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Arizona quartet takes in rewarding nationals experience

 

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For the four teams that traveled out of state for the USA Hockey Youth Nationals earlier this month, the experience playing on such a stage proved to be beneficial for all involved.

Jeremy Goltz’s Mission Arizona 18U AA Red squad went to Amherst, N.Y., and finished 0-3.

“Always a great experience to get to go to nationals,” said Goltz. “With our CSDHL affiliation, we played the toughest ranked schedule in all of the 2A division, which really helped us to prepare.”

The Jr. Coyotes’ 18U AA team (pictured) also ventured to Amherst and came home with a win and two losses, one in overtime.

Team manager Katherine Sarbacker was thrilled to see her team compete at the highest level.

“Our team had an amazing time at nationals,” said Sarbacker. “It was a great opportunity for our boys to build an even stronger bond and to see how working hard has its rewards.”

The Jr. Coyotes’ one victory in Amherst came against the Boise Hawks, a 5-1 win to open the event March 31.

The Arizona Hockey Union’s 14U Silver squad went to Charlotte, N.C., and picked up a 5-1 win over the Charleston Jr. Stingrays on April 1, in addition to a loss and overtime loss.

“We competed hard against the top competition from other states,” said AHU coach Jason Evahnenko. “Our team played well and we controlled our own destiny right down to the final goal of our last game. This experience is something the team can build on.”

Steve Sullivan’s Jr. Coyotes’ 16U squad took to Wayne , N.J., and finished 1-2, the one win a 4-1 win March 31 against the Fort Wayne Fury Elite.

“The positive on this team continues to be the character,” said Sullivan. “We only had 11 skaters and we were going up against teams that had four lines and our boys never gave up. Every one of the opposing coaches complimented our players for the effort they gave throughout the entire game. As coaches, we are very proud when we hear that because it’s a tribute to every one of these boys.”

— Matt Mackinder