The 2014-15 U18AA Penguins recently competed in the USA Hockey Nationals in Troy, Michigan. The post season proved as successful as the regular season. The Texas State Champions were awarded the Bronze Medal going 5-1 and out scoring their opponents 24-13.
Game 1 the Pens beat the Florida State Champion Gulf Coast Flames 7-3. Ryan Doucette and J.W. Kottonstette each pitched in 2 goals to lead the Penguins to 7 straight goals after falling behind 2-0.
Game 2 the Penguins beat the Maryland State Champions Howard Huskies 4-0. Defense was the name of the game as Goalie Jimmy Smith turned in his 11th shutout of the year. Connor Caldwell lit the lamp twice ,Cooper Loncar and Josh Mehr added the whip cream.
Game 3 featured an explosive outburst as the boys beat the Connecticut State Champions Southern Connecticut Stars 7-1. Scott Brownrigg continued his goal scoring ways as he added #38 and #39 to finish the season as the Pens leading goal scorer. Pitching in single tally’s were Dirty Bird leading scorer Connor Clay, Daniel Ford, Drew Flynn, and workhorse Reid Clayton. Austin Stryker threw in a big performance saving 18 of 19 shots.
Game 4 exhibited a marathon 3 overtime matchup vs. New Hampshire’s State Champion Nashua Panthers. Premiere corner man Drew Flynn ended the madness with 34 seconds left in the third overtime as he scored for the second time in the game. Cameron Bartkoski added the other 2 goals to move the boys to the Semi-finals. Jimmy Smith was spectacular in net with many acrobatic saves in Overtime(s).
The semifinal game vs. the very talented, and classy Team Ohio proved to be just too much hockey in one day. Forced by USA Hockey rules the game began 4 hours after the ending of the marathon. Josh Mehr and Reid Clayton got the birds on top after one. Too many penalties and too much Evan Krueger for team Ohio ended the dream. Exhaustion became too big of an opponent to overcome as Team Ohio behind Evan Krueger’s Hat Trick downed Dallas 6-2.
It is often said that all the stars must fall inline to become champions. On behalf of the U18AA’s we are appreciative of just how often the stars were with us.