Monday, April 8, 2019
Plano, Texas – In all-out riveting finish the AA Vegas Jr Golden Knights 16u got a star performance from goalie Zackary Ortolano and a huge goal from Heath Mensch followed by OT/Shootout goals from Jacob Underhill, Ian Williams and Mensch again to give the Jr Golden Knights a 2-1 OT win over the Atlanta Jr Kings to win the USA Hockey AA 16U National Championship here today.
“Unbelievably so proud. These young men competed on the ice and showed a level of responsibility like no others. They believed in our system when it counted the most. We beat a strong Atlanta Kings program,’ said head coach Wally Lacroix of the AA Vegas Jr Golden Knights 16u.
Las Vegas battled in wars in every game here this week but this one counted the most.
Lacroix, voted as Best Youth Hockey coach in the Vegas Hockey Awards in December, added
“We played today an entire 17 minute overtime period,” Lacroix said. “Still tied, then we went to a five man shootout. Our goalie Zach Ortolano stood on his head during that time. We had incredible team effort from top to bottom.
“Ortolano has a high compete level. He tracked the puck great all weekend here.”
Vegas got an awesome game too from defenseman Trent Carter, a powerful d-man who is a smart, intelligent player with quickness. He was voted Best Defenseman by readers here on Vegas Hockey during the annual awards in late December.
“Trent had to adapt to a new role this season and he accepted the challenge. He is a great hockey player. The future is in his hands. The door will be knocking for this tremendous young athlete and we expect great things in the future for him,’ Lacroix said.
So what exactly is are the Jr Golden Knights bringing home?
“A banner, two trophies and a lot of swag,’ Lacroix said.
JR. VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS SKATERS
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|24||John Purdy II||0||0||0||0||0||0|
VEGAS JR GOLDEN KNIGHTS GOALIES
Plano, Texas – This is it – one of the biggest most exciting day in Las Vegas hockey history. The Wally Lacroix coached AA Las Vegas Jr Golden Knights 16u take on the Atlanta Jr Kings today for the USA Hockey National Championship. The Vegas Jr Golden Knights are unbeaten and have outscored teams 23-6 here to get to the gold medal game – but Atlanta, who they defeated earlier here – was the most challenging team to play. The AA Vegas Jr Golden Knights 16u team practices and play their home games at the SoBe Arena on North Rancho Drive.