National title for local girls
Duo helps Alaska Allstars to victory in San Jose
Chugiak’s Kirsten Watts and Eagle River’s Jade Pandres recently helped the Alaska Allstars win the USA Hockey Tier II 14-U girls national championship in San Jose, Calif.
Watts scored both goals for Alaska in a 2-0 win over the Connecticut Ice Cats in the title game April 7. Watts racked up 10 points (six goals, four assists) to share the lead as the top point getter through three games of pool play. She finished the tournament as the team’s leading scorer with 15 points (11 goals, four assists) in six games.
With only 11 on the roster, including a goalie, winning a national title was a complete team effort, assistant coach Cristy Hickel said in an email.
“It really did take everyone to make this happen for the girls,” she wrote.
Winning a national title with such a small roster is quite an accomplishment, head coach Dean Trboyevich said.
“It’s one for the record books,” he said.
Hickel said the team trained with the Allstars’ 16-U and 19-U teams, which improved their passing, skating and shooting skills.
“The end result allowed the girls to believe they could skate with anyone,” Hickel wrote. “When we went to nationals, nothing intimidated them.
“We are very proud of them,” she wrote.