Washington Little Capitals Peewee Major Team 2016-17
Congratulations to all the players that have been selected to the 16-17 team. More Details will follow.
Little Caps 14U and 15U teams headed to USA Hockey Nationals
The Washington Little Capitals are headed to the 2017 USA Hockey Tier I National Championships, after both 14U and 15U teams captured their Southeast District titles this weekend and earned their tickets to Scottsdale, Arizona.
It is the first time in five seasons that the Little Caps have made it to the national championships, and the first time in memory that the organization sent not one, but two teams.
They nearly sent four. The Little Caps put in dominant performances at the Southeast District playoffs in Huntsville, Alabama, with all four teams (14U, 15U, 16U and 18U) making it to the championship game, a first for the organization. The Little Caps teams combined for an 11-5 record over the course of the tournament and outscoring their opponents 54-35.
“To get to Sunday and have all your teams play, that was a good day for us,” said Little Caps Hockey Director Dan Jablonic. “It’s a great moment for our program. You can look back and say, all the hard work and the kids doing the right thing paid off.”
The 14U championship game was a nail-biting thriller, as the Caps faced a rematch with a Thunder Hockey team that beat them 3-1 in the round robin. Thunder dominated a good portion of the game, but goalie Lincoln Crosby put on an incredible performance to keep the Little Caps in it.
Down 2-1 with just 20 seconds left in the game, Brad Freyberger got the puck to Tyler Mercier who scored the equalizer – putting the game into sudden death.
Then, just 18 second into overtime, Brandon Davis scored to win the championship 3-2.
“They never gave up,” said Dan Jablonic, Little Caps Hockey director. “They showed what it means to be a Little Cap. Each player’s compete level, mental toughness and character propelled them to victory.”
The 15U team was undefeated in Rocket City, beating Team Maryland (3-2), Thunder Hockey (3-0) and the Carolina Jr. Hurricanes (6-3) in the round robin. In the championship game against the Hurricanes, the Little Caps out-chanced Carolina 18-9 and outshot them 34 to 25. Owen Morgan scored two goals while Michael Kramer and Reid Leibold added one apiece, for a 4-2 win.
“We are extremely proud of the entire Little Capitals organization,” AYHL commissioner Gene Palecco said. “We congratulate them on their accomplishment and we know that the Little Capitals will be great ambassadors for the AYHL at their national championship events.”
The U16 team battled hard in their championship game against the Tampa Scorpions, to whom they had lost 5-4 in a shootout in the round robin. The Caps were leading 2-1 with 13 minutes left, but could not hold off the Tampa onslaught in the final period, losing 5-2.
The U18 team was down 4-2 to the Tampa Scorpions in the third period, but fought back to tie it up 4-4 and force the game into overtime. It took two extra fames to decide the championship. Tampa finally broke the stalemate and scored in the second OT to seal the heartbreaking 5-4 defeat. “It could have gone either way,” Jablonic said. “Our goalie Jeremy Skaife played incredible game. The shots were 2-1 in their favor. He was fantastic.”
He said that best part of the weekend was seeing the camaraderie between the four Little Caps teams. “It was great to see all the kids from different teams pulling for each other,” he said. “We’re building a community here.”
“This will be a lifetime memory,” Jablonic says. “How many kids can say they went to nationals? Very few. They can count themselves among the best of the best.”
“This is also a great chance to showcase our program, and let people know what the Little Caps are all about,” he added. “Our philosophy of building a competitive program by focusing on long-term player development is working. We are growing in the right way, with teams that are more and more competitive every year at every level.”
Great day for WLC Teams as they all advance to the finals.
Check out the action here: GO little CAPS!
Former Little Cap Ryan Leibold has announced his commitment to play Division-I college hockey for the United States Military Academy at West Point. Ryan is currently playing for the Springfield Jr. Blues in the North American Hockey League, where he has tallied 11 goals and 15 assists in his first year in the league.
Last season Ryan played for the Little Caps 18U National Team in the NAHL’s youth affiliate the North American Prospects Hockey League, where he signed to play with Springfield.
Ryan’s commitment to development both on and off the ice led to his acceptance into this prestigious college, and demonstrates what it takes to accomplish something great. His remarkable achievement stands as an example for other Little Cap players to follow. For Ryan, the hard work has just begun. But he has shown he is up to the task.
Congratulations to Ryan and the entire Leibold family!