Eight teams bring home division titles from IHAAZ Yuma event in early February
The 2023 IHAAZ season continued over the Feb. 10-12 weekend in Yuma for the second tournament of the season.
Eight champions were crowned at the Kennedy Memorial Park as the Yuma Blaze Black won at 8U, Arizona Jr. Wildcats won 10U Gold and Konixx Tritons 10U Silver, Jr. Wildcats Gold at 12U, TPH Knighthawks Green at 14U Gold and Arizona Outlaws Black at 14U Silver, and Yuma Blaze at 16U/18U Gold and O’Faaz at 16U/18U Silver.
“The Yuma Blaze organization takes so much pride in hosting their IHAAZ event and like always, they provided a fun and welcoming atmosphere for our Arizona roller hockey community,” IHAAZ tournament director Nick Boyarsky said. “This year, we also got to host the Tritons teams from San Diego, which made the event even more exciting for our Arizona teams. It always takes the visiting teams a game or two to get used to the Yuma rink but once everyone settles in, the hockey gets pretty exciting.”
Talon Ducharme posted six goals in the final as the Blaze downed the Arizona Roughriders 11-3.
Everett Jones netted three goals and Collin Graham two goals and an assist to back Colton Murphy‘s eight saves in goal.
For the Roughriders, Micah Hilton scored all three goals and goaltender Oliver Hansen finished with 20 saves.
In round robin play, Hilton led all players with 14 points (all goals), while Cole Maschner of the TPH Knighthawks has four assists. Between the pipes, Murphy collected four wins, two shutouts, and a 1.50 GAA and Hansen recorded a .816 save percentage.
Ben Van Houten went for five goals as the Jr. Wildcats knocked off the Knighthawks 6-3 in the Gold final.
Connor Hillegonds added a goal and an assist and Ryland Scott earned the win in goal with 14 saves.
Carter Hardison netted a pair for the Knighthawks, Amelie Des Rosiers the other, and Brayden Barnes made 11 saves in goal.
The Tritons took home the Silver title with an 8-3 win over the Roughriders.
Gavin Germain registered three goals, Ryan Montanez two goals and an assist, and Maverick Wirt, Vincent Brooking, and Asher Klaff all had a goal and an assist apiece.
In goal, Wyatt Amos finished with 10 saves.
The Roughriders were led by Isaac Simpson‘s two goals. Juliette Bond added a goal and an assist, and Hansen stopped 20 shots in net.
During the round robin, Hardison led all players with nine goals and five assists for 14 points. Barnes was tops among goalies with a .900 save percentage and a 0.33 GAA. His two shutouts tied with Scott, as did his three wins.
The Jr. Wildcats (pictured top) took home the championship with an 8-2 victory over the Roughriders.
Sam McCloud had two goals and an assist, while Samantha Beutel and Drake Martell scored two goals each. Van Houten and Gia Alvarez scored one apiece, Henry Shoun chipped in four assists, and Gavin Molina tacked on three helpers.
Between the pipes, Keoni Weir collected 14 saves for the win.
Alec Bond and Megan Bond scored for the Roughriders, and Mason Hilton turned aside 24 shots in goal.
In round robin action, Molina led the way with nine goals and 10 assists for 19 points. Weir led the netminders with four wins, a 0.50 GAA, .889 save percentage, and two shutouts.
Two Knighthawks teams battled in the Gold finale, but it was Green over Blue by a 5-4 count.
Joey Lepore‘s three goals paced the offense, while Brayden Willis had two goals with Sam Koch, Jaden Perea and Landon Jans tacking on two assists each.
In goal, Maddox Marshal made 13 saves.
On the Blue side, Aidan Wise had two goals, Owen Smailys a goal and an assist, and JR Zaino the other goal.
Lennon Mikkan was sharp in kicking out 29 shots.
The Silver title game saw Antonio Bras-Taylor stop all 19 shots he faced as the Outlaws Black blanked the Outlaws Maroon 4-0.
Gavin Helvik, Cavin Ryder, Natalie Lipp, and Parker Kuntz all scored in the win.
For the Maroon squad, Gavin Larose made 10 saves in goal.
During the round robin, Jans posted nine goals, and Koch had nine assists and 15 points. Marshal was the top goaltender with four wins, a 0.75 GAA, and a .893 save percentage. Marshal tied with Mikkan with a pair of shutouts.
Brandon Ott‘s four goals and an assist lifted the Blaze to a 5-1 win over the Serial Grillers in the Gold championship game.
Trevor Dicori also scored and Gunnar Kershaw had two assists to back Jackson Gebhart‘s nine saves in goal.
Dominik Barber scored for the Grillers, and Nathan Graybill finished with 25 saves.
In the Silver finale, O’Fazz downed the Jr. Wildcats 5-4 as Nick Maffeo went for two goals and an assist and Kody Brunson scored two of his own. Blake Jankunas also scored in the win.
Zach Follo made 14 saves for the win in goal.
For the Jr. Wildcats, Ryder popped two goals, Aidan Blondel added a goal and two assists, and John Knott added a goal. TJ Rivera stopped 14 shots in goal.
During the Silver round robin, Brayden Hormann of the Oops All Berries had four assists and seven points, and the Roughriders’ Gavin Nebekber scored five goals. Rivera and Follo each recorded two wins and a 1.67 GAA, and Follo had a .906 save percentage.
On the Gold side, Barber collected seven assists and 13 points, while the Grillers’ Liam Wilde had seven goals. In goal, Blondel and Gebhart each posted two wins, Blondel a .863 save percentage, and Gebhart a 2.00 GAA and the only shutout.
The next IHAAZ event is scheduled for March 10-12 at the Peoria Sportsplex with another one the following weekend, March 17-19, at the Barney Family Sports Complex in Queen Creek.
“With the Arizona ice hockey season wrapping up, and teams from out of Arizona looking to come participate, IHAAZ is about to switch into high gear with multiple new teams and players jumping in,” Boyarsky said. “For the March and April events, we’ll be splitting weekends to meet demand and ensure we’re putting on the best events possible leading up to State Finals.”
For more information, visit www.IHAAZ.com.
— Matt Mackinder
(February 23, 2023)