Five Anaheim Jr. Ducks teams finished with winning records at the NHL Youth Cup West weekend on Jan. 2-5, headlined by the 2010 and 2005 birth years winning their respective divisions.
The NHL Youth Cup provides NHL-affiliated AAA youth hockey clubs an opportunity to play a weekend series of games against each other for all birth years from 2005 through 2010.
The 2010 team, coached by Sandy Gasseau, went 6-0 at Great Park Ice, defeating Dallas 6-2 in the final. The Jr. Ducks Squirt A3 team, playing out of Lakewood Ice, outscored its opponents by a 47-18 margin.
“It was very competitive tournament,” Gasseau said. "Our team likes to play good teams. They elevate their games. They look forward to the challenge.
“You might notice offense, but we’re getting stronger defensively. Our goalie Jack Urtel is outstanding. He’s a competitor. … It’s a good group, a very tight group. This team has been together entirely for two years but some of the players started together 4-5 years ago. It’s a fun team. They have a good foundation.”
Stellan Gasseau led the tournament with 19 points, including seven goals. Ryan Cleveland added 17 points (tournament-best nine goals) and Noah Rodriguez had 16 points (seven goals).
The 2005 team, coached by T.J. Miller, went 4-1 in Colorado. The 14U AAA team capped its weekend by defeating Nashville, 3-2, in a shootout at Magness Arena on the campus of the University of Denver.
Joshua Armbruster and Francois Devilliers scored shootout goals after Mason Miller and Jake Hultenius tallied in regulation. Miles Roberts, who had a 2.25 goals-against average for the tournament, made 18 saves in the finale. The victory over the Jr. Predators also avenged a round-robin loss.
Two other Jr. Ducks teams reached the championship games of their respective divisions.
The 2006 team went 4-2 at Great Park Ice, defeating Colorado, 3-2, in the semifinals. Coached by Darryl Tiveron, the 13U AAA team was led by Aidan Yi with nine points and Tyler Kedzo with eight.
Also at Great Park Ice, the 2008 team, coached by Eugene Kabanets, went 4-2 and defeated Colorado 9-2 in the semifinals. The 11U AAA team outscored their opponents 34-20. Brendan Russell (six goals) and Zane Torre (seven goals) each had 12 points.
And the 2009 teams went 3-1-1 in Colorado and defeated Arizona, 4-3, in the third-place game. Tanner Penn scored the game-winning goal on a power play during the third period to lift the Jr. Ducks. Kyler Cheung, Mason Moreland and Andrei Brataneau also scored. Daniel Greenbaum led the 2009s with nine points in the five games.