Anchorage — The Los Angeles Junior Kings' U-14 club is on the march, one win away from a berth in USA Hockey's national championships.
The Kings on Saturday beat the Wenatchee (Wash.) Junior Wild, 10-0, in a semifinal at the Pacific District Tier I Championships at the Subway Sports Centre, continuing their domination.
Los Angeles (4-0-0) has outscored opponents 32-5.
The Kings on Sunday will play the Anaheim (Calif.) Junior Ducks (3-1-0) for the championship -- the Ducks advanced to the 9 a.m. final with a 3-2 semifinal victory over the Alaska All Stars. Anaheim is the only team to score against the Kings, falling 9-5 to Los Angeles in a game earlier Saturday.
Winners in the three age groups being contested at the Subway -- U-14s, U-16s and U-18s -- qualify for next month's national tournament in Pittsburgh. Tier I is the highest level of American youth hockey.
Los Angeles' U-14s prospered Saturday behind five goals and a helper from Dylan Strachan, two goals and two assists from Justin Driffill, and one goal and one assist from Kailer Yamamoto. Strachan owns 7-8--15 totals in four games and Yamamoto checks in with 10-4--14 totals.
Anaheim's Evan Gray generated the game-winning and game-tying goals in the semifinal win over the All Stars, who received a goal and an assist from both Adam Vandenbos and Payton McSharry. Gray has furnished the Ducks with 4-3--7 totals in four games.
The U-16 semifinals were in progress as the Daily News went to press.
The Alaska Junior Aces (2-1-0) and Los Angeles Junior Kings (2-0-1) will meet for the championship Sunday at 1:30 p.m. in a rematch of their overtime pool-play thriller Friday, when the Aces won on Lane Bauer's second power-play strike of the game.
The Aces finished pool play Saturday with a 4-3 loss to the Las Vegas Storm. Bauer scored two goals to give him 6-2--8 totals in three games.
The Kings rolled to a 5-1 win over the San Jose (Calif.) Junior Sharks on Saturday, courtesy of one goal and two assists by Thomas Plese, and goals from Paul Ramsey, Adam Lowe, Taylor Maruya and Dean Rhymer. Plese leads the Kings with 4-4--8 totals in three games.