All Stars U-14 boys, girls still in title chase

Two Alaska All Stars teams on Saturday advanced into Sunday title games in USA Hockey Tier II National Championship tournaments, and three other Alaska teams were eliminated in quarterfinal games.

The U-14 Tier II Alaska All Stars boys beat the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Komets 4-3 in a semifinal in the 2A division and advanced to a championship game Sunday against the Affton (Mo.) Americans.

Braden Brunnhoelzl racked two goals, including the game-winning strike in the third period to break a 3-3 tie. Landon Hill furnished the All Stars (4-0-0) one goal and one assist, Connor Orr generated a goal and Ronan Klancher made 23 saves.

The U-14 Tier Alaska All Stars girls (5-0-0) are also headed to a championship game Sunday after bagging two victories Saturday in San Jose.

The All Stars generated a 2-1 semifinal win over the St. Lawrence (N.Y.) Thunder on the strength of second-period goals 40 seconds apart from Hallie Whitmore and Kirsten Watts, and 22 saves from Vandalyn Hudson.

The All Stars rolled in their quarterfinal earlier Saturday, using two goals from Kirsten Watts and 18 saves from Hudson in a 5-1 victory over the Naperville (Ill.) Sabres.

Summer Charlie scored one goal and assisted on two others, and Jaden Trboyevich and Jade Pandres each contributed a goal.

The All Stars on Sunday face the Connecticut Ice Cats for the championship. Tier II is the second-highest level of American youth hockey, behind Tier I.

Tier I

U-19 girls -- The Alaska All Stars entered Saturday unbeaten in San Jose, but were derailed by HoneyBaked of Detroit, which held the All Stars in check on 11 power plays and eliminated Alaska, 5-0.

Andie Anastos, the daughter of Michigan State men's coach Tom Anastos, dinged the All Stars for four goals and Lexi Shaw stopped 16 shots.

Alaska goaltender Monica Elvin made 16 saves.

Tier II

U-18/1A boys -- The Alaska Wolves surrendered two goals in the opening four minutes and three total in the first period, then rebounded to cut the deficit to one goal in the second period before the Allen (Texas) Americans eliminated them 5-3 in Hartford, Conn.

The Wolves used second-period strikes from Josh Bosnjak and Solomon Mabry to pull within one goal, 3-2, in the second period of the quarterfinal game. Joel Tomuro's third-period goal, off the second of Gavin Lubin's pair of assists, again cut the deficit to one goal at 4-3.

Goaltender Nathan Wright came on in relief just four minutes into the game and stopped 22 of 24 shots to give his team a shot.

U-16/1A boys -- Jake Eubank kept up his wicked scoring with a couple of goals, but the Kenai Peninsula Hockey Association's Ice Hawks were eliminated, 6-2, by the Greensboro (N.C.) Stars in Troy, Mich.

Nathan Olena made 33 saves on a day the Hawks were outshot 39-19.

Eubank scored eight goals and 11 points in four tournament games.

Other Alaskans

Defenseman Truman Reed of Anchorage and the Tier I Shattuck-St. Mary's (Minn.) boys U-18 team racked a quarterfinal victory Saturday with a 2-1 overtime win against the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite.

Also, forward Taylor Schwalbe of Anchorage and the Tier I Shattuck-St. Mary's U-16 girls are headed to Sunday's championship game after winning twice Saturday in San Jose. The Sabres beat the New Jersey Colonials 1-0 in OT in the quarterfinals and backed that up with a 7-0 semifinal win over the Buffalo (N.Y.) Bisons.

Shattuck on Sunday plays the Assabet Valley (Mass.) Red.

Anchorage Daily News