California AAA 06’s Went to Pittsburgh to Play the Best and Went 7-1-3

“To be the best you have to play the best”

This weekend two of the best 2006 AAA teams in the country, both from Southern California,  flew across the country to play in the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite 2018 Mid-Winter Classic. Both teams knew that the competition would be fierce as their division had the the number 1, 4, 5 ,6, 7, 11, 12 and 13 ranked teams in the country playing…that is one heck of a weekend right before Christmas. Both the Jr Ducks (#7) and Jr Kings (#6) proved why California Hockey should be taken seriously.

The Jr Ducks went 2-1-2 with their only loss coming against the #1 ranked team in the country, the NJ Colonials. The Jr Ducks tied both the Nationals (#4) and Penguins (#5) to start off the tournament. Then beat Virtua and Alliance (#13) on the second day to finish first in their bracket and head to the semi’s where they lost to the #1 ranked Colonials. Being the ultra competitive team that they are, they fell short of their goal but will definitely grow from this experience.

The Jr Kings went 5-0-1, which included 2 wins against the Colonials, who they met in the finals.  Along with the wins over New Jersey the Jr Kings tied Team Illinois (#12) and beat Alliance (#13), Avalanche, and Team Maryland (#11). The championship was an exciting, nail-biter, of a game that went to a shoot-out, which forward Colin Frank won with a killer deke.

Both the Jr Kings and Jr Ducks, who will see their rankings go up, will face each other in 2 weeks at the new rink down in Irvine. That will be a game to watch.