Release Date : 03/22/2017
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Atlantic Youth Hockey League is pleased to announce that the Washington Little Capitals won the 2017 Southeastern District Championship at 14U and 15-Pure to advance to the 2017 USA Hockey/Tier I National Championships.
The Little Capitals will join the North Jersey Avalanche (15-Pure, 16U, 18U) and the New Jersey Colonials (14U), in representing the AYHL at the National Championships. The tournaments are being held in Scottsdale, Arizona (14U, 15-Pure) and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, April 6-10.
“We are extremely proud of the entire Little Capitals organization,” AYHL commissioner Gene Palecco said. “We congratulate them on their accomplishment and we know that the Little Capitals, the Avalanche, and the Colonials, will be great ambassadors for the AYHL at their respective national championship events.”
At 14U, the Capitals edged Thunder Hockey in overtime to punch their ticket to nationals. Brandon Davis netted the game-winner just thirty-two seconds into the extra session. Trailing 2-1, Tyler Mercier tied the game for the Little Capitals with just 20 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime.
At 15U, the Little Caps used an early victory over Thunder Hockey in round-robin play to reach the finals, where the team defeated the Carolina Junior Hurricanes, 4-2, to reach the national tournament.
The program had an opportunity to send as many as four teams to the national championships as the organization’s teams at 16U and 18U also reached the Southeastern District Championship game. Both teams fell to the Tampa Scorpions, including a double-overtime setback at 18U. The organization would have been the first in the AYHL’s modern era league to send four teams to the Tier I nationals
USA Hockey has released the teams receiving automatic bids along with the teams receiving at-large births. Per the announcement on the USA Hockey 2017 Nationals Tournament page, the game schedules will be released ten days prior to the first day of the tournament (tentatively on or around Monday, March 27).
The Atlantic Youth Hockey League is the USA Hockey-sanctioned Tier I AAA youth hockey league of the Atlantic District. From Connecticut to Maryland, the AYHL’s membership is comprised of over 100 teams, representing four districts, and is spread across six playing divisions. The AYHL’s mission is to develop young players with competition, fun, and good sportsmanship, and move them on to the next phase of their hockey career. With a distinguished alumni list of players that spent a portion of their playing career in the AYHL, today’s players choose to play in the AYHL knowing that it is a proven stepping stone for those serious in their hockey pursuits.