The Oakland Jr. Grizzlies are national champs.
With a 2-1 overtime victory over Chesterfield Falcons (Missouri), the OJG squad has won the 2016 USA Hockey National Championship at the 16U Tier II 3A age bracket.
“I feel really proud for my kids for sure, they earned it no question,” said head coach Jason Selleke. “That was the toughest tournament we played in all year, all good teams.”
Mike Ellis buried a pass from Jacob Helzer with 7 minutes remaining in overtime to give his team a national title victory.
“Honestly, I was gonna try to compose myself, act like I’ve been there before, but once that buzzer went, the emotions were so high, I think everyone jumped into each other’s arms and it was just jubilation,” Selleke said. “I can’t describe it.”
Trevor LaBash scored the Grizzlies’ lone goal in regulation, recording an unassisted marker in the first period, while Brendan Gillhooley stopped 36 of the 37 shots sent his way to lead his team to victory between the pipes.
“We played structured, hard work obviously and team hockey all the way through, the whole weekend,” Selleke said.
“Our goaltender played exceptional all tournament long, rotated them the whole weekend and they both had terrific weekends. The rest was a total team effort. Everyone did their job out there and that’s what makes us successful.”
Stay tuned for more…