By Coach Matt Johnson
When our Nevada Storm Bantam AA took the ice for their first game against the Bakersfield Dragons at the Toyota Center for their Labor tourney the game ended in a 7-1 blow out against and left our parents and coach wondering what they had gotten themselves into. Fast forward 6 and a half months and that same team was competing in the National Semi finals against Team Wyoming and would fall short the eventual U14 national champions, 4-3.
In between those 6 months the season was filled with great success. First, the team was able to claim a championship banner in the CAN/AM tourney held at our Ice Center. Only to be followed up with another banner at the New Years Eve Outdoor Tournament in Sacramento California and another championship banner obtained at the Ice Center by beating the Bakersfield Dragons in our Presidents Day Classic. Aside from the three banners the Bantam AA’s Reach the championship once more and had two semi final appearences bringing our season record to 32-17-5.
What was great about this team was that everyone pitched in. We had great goaltending all year from Luke Fundator and Blaze Katz. On defense we had a solid performances from John Hallett, Sammy Redoble, Seth Knudsen and Trent Carter. And up front our forwards, Hunter Barto, Braden LaPlaca, Joe Heinzelman, Tucker Norman, Joey Terrana, Noah McAnallen, R.C. Angelil, Jacob Underhill and Mick Corrigan, provided us with some clutch scoring, especially in shootouts, 5-0 in games that went into shootouts. Everyone pulled their weight.
Our biggest wins were against AHU in the CAN/AM Championship, OC Hockey Club in the Sacramento Championship, Bakersfield in the Presidents Day Championship, St. Louis Sharks, Mission AZ presidents day Semi Finals, NH Monarchs at Nationals.
At Nationals we played very well, from the net out. We had 1 win in regulation and 2 wins in a shoot out and our only loss was a 1 goal loss. We fell victim to numbers. When it comes down to it the other teams depth is what separated us from them. Our top line went toe to toe with theirs and their 2nd and 3rd line were just as good and when you don’t have three lines of equal ability it does wear you down. But everyone on the team fought until the end and I am proud as hell at the effort and success these boys achieved.
Barto, Laplaca, Terrana, Norman, Hallett, Knudsen, Redoble all move to 16U.