Bantams crowned state champs

The Los Angeles Jr. Kings celebrated their third California Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) Tier I state championship of the season today after their Bantam Major team downed the Anaheim Jr. Ducks, 2-0, in the deciding game in its division at The Rinks-Lakewood Ice.

Yesterday, the Jr. Kings' 18U AAA and 16U AAA Major teams staked claim to state championships in their respective divisions.

For the Bantams, goaltender Rhett Bruckner stopped all 29 shots he faced against the Jr. Ducks, and Cam Ward (game-winner) and Cam Hausinger (shorthanded) connected for the goals.

“As a miniseries, it was three well-played games,” Jr. Kings coach Shawn Pitcher said. “This was playoff hockey; both teams needed everyone to show up because it wasn’t going to be easy."

All three clubs will advance to the Pacific District Regional Championship Tournament, which will be contested from March 6-9 at Sharks Ice-San Jose.

The top four teams in each division in CAHA regular-season play qualified for state playoffs (in the Bantam AAA division, the Jr. Sharks, who finished third in the regular season, earn an automatic bye to regionals as hosts), which for the second year in a row used a double-elimination format.

For more information on the Tier I state playoffs, including the complete schedule, visit CAHA.com.