The Princeton Youth Hockey Association (PYHA) Tigers 18U AA season came to an end last week after two straight losses to Brick Hockey Club in the Atlantic District Championship Tournament, but despite the loss in Districts, the Tigers had much for which to be proud.
The Tigers finished their regular season in fourth place in their division with a record of 12-5-1. They entered the New Jersey Youth Hockey League (NJYHL) playoffs seeded seventh out of eight teams. The Tigers won their first playoff game against the second-seeded North Jersey Avalanche by a score of 3-2, and followed it up with a second round win, edging the Hollydell Hurricanes by a goal for the 2-1 victory. The Tigers then took on Brick in the final game of the playoffs winner’s bracket, losing 5-4, which forced them to face the winning team from the loser’s bracket, the North Jersey Avalanche. In their second showdown of the NJYHL playoffs, the Tigers were once again the victors by a one-point differential, winning 2-1.
The Tigers and Brick both advanced to the Atlantic District Championship Tournament, where they would face each other in a best of three series to determine which team would advance to the USA Hockey National Tournament, to be played in Lansing, Michigan in April. Brick had the home ice advantage in game one, defeating the Tigers in a 0-1 defensive battle. Game two was played in historic Baker Rink on the Princeton University campus the next night, where Brick found their offense early, scoring two goals in the first period and another two in the second period. The Tigers scored two in the third period, but it wasn’t enough to hold off Brick, who added an empty-netter to seal their 5-2 victory.
Pictured from left to right (front row): Griffin Ferrara, Shawn Camisa, Thomas Brake, Rey Rodriguez, Jack Mascali, George Mundy, Ryan Lisk, Liam Keenan, Coby Auslander, Mike Ricciardi (back row) Asst. Coach Lawrence Shannon, Brendon McCormick, Coach Adam Shemansky, Tyler Gallagher, Nick Palmer, Peter Shannon, Mike Hrudowsky, Robert Ducay, Jackson Devine, Jack Chapel, Asst. Coach Mundy and Asst. Coach Ricciardi
Princeton Youth Hockey Association (PYHA) is a member of USA Hockey and the New Jersey Youth Hockey League. PYHA is a Tier II travel hockey program fielding teams from Mite (U8) through Midget (U18), in addition to a learn-to-play-hockey program called Tiger Cubs that is designed for players between the ages of 4 and 7. PYHA is a non-profit, volunteer-based organization that is privileged to call historic Baker Rink at Princeton University its home rink.