The Alaska Blades Under-14 AAA team won a tournament championship from April 22 to 24 at the Chi-Town Shuffle in Chicago.
The Alaska Blades is a local hockey club which sends elite hockey players to a variety of spring and summer tournaments. The Chi-Town Shuffle bills itself as one of the top spring tournaments in North America. Alaska Blades played in the AAA division for 2008 birth years.
Head coach Jeremy Love said in an email his team started a little slow in winning 3-1 in the first game and 3-0 in the second game. Love said the team started to come together in winning the third game 8-4 to complete the round-robin portion of the tournament, finishing first in their division and grabbing the second overall seed for the quarterfinals.
In the quarterfinals, Alaska Blades had its closest game of the tournament, defeating the Junkyard Dogs of Chicago 2-1. In the semifinals, Alaska Blades defeated Top Gun of Chicago 9-2.
In the championship, Alaska Blades took on Mad Caps of Madison, Wisconsin. The local squad jumped ahead 7-1 before a Mad Caps comeback came up short in an 8-5 decision.
Alaska Blades goalie Drake Owens had 42 saves in the title game and was named tournament MVP for the division.
Love was assisted by Nate Anderson and Jimmy Terry.
In addition to Owens, members of the winning team are Cameron Anderson, Reed Bott, Colin Digel, Joey Dittrich, Ethan Frison, James “JC” Greenwood, Orion Hunter, Toby Jones, Rylan Kirby, Noah Matheson, Anthony Mayes, Sean Middleton, Draiden Mullican, Dawson Norene, Vance Schmidt, Zachary Seekins, Brady Shealy, Imari Snowden and Boston Weiland.