Guilford, CT (April 13, 2017) — The U14 Black (AA) Shoreline Sharks girls’ hockey team won the USA Hockey’s 2017 Tier II National Championship. Undefeated in State, Regional and now, National tournament play, the Sharks earned the title by beating the Wisconsin Black Cats 2 – 0 in a competitive game on Monday at the Troy Sports Center in Troy, Michigan.
“It was a phenomenal tournament run, I am proud of what the girls accomplished,” said Head Coach Ed Rodham. “We played and beat teams from Alaska, Michigan, Colorado, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Wisconsin to win the championship title. The dedication of our players and their countless hours of practice paid off. We headed into the tournament undefeated in our last 20 games of the season, giving us the powerful momentum needed to win the USA Hockey National Championship.”
The Sharks became the 16th team from Connecticut to win a National girls title since the championship tournament started in 1978.
The overall season was strong for the Sharks with a 43-11-10 record and the constancy of a top 10 national ranking according to myhockeyrankings.com. The team competed in the Connecticut Hockey Conference (CHC), winning the state Championship in early March. They advanced to the USA Hockey Regional Tournament in Augusta, Maine in mid-March. The Sharks defeated the Casco Bay Mariners 3-1 in the finals.
“From the moment I saw these girls play together at tryouts last year, I knew there was a powerful combination of talent and chemistry,” commented Rodham. “We added 7 new players last fall who were immediately welcomed, making the transition to a new team seamless. The camaraderie with this group of players is the best I have seen in all of my years of coaching.”
With the National title under their belts, the players will continue to skate and train through the summer, further developing skills and game play for the 2017-2018 season. A large number girls move up to U16 next year which will provide the Sharks with strong teams at multiple age levels.
The Sharks organization is expanding the program by adding national tournament bound teams at the U16 and U19 levels and select participation in the competitive New England Girls Hockey League (NEGHL).