together with the remaining slate of WSI events this month, and it adds up to a lot of progress for a series that was on hold for the better part of 24 months. After a full slate of tournaments this spring, the goal for 2023 will certainly be to have a full slate of teams in the competition, and the return of North American programs in European events.

Want more coverage of the World Selects Invitationals this spring? There’s seven events over the next two weeks, and WHH will have exclusive coverage of the top teams, players and champions. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube for the last news!

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Kings capture first U14 OHL Cup; Jr. Canadiens, Lakers win big at U15, U13

The Vaughan Kings did it first.

With a 8-1 victory over the York-Simcoe Express on Saturday afternoon, the Kings captured the first-ever U14 OHL Cup.

The new tournament — an expansion of the iconic U16 OHL Cup – featured 12 of the top U14 AAA teams in the province of Ontario, and it was played over the course of three days. 

The inaugural event was hosted by the Ontario Minor Hockey Association and played at Joshua’s Creek Arena in Oakville, Ontario. Here is a look at the teams that were invited:

“The OHL is proud to partner with the OMHA to present this exciting opportunity, and we look forward to an outstanding weekend of hockey in Oakville,” said OHL Commissioner David Branch prior to the event. “Occurring annually since 2003, the OHL Cup Showcase for U16 AAA players has included familiar names such as Connor McDavid, John Tavares and Steven Stamkos, in addition to countless players that have played in the OHL and gone on to pursue various careers with the use of their OHL Scholarship.

“The Ontario Hockey League is very proud to be a part of presenting a championship tournament of this magnitude to the U14 AAA category.”

The Kings, a team that entered the tournament as a heavy favorite after winning the GTHL, lived up to the hype, going 4-0-1 in tournament play en route to the title. 

“It’s a little surreal,” said Kings head coach Daniel Spivak, who worked alongside a pair of OHL alumni in assistants Justin DiBenedetto and Mark Cundari. “The boys came hard, and after two years of interrupted hockey seasons, this is awfully rewarding for our guys who never quit and kept putting in the work.

“All of these guys bought in,” Spivak continued. “As a coach, it’s all you can hope for. They pushed through, they never stopped and it’s remarkable.”

After opening play with a 2-2 tie against the London Jr. Knights, Vaughan rebounded with some dominating wins — 9-3 over the Oakville Rangers, 7-3 over the Middlesex Chiefs in the quarterfinals and 10-2 over the OMHA champion Peterborough Petes in the semifinals.

Caleb Malhotra, son of former NHL star Manny Malhotra, led the tournament in scoring with 13 points – five of which came in the final game. Ben Bowen, Jager Pain and Alessandro Di lorio all had 11 in the five games.

A Perfect Season For The Jr. Canadiens

The Toronto Jr. Canadiens just wrapped up an undefeated season with the U15 All-Ontario Championships title.

With an 8-0 run through the Ontario Hockey Federation playoffs, the Canadiens finished the season 50-0-4, dominating the competition en route to the U15AAA All-Ontario championship.

The Jr. Canadiens out-scored the competition 48-8 in those eight games; they logged four shutouts during the timeframe.

Chase Yanni and Nico Addy led the team in scoring with 15 points apiece, while Jake O’Brien had 13 and Simon Wang had 11.

Twins Nico and Alex Armellin split the time between the pipes for the Jr. Canadiens, both winning four games apiece. Nico Finished with a .944 save percentage, and Alex had a .934 mark; both recorded 1.00 goals-against averages and two shutouts. 

Yanni was presented with the top scorer award at the conclusion of the tournament; Halton Hurricanes blueliner Casey Bridgewater was named top defenseman and the Elgin-Middlesex ChiefsMatthew Koprowski was named most-sportsmanlike. 

Huron-Perth captures U13AAA All-Ontario title

At the U13 level, it was the Huron-Perth Lakers emerging victorious.

The Lakers topped the Don Mills Flyers 3-2 in the title game to secure the U15AAA All-Ontario championship.

It was some sweet revenge for Huron-Perth, after Don Mills had prevailed 6-3 in the preliminary round.  That was one of two losses in the playoffs for Huron-Perth, as they also had to overcome a 6-5 loss to Ottawa Valley to earn their spot in the elimination round.

Lyndon Cabral led the Lakers in scoring with 15 points in the eight games; Kane Barch was just behind with 13. Maddyx Chaput posted nine, while Clark deBoer and Hudsyn Chaput both finished with eight.

Vaughn Barr played in seven of the eight games between the pipes, logging a 3.50 goals-against average and .840 save percentage. Andrew Menlove played in two contests, as well.

The All-Ontario championships effectively mark the conclusion to the 2021-22 winter season. Attention now shifts to the “off-season” — a phrase used lightly in AAA circles, as showcase season, selects teams, tours and tryouts are right around the corner for many high-end players.

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Uplandia Trophy and Resport Trophy host top-level European teams in season finale

Two iconic events marked the end of one season and the beginning of another in Europe. The U14 Uplandia Trophy and U13 Resport Trophy were hosted just outside of Stockholm, Sweden, welcoming 68 teams from nine different countries. These tournaments were a symbolic season-ending championship for many, as countries like Sweden and Finland do not have national tournaments at these age groups.

U14 Uplandia Trophy

Held in five different arenas just north of the capital city, 28 AAA-level teams were split up into two divisions, as well as a AA division of 16 teams. 

The top four teams from each of the AAA Divisions advanced to the playoffs. Täby HC went undefeated to earn the top seed, while Slovakia-based HC Slovan Bratislava earned the top seed in the other division. The rest of the eight-team playoffs were rounded out by Tappara Blue from Finland, and Nacka HK, Boo HC, SDE Hockey, AIK Hockey and HA74 from Sweden.

Täby continued its dominance in playoffs, knocking off the No. 8-seed AIK and No. 5-seed Nacka to get to the championship game. However, No. 6-seed SDE was able to pull off three straight upsets against Boo, Tappara Blue and ultimately, Täby in the finale to take home the hardware. 

Forward Viggo Bjӧrck led all scorers with eight goals and 27 points in eight games for Täby. His teammate Max Johannesen had 17 points in last year’s Report Trophy, and surpassed that performance with 24 points alongside Bjӧrck in this season’s tournament. Norway’s Niklas Aarm Olsen followed behind with 11 goals and 19 points in just six games for Vålerenga IF

Goaltending was exceptional as well over the weekend. Frode Wadstromer was in net for all seven of SDE’s tournament wins with a .950 save percentage and just 1.14 goals-against average. 

All participants qualified for playoffs — in a tiered format — with the top four from each division qualifying for the top tier, the next four in the second tier, and so one. While Täby won the top tier as the best of the best, Finland’s Pelicans won the tier-2 playoffs, while Norway’s Frisker Asker won the tier-3 playoffs and HV71 won a four-team tier-4 playoffs. 

U13 Resport Trophy

Just south of the nation’s capital, Resort featured 24 teams across AAA and AA Divisions. Both Kållered SK and Kiekko-Espoo Blues went undefeated in pool play of the top division, with Tappara Blue going 4-0-1 as well.  

Similar to Uplandia, all teams qualified for playoffs as well, with the top eight competing in the top tier and the bottom eight in the standings going onto the second-tier playoffs.

Kållered and Kiekko validated their top spots in the tournament, as both would roll through the first two rounds to collide in the championship game. The matchup lived up to the hype, as the two played to a 2-2 tie until Gustav Corneliusson scored the game-winning goal for Kållered.

Four of Corneliusson’s five points came in the elimination rounds to help his team to a championship. Teammates Wiggo Forsberg and Olle Willén led Kållered with 10 points apiece. Goaltender William Thegerstrӧm played arguably the biggest role in the championship run, winning all seven games and allowing just four goals against with a .965 save percentage. 

Finland’s Max Syrjäläinen led all skaters in scoring with 19 points in seven games for second-place Kiekko. Teammate Felix Wollsten factored in on a lot of the offense as well with a tournament-high 13 assists.

Kiekko-Espoo had good success in the tier-2 playoffs as well, as its EPS squad not only made the championship game, but also defeated Gӧta Traneberg 4-1 to win it. In the AA playoffs, Värmdӧ HC beat SDE Hockey 3-2 in the championship game. 

This year’s Resport Trophy and Uplandia Trophy — both operated by the team at World Hockey Group – Europe — featured teams from Sweden, Finland, Norway, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Latvia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania and Israel. The events serve as a bookend to the current season and a launching point into the next season for European teams. 

WHH has year-long coverage of the biggest events in youth hockey! Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube for more news and updates from around the world.

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States compete for bragging rights in unique spring hockey tournament

The second annual New England States Rivalry Challenge hosted roughly 185 athletes from four different states. Teams at the 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 birth years battled it out for state supremacy in this uniquely designed spring tournament that continues to grow in popularity. The tournament structure was a standard round robin, with the champions being whoever finished with the most points in the standings. With that, we’ve got winners and standouts from all four age groups, and who reigned supreme at this weekend’s NESRC.

2007 Division

Team Massachusetts dominated, as the age group graduated to the 16U division for the first time in the 2022-23 USA Hockey calendar. Michael Munroe led the team in scoring with 10 points in four games, while him and teammate Jake Tavares tied each other with seven goals apiece. Colvin Callahan also put up six goals of his own for Massachusetts, a team that scored 30 goals this weekend. 

While Team Massachusetts took the top spot with six points in the standings, Team New Hampshire did manage to hand Mass its only loss of the weekend with an 11-4 drubbing on Saturday night. Max Condon scored four of his six goals – and five of his seven points – for NH in their win over Massachusetts. His teammate, Carter Amico scored twice as many points as any other defensemen in the age group with six points. 

2008 Division

The Bay State sat at the top of the ’08 Division as well, but this team Massachusetts posted a perfect 3-0 record. This was the only age group with four teams in the field, and the Massachusetts offense was only outdone by its own defense. Ten different scorers accounted for 33 goals, while Stryker Connors and Devan Maloney allowed just five goals against. 

Cam MacPherson led all scorers with nine goals and 12 points, with teammate Aidan Fitzpatrick close behind with 10 points. Garrit Turcotte recorded a point in every game for Team New Hampshire, including a three-point game against New York and a four-point game against Vermont. 

2009 Division

Team Vermont and Team Massachusetts clashed in a best-of-three series in the ’09 Division. Peyton Albertson, Escher Briere and Cooper Browe scored four unanswered goals in the third period Friday afternoon to take Game 1 for Vermont, 5-1. The next two games provided plenty of back and forth, with each state picking up a win by just one goal. Game 2 featured four lead changes. Devin Conikos, Lucas Kumin and William Gutkoski scored, each time putting Team Massachusetts in front by a goal. However, every time Mass moved themselves out in front, Vermont quickly tied it up, before Albertson, Briere and Browe yet again mounted a third-period offensive to win 5-4. 

The third and final game featured an astonishing 17 goals, as Massachusetts got in the win column with a 9-8 victory. Defenseman Max Ludwar‘s hat trick for Vermont was one-upped by Gutkoski, who had a hat trick of his own. Duncan Vittrands and Devin Cokinos both had a pair of goals for Massachusetts as well to fuel the team to victory. 

2010 Division

In its home state, Team New Hampshire swept the best-of-three series with Team Vermont in the ’10 Division. Forwards Colton Bamberg, Brayden Gearin and C.J. Sawyer topped the charts in scoring with a combined 13 goals and 26 points. They propelled an offense that was plus-12 in scoring and wore down their opponent.

The score was probably not the biggest indicator of competition at this particular age group. Despite getting swept, Vermont opened the scoring in all three games, and held the lead on five separate occasions throughout those contests. Kuba Pavlik led his home state in scoring with four goals, and Zachary Mandigo followed close behind with three of his own. 

Still in the young stages of its history, the New England States Rivalry Challenge is a unique spring hockey tournament experience. Players can register individually to represent their respective home states or, gather a team of friends and compete as a group. The 2022 event featured teams from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont, but applicants from all 50 states are welcome, so long as there are enough participants to field a 15-player AAA-level roster. Want more info on next year’s NESRC and how you can represent your home state at the event? Fill out the form below!

New England States Rivalry Challenge
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2022 PeeWee Quebec Schedule Released, Set For May 9 Start Date

On Tuesday, tournament organizers behind the International Pee-Wee Quebec announced the full slate of scheduled games for the 61st annual event. It is a big day for the youth hockey world, as one of the most iconic tournaments in the game returns after a two-year hiatus. 

The event is typically hosted in February of every winter, however, much like many expected dates over the past two seasons, that has changed and changed again. PeeWee Quebec has been canceled, rescheduled, moved and everything in between over the last 24 months. Tournament general manager Patrick Dom was determined to make the 2022 tournament happen.

“We never came close to canceling, but it often happened that we wondered what we were doing there,” Dom told the Journal de Quebec at Tuesday’s press conference. “One thing is certain, I am now a Tetris champion. A large six-inch cube was passed through a small two-inch circle.”

No doubt, the logistics behind a tournament of this magnitude, with 130 teams from 13 different countries involves a lot of moving pieces. The pay off will certainly be worth the sleepless nights and countless hours invested into making this tournament run.

“When we decided at the beginning of January to put it back in May, if you knew the number of calls and emails we received from people who said to us, ‘Thank you so much for putting it back,’ Dom said. “When we said that we felt like pulling the plug, that’s what made us continue.”

When the event takes place in May, WHH will be on top of all the action with top teams, standout performers and much more from Quebec. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube for the latest news! 

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Black Bear Sports Group And USPHL Join To Form Mega Youth Hockey League

Some prominent entities in the United States’ east coast hockey community are joining forces.

It was announced this week that Black Bear Sports Group, the United States Premier Hockey League and the Tier-1 Hockey Federation are entering into a new collaboration for their youth hockey programs.

Teams of all ages from across Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania will now play in the THF-USPHL South Division (shortened to “THF South”). Meanwhile, 18U, 16U and 15O teams in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts will play in the USPHL-THF North Division (“USPHL North”), which will be administered by the THF. The youth teams of the USPHL North Member clubs will remain in their current leagues.

The two divisions discussed above will compete at season’s end for a USPHL Championship.

“Through our collaboration with the USPHL, the THF is now a one-of-a-kind organization in that we are the only group with clubs that operate from ‘cradle to college,’ from Mite through Midget at the youth level and every level of junior hockey developing players for NCAA Division-I, II and III schools,” said Murry N. Gunty, Founder and CEO of Black Bear Sports Group. “We are honored to collaborate with the USPHL and their member clubs, and look forward to building upon all of their successes to date.”

Tony Zasowski, previously the director of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL), has been named commissioner of the THF. Zasowski brings a wealth of experience to the new role, having led one of the largest youth hockey leagues in the U.S., in addition to his work with the NAHL Central Scouting, prospects tournaments and combines initiatives.

“I am excited to work with all of our member clubs in the THF and USPHL to build one of the top Tier-1 organizations in the country,” said Tony Zasowski, Commissioner of the THF. “We have an amazing group of operators that will support the growth and placement of all our hockey players to the highest levels.”

The Mercer Chiefs will also be purchasing a Tier-2 NCDC junior hockey franchise, and field a team in the 2022-23 season.

“The Mercer Chiefs have a long history of success at the youth level so we are thrilled to have them join us in the NCDC,” said Bob Turow, Commissioner of the USPHL. “We believe this association at the Midget and youth levels will strengthen both of our organizations.”

For more information regarding the latest youth hockey news from around the world, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube!

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The final push for Russian Hockey Federation District Championships

March is the final month of competition in all eight districts of the Russian Hockey Federation (FHR). Each district recognizes champions at each of the age groups between 2005 and 2011 birth years. District play spans throughout the entire season with a round-robin format in which teams played one another. The team with the most points in the standings after all games are completed would earn the title as champion of their respective district.

District champions of three oldest age groups – 2005, 2006 and 2007 – earn an automatic bid to the 2022 Championships of Russia, slated to begin in late April. This is a similar format to that of USA Hockey and its 12 districts. 

The FHR is broken up into nine districts across the country:

With district championships nearing their conclusions, first-place finishers will advance to their respective national tournaments. 

The 2006 age group will be the first to take the ice, when teams come together in St. Petersburg from April 28 to May 8. After that, the 2007s will compete in Sochi at the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics from May 14 – 24. The oldest group, the 2005s, will overlap a bit with the U15s as their tournament will run from May 16 – 26 in Chelyabinsk.

All three tournaments will follow a similar format to that of district championships. Teams will play a round-robin format schedule. The team with the most points in the standings at the end of the tournament will once again be crowned as national champion.

World Hockey Hub will have continued coverage of all three Russian national championships, featuring top players, highlights, recaps and more. Be sure to follow WHH on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube for the latest regarding Russia youth hockey.

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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. 

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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 FacebookInstagramTwitterTikTok and YouTube for the latest news and updates.

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