Anchorage's Taylor Schwalbe will play for her second straight national hockey championship Sunday, and for that she can thank herself.
Schwalbe scored the game-winning goal midway through the second overtime Saturday, lifting Shattuck-St. Mary of Minnesota to a 3-2 win over Honey Baked of Michigan in the semifinals of the Tier II 19U girls USA Hockey Youth Nationals in Malborough, Mass.
Schwalbe and her teammates will play Assabet Valley of Massachusetts in Sunday's 9 a.m. ADT title game. Last year, Schwalbe helped Shattuck-St. Mary's, a boarding school in Fairibault, Minn., to the Tier I 16U girls national championship.
No Alaska team survived Saturday's quarterfinal and semifinal rounds at several national youth tournaments, although Clair Degeorge of Anchorage will play for Shattuck-St. Mary's in Sunday's Tier II 16U girls championship game in Marlborough.
The Southcentral Wolves, the only Alaska boys team to make it to the quarterfinals, were eliminateed from the Tier II 18U tournament in Wayne, N.J., and three girls teams were bounced from Tier II play in Amherst, N.Y.
In Wayne, N.J., the Wolves tumbled 6-1 in a quarterfinal game against the Ice Vault Bandits of New Jersey.
New Jersey led 4-0 when Paul Norris put Alaska on the scoreboard with a second-period power-play goal. William Hemmen and Craig Hayes assisted. Brandon Brown surrendered four goals against eight saves and Joe Chekan gave up two goals and had 11 saves for the Wolves.
In 14U girls play in Amherst, Team Alaska claimed a 3-0 quarterfinal victory but was shut out 6-0 in the semifinals.
Jayden Trboyevich delivered two goals and Avery Dunn had two assists in the quarterfinal victory over CNY of New York. Trboyevich scored an unassisted goal in the first period and added a third-period strike that was assisted by Dunn, who also set up Emma Kaelke's second-period, short-handed goal.
Gabrielle Bagneschi stopped 13 shots, giving her 66 saves on 67 shots in four games for Alaska. Her streak ended in the semifinals, where Assabet scored six times on 22 shots in a 6-0 semifinal win.
Alaska fired 16 shots on goal.
Also in Amherst, the Kenai Peninsula Hockey Association's girls ended their run in the 16U tournament with a 4-1 quarterfinal loss to Charles River of Massachusetts.
Charles River led 4-0 after two periods, but Elizabeth Cho's third-period shorthanded goal, assisted by Cheyenne Matson, saved the Alaskans from a shutout. Samantha Morse came up with 18 saves, but the winners scored twice on five power-play attempts.
In 19U quarterfinal play in Amherst, Team Alaska matched Chazy of New York shot for shot but was bounced 4-1 in a quarterfinal game. Kaitlyn Miknich's second-period goal made it 2-1, but Chazy pulled away with two goals in the third period.
Both teams fired 30 shots on goal. Alaska goalie Megan Hunt stopped 26 shots.
In Tier I girls play in Marlborough, Schwalbe and her teammates posted a 4-1 quarterfinal win over the Pride of Washington, D.C., before sneaking past Honey Baked in the double overtime semifinal.
Also in Marlborough, Degeorge scored her first goal of the 16U girls tournament to help Shattuck-St. Mary's into the championship game with a 4-0 semifinal win over the East Coast Wizards.
Degeorge, a defenseman, has one goal and one assist in five games. She and her teammates play for the national title Sunday at 7 a.m. ADT against Mid-Fairfield of Connecticut.
Anchorage Daily News