The Kenai Peninsula Hockey Association Ice Hawks Squirt C team Sunday became the first Squirt C team from KPHA to win a state tournament.
In the championship game at the Tesoro Sports Centre Sunday, the team of 14 10- and 11-year-old boys and girls defeated the Anchorage Hockey Association Red Wings 6-5 in sudden-death overtime. In doing so, the Ice Hawks also avenged their only loss in the tournament.
The Ice Hawks were ahead 4-3 going into the final period, but the Red Wings scored two unanswered goals to take a 5-4 lead with just 3:12 left in the game. With just 37 seconds left in the game, Tony Miller scored on assists from Jenna Redford and Tyler Jensen to tie up the game. In overtime, Miller scored unassisted to wrap up the state title.
KPHA started the tournament with three round-robin games. Thursday, the Ice Hawks lost 6-5 to the Red Wings. Miller scored five goals in the game, while Sean Dougherty had one assist.
Friday, KPHA bounced back with a 4-1 victory over the Anchorage Boys and Girls Club Glacier Dogs with Miller scoring two unassisted goals, Dylan Hendricks scoring a goal with assists from Josh Harvey and Tyler Jensen, and John-Michael VinZant scoring a goal on an assist from Jenna Redford.
Saturday, the Ice Hawks finished up round-robin play with a 6-3 win against the Polar Ice. Dougherty scored on an assist from Miller, Scott Stanford scored on an assist from Redford, Colton Daugherty scored on an assist from Miller, and Miller had a hat trick on three unassisted goals.
Sunday morning, the Ice Hawks moved into bracket play and into the championship game by notching a 3-0 victory against the Mustang Hockey Association White Knights. Miller had a hat trick, with Jared Davis assisting on one of the goals. Matt Barrett had the shutout in the game, turning back all 14 shots he faced.
The team was coached by Brian Engen. Assistant coaches were Tom Dougherty and Bill Miller. In addition to all the scorers mentioned above, assistant captain Rian Jensen put in quality minutes at wing, while Spencer Walgenbach and Michel Carmichael did good work on defense.
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