IHAAZ wraps 2022 campaign with eight teams winning titles at State Finals event
The 2022 IHAAZ season culminated the weekend of June 10-12 with the annual State Finals event.
This year’s tournament was held at the new Wheelhouse Sports Complex in Prescott Valley.
Eight champions were crowned as the tournament proved to be the ultimate conclusion to a season that was the most competitive in years.
“This was truly one of the most ambitious events IHAAZ has tried to put on in the recent era of the series,” IHAAZ tournament director Nick Boyarsky said. “With the growth IHAAZ has seen, it would take two rinks to be able to really give teams the event they deserve. In all, with the five- and six-team divisions, every team got a chance to play each other, really making that championship team run the full gambit to get to the championship. In some cases, such as 18U AA with the AZ Chilis, teams were able to come back from the bottom of the pile and play their way through to a championship. Our format for the seven-team 10U division, with its parity challenges, also gave all the teams a chance to really play for something by splitting after round robin into two skill levels, which those teams all deserved.
“All in all, we saw some amazing roller hockey and some incredible games. The 12U, 14U A and 14U AA championship games were all incredibly exciting ones to watch. Our All-Star events, sponsored by our uniform provider True Threds, and our Skills Challenge, which was sponsored by Behind The Mask, was also a big hit and provided our media team with a ton of great scoring and goalie highlights which will trickle out in videos throughout the offseason.”
8U – Arizona Jr. Wildcats
In the title game, Ben Van Houten went for five goals and an assist in the Jr. Wildcats’ 10-2 win over the Outlaws.
Connor Hillegonds posted four goals, Connor Martell one goal, and Ryland Scott made seven saves in goal for the win.
For the Outlaws, Kallen Sanguigni scored both goals and Anthony Cunningham finished with nine saves between the pipes.
In the round robin portion of the tournament, Van Houten led the way with 14 goals and eight assists for 22 points, Hillegonds also had eight helpers, and in goal, Scott picked up five wins, three shutouts, a 1.20 goals-against average and a .739 save percentage.
10U A – Arizona Jr. Wildcats Blue
Van Houten kept up his offensive onslaught with four goals and two assists as the Jr. Wildcats Blue team doubled up the Juicers 8-4 to capture the championship.
Devin Peterson netted a pair of goals and Grayson Schlesinger added a goal plus an assist to go along with a goal off the stick of Mason Hillegonds. In goal, Scott stopped 16 shots for the win.
Sonny Pisellini scored twice for the Juicers, Jackson Weightman collected a goal and an assist, and Dominic Payne chipped in a goal. Silas Shiew made 16 saves in goal.
10U AA – Outlaws
Kale Pusateri’s three goals led the way for the Outlaws in a 6-4 win over the Jr. Wildcats Red team.
Aiden Grabner scored two goals and Daxon Parham contributed a goal and an assist with Dominic Tatone finishing with 11 saves.
The Jr. Wildcats were paced by Ryan Beutel’s three goals and Connor Hillegonds’ one tally as Keoni Weir made 19 saves between the pipes.
In the 10U round robin, Van Houten recorded 10 goals, five assists, and 15 points, Graber registered five assists, and Pusateri and the Jr. Wildcats Red’s Henry Shoun had 10 goals each. Tatone was the standout goalie, going for four wins, three shutouts, a 1.00 GAA and a .882 save percentage.
12U – Arizona Jr. Wildcats
The Jr. Wildcats continued their strong run with a 5-4 win over the Juicers to secure the title.
Riley Peterson popped two goals and Robby Skelly added a goal and an assist with Gavin Molina and Sam McCloud scoring one apiece. In goal, London Simpson turned aside 15 shots.
For the Juicers, Gino Pisellini scored a pair of goals, while Corbin Shafer and Gavin Payne had one goal apiece. Mason Smith fashioned a 16-save performance in net.
The round robin saw Grabner net nine goals, Gino Pisellini post 12 points, and the Storm’s Knox Silva chip in with five assists. Goalie-wise, Gavin LaRose of the Outlaws had two shutouts and a 2.75 GAA to go along with Smith’s .857 save percentage and Simpson and Smith each recording three victories.
14U A – Legion Light
Three different players – Gavin Nebeker, Aydan Nichols, and Zaden Cheslea – scored as the Legion Light defeated Cap’n Crunch 3-2.
Gavin Lopo made 12 saves in goal for the win.
Cap’n Crunch was led by Trevor Gordon’s goal and an assist and a goal from Aiden Lynch. Keegan Tinsdale finished with 12 saves between the pipes.
Gordon netted eight goals in the round robin while Nebeker had seven assists and 12 points. Lopo picked up three wins and a .877 save percentage and the Jr. Wildcats’ Antonio Bras-Taylor posted a 1.33 GAA as one of four goalies with a shutout, joining Lopo, Tinsdale and the Knighthawks Blue team’s Lennon Mikan.
14U AA – Outlaws
The Outlaws took a close 7-6 win over the Lucky Charms on the strength of three goals from Zayne Maragh. Eli Shulman piled up five assists, and Austin McPherson scored twice. Daniel Madia and Nick Nunez chipped in with goals as well as Jeremy Widders tallied nine saves in goal to gain the win.
For the Lucky Charms, Sam Borzone registered two goals and an assist. Ryan Nichols scored two goals of his own, and Tate Mickey had a goal and an assist and Justin Kaplan also scored. Joseph Toporowych made 17 saves in goal.
In round robin play, Shulman had 12 goals and 19 points, Nichols racked up nine assists, and Widders ran the table with four wins, a 3.25 GAA and a .806 save percentage.
18U A – Lucky Charms
Nooa Riecks was stellar in goal, stopping all 11 shots for a 5-0 shutout as the Lucky Charms claimed the championship over O’Faaz.
Jay Montgomery picked up the hat trick, while Jack Welch added a goal and two assists with Tyson Bradford also scoring in the win.
O’Faaz netminder Connor Blondel made 16 saves in goal.
During the round robin, the Jr. Wildcats’ Damian Kostadina and Nunez had six assists and 11 points. The Yetis’ Riley D’Antonio also collected 11 points and seven goals. Maragh and Josef Bauer from O’Faaz also scored seven times. Blondel posted a 2.50 GAA and a .870 save percentage while joining Widders, Riecks and the Yetis’ Dallin McShane in earning two wins.
18U AA – AZ Chilis (pictured top)
Brandon Gorzynski potted five goals as the Chilis knocked off the Desert Scorpions 8-3 for the championship.
Mason Knaffla added two goals and an assist while Carson Kamin scored and Jake Spraetz and Borzone each tallied two assists to back Lincoln Miele’s nine saves between the pipes.
Shulman had a goal and an assist for the Scorpions, Sheldon Wilson and Luke Parker scored, and Aiden Biswanger made 11 saves in goal.
In the round robin portion, Marcello Lane of the Oops All Berries recorded 11 goals and 18 points, the Yuma Blaze’s Justin Vandeberg added 11 goals of his own, and Yuma’s Austin Estes chipped in with 10 assists. In goal, the Blaze’s Jackson Gebhart had three wins – along with Lopo – and a 4.75 GAA and a .667 save percentage.
In addition to the games, several players took home awards as part of the Behind The Mask Skills Challenge event at State Finals.
Fastest Skater – Kerby Wofford, Yuma Blaze Black
Goalie – Ryland Scott, Arizona Jr. Wildcats
Sniper – Ben Van Houten, Arizona Jr. Wildcats
Fastest Skater – Brayden Waychoff, Arizona Jr. Wildcats Red
Goalie – Brayden Barnes, Knighthawks
Sniper – Devin Peterson, Arizona Jr. Wildcats Blue
Fastest Skater – Sam McCloud, Arizona Jr. Wildcats
Goalie – London Simpson, Arizona Jr. Wildcats
Sniper – Gino Pisellini, Juicers
Fastest Skater – Nolan Wilde, Arizona Jr. Wildcats
Goalie – Gavin Lopo, Legion Light
Sniper – Zaden Cheslea, Legion Light
Fastest Skater – Daniel Madia, Outlaws
Goalie – Max Brodeur, Venom
Sniper – Sam Koch, Knighthawks
Fastest Skater – Wyatt Duncan, O’Faaz
Goalie – Connor Blondel, O’Faaz
Sniper- Blake Jankunas, O’Faaz
Fastest Skater – Jake Spraetz, AZ Chilis
Goalie – Jackson Gebhart, Yuma Blaze
Sniper – Reid Morich, Thunder
“It will be hard to top the 2022 season, with its record number of teams and highly competitive divisions,” said Boyarsky. “One thing is for sure, the more players that join IHAAZ, the more players get brought in the next season to share in the fun, so next year could prove to be even larger. For now, we’ll take a well-deserved 3-4 months off as many of these players head off to other regional and national roller hockey events this summer.”
For more information, visit IHAAZ.com.
— Matt Mackinder
(June 16, 2022)