The Dallas Penguins 14U Bantam Major AA team, coached by Ryan Pfeiffer, competed for the Tier 2 National Championship in Salt Lake City, UT – bringing home the Bronze Medal!
The team went undefeated in pool play scoring 18 goals and allowing none. They were the only team to post 3 shutouts in pool play, taking down state champions from Georgia (5-0), Vermont (7-0) and Washington (6-0). The Penguins advanced as the #1 seed in the NHL division to the quarterfinals on Sunday, March 30th.
The quarterfinals brought the Nashville Jr. Predators as the opponent, coached by former Dallas area coach, Jordan French. The game was close with Nashville scoring first, the Penguins coming back with two goals and Nashville tying it at 2-2. The Penguins scored again in the 3rd taking a 3-2 lead. Nashville pulled their goalie at 2:30 remaining in the game. The Penguins scored quickly making it 4-2 with an empty net goal. The Penguins scored again on the empty net with a final score of 5-2. The Penguins win advanced them to the Medal Round.
The next game was against the #4 ranked Tampa Scorpions. This was the most physical and fast paced game the Penguins faced. They held the Scorpions to a one goal lead ending the 1st period. The 2nd period was tough for the Penguins, giving up 3 more goals to be down 0-4. After the intermission, the Penguins came out swinging and fought back to a 2-4 score with just under 5 minutes remaining in the game. The Penguins fought to the end…but accepted the Bronze when the clock expired.
Overall the team had 25 goals scored by 9 players (Casey, Doucette, Harrison, Lane, Praysner, Skinner, Smith, Spearman and Sugasawara). Griffin Sugasawara posted a Hat Trick in the Nashville Game. Goalies had .938 and .929 save percentages.
The other season highlights included:
Champion – Texas State 14U Tier 2 Tournament
Champion – Dallas Stars Labor Day Shootout (undefeated)
Champion – Dallas Stars Travel Hockey League Regular Season (19-1 record)
Champion – Dallas Stars Travel Hockey League Playoffs (undefeated)
Finalist – Easton Invitational Tournament
Congratulations to the team and coaches for their hard work this season!
Also, the Penguins practice player, Bailey McKeon, made it to the Nationals quarterfinals with her Pittsburgh Penguins 16U Tier 1 Elite girls team. Congrats Bailey!