Arizona Rubber

Arizona’s and New Mexico’s Authoritative Voice of Hockey

Eight champions crowned as IHAAZ starts 2023 season with exciting Tucson event


The 2023 IHAAZ season began in earnest over the Jan. 20-22 weekend in Tucson for the first tournament of the season.

Eight champions were crowned at the Tucson Indoor Sports Center as the Arizona Outlaws Black won at 8U, Arizona Jr. Wildcats at 10U, the Arizona Outlaws at 12U Gold, Prescott Roughriders at 12U Silver, TPH Knighthawks Blue at 14U Gold, Arizona Outlaws Maroon at 14U Silver, and the Yuma Blaze bringing home the 16U/18U Gold championship with the Northern AZ Yeti skating away with the 16U/18U Silver championship.

“For a season-opener event, this weekend had all the intensity of a state championship by the championship games,” said IHAAZ tournament director Nick Boyarsky. “Those teams that jump in later in the season to play aren’t going to know what hit them.”


Drake Madia popped three goals for the Outlaws (pictured above), who also got two goals each from Anthony Snitzer and Sibani Shabalala in the 8-7 championship game win over the Yuma Blaze.

Callum Hardy also scored and Bryson Weres stopped four shots in goal.

For the Blaze, Talon Ducharme scored five goals, Everett Jones the other two, and Colton Murphy made five saves between the pipes.

In round robin play, Madia led all players with 12 goals and 15 points while Weres collected three wins with a 4.00 goals-against average and a .600 save percentage. Murphy and the Arizona Outlaws Maroon’s Elias Beard each posted one shutout apiece.



Connor Hillegonds‘ three-goal, one-assist effort led the Jr. Wildcats past the Outlaws by a 10-2 count.

Ben Van Houten also scored three goals, Gia Alvarez notched a pair of goals, Isaac Closter went for a goal and an assist, and Kanoa Weir chipped in a goal as Ryland Scott finished with four saves in goal.

Easton Marquardt tallied both Outlaws’ goals and Wyatt Schaeffer stopped seven shots in net.

During the round robin, Hillegonds had eight goals and nine points, Marquardt and Alvarez four assists, and Scott recorded two wins, an 0.50 GAA, .917 save percentage, and the lone shutout.



The Outlaws were led by Evan Tzeng‘s hat trick in a 5-2 title victory over the Arizona Jr. Wildcats Gold team in the Gold title game.

Marcus Hancock and Aiden Grabner added goals and Gavin La Rose stopped 25 shots for the win.

Sam McCloud had a goal and an assist for the Jr. Wildcats, Henry Shoun scored the other, and Keoni Weir registered 28 saves.


In the Silver title game, Ryan Hovlid recorded three goals and an assist with Alec Bond adding two goals and two assists to pace the Roughriders to an 8-3 win over the Arizona Jr. Wildcats Silver.

Megan Bond chipped in a pair of goals and Oliver Bond scored once as Mason Hilton made four saves in goal.

Gavin Molina, of the Jr. Wildcats Gold, led the round robin with six goals and eight points, Grabner recorded five assists, and La Rose didn’t allow one goal while compiling a 0.00 GAA, a 1.000 save percentage and three shutouts while tying Weir with three wins.



In an all-TPH Knighthawks Gold final, Liam Bump collected three goals and an assist and Aidan Wise scored three as well as the TPH Knighthawks Blue squad doubled up the TPH Knighthawks Green team 8-4.

Owen Smailys went for a goal and two assists, JR Zaino also scored, and Brooklyn Waterhouse tacked on three assists to back Lennon Mikkan‘s 16 saves between the pipes.

For the TPH Green team, Landon Jans scored two goals, Ethan Uster and Sam Koch each posted a goal and an assist, and Maddox Marshall finished with 19 saves.


As for the Silver final, the Outlaws blanked the Jr. Wildcats as Gavin La Rose stopped all 19 shots he faced. Gavin Molina had a goal and an assist and Evan Tzeng and Keegan Sanguigni scored in the win.

London Simpson made 18 saves in goal for the Jr. Wildcats.

Koch ran the table in the round robin, leading the way with eight goals and eights assists for 16 points. Goalie-wise, Mikkan and Marshall each had a 2.00 GAA, Mikkan was tops with a .833 save percentage, Marshall had four wins, and La Rose and Simpson each nailed down a shutout.



Austin Estes led the way offensively for the Blaze, tallying five goals and an assist in the 8-3 Gold final over the Outlaws.

Trevor Dicori added a goal and two assists, Brandon Ott a goal plus a helper, and Matthew Boelts chipped in a single goal. Between the pipes, Jackson Gebhart turned aside 12 shots in the win.

Ryan Nicholas had a goal and an assist for the Outlaws to go along with single goals from Zayne Maragh and Jackson McCutcheon. Keegan Tinsdale stopped 20 shots in the loss.


The Silver final saw the Northern AZ Yetis edge the Serial Grillers 4-3 on the strength of two goals from Preston Pifer and 18 saves from Dallin McShane.

Quinn Bereson and Liam Smith also scored for the Yetis.

For the Serial Grillers, Austin McPherson netted a pair of goals, Damian Kostadina scored one, and Connor Blondel finished with a dozen saves in goal.

During round robin play, Estes posted 10 goals and tied with the Serial Grillers’ Eli Shulman with 11 points, while Ott notched six assists. In goal, Tinsdale had the lone shutout and Blondel had a .889 save percentage and a 2.00 GAA while tying with Tinsdale and McShane with a pair of victories.

In reflecting on the first event of 2023, Boyarsky said he is anxiously awaiting to see what’s next on the horizon for IHAAZ as the tournament season rolls on.

“It’s always a different look in IHAAZ early on when a majority of our teams are still trying to balance their ice hockey schedules with our events,” Boyarsky said. “Those teams that can make the earlier events will definitely come into the tail-end of the season with an advantage after watching the level of play in all five age groups and divisions.”

The next IHAAZ tournament is at Yuma’s Kennedy Memorial Park, running Feb. 10-12 with five divisions competing (8U, 10U, 12U, 14U, 18U).

“Yuma is always one of our most exciting and fun events with the outdoor setting and awesome barbecue the Blaze program offers,” said Boyarsky. “We anticipate some California teams will be making the trip out to Yuma, so it should be a good time.”

For more information, visit


— Matt Mackinder

(January 26, 2023)

Free Website Hit Counter
Free website hit counter