Five teams ready for Tier I states

Five Los Angeles Jr. Kings teams will vie for California Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) Tier I state championships this weekend when they square of against the rest of the state’s top AAA clubs at The Rinks-Lakewood Ice from Feb. 7-9.

The No. 1-seeded Jr. Kings’ 18U AAA team (9-3 in CAHA play), coached by Jack Bowkus, will open its playdowns against the California Titans on Friday (Feb. 7) at 11 a.m.

In the 16U AAA division, the Louis Pacella-coached Jr. Kings 1 squad (15-1), the No. 1 seed, will commence its state playoffs on Friday at 9 a.m. also against the Titans.

The Jr. Kings’ two Bantam AAA teams - No. 1-seeded Jr. Kings 1 (16-0), coached by Shawn Pitcher, and No. 4-seeded Jr. Kings 2 (6-7-3), led by Jeff Turcotte - will begin their runs at a state title when they square off against each other at 7:15 a.m. on Friday.

At the Pee Wee level, the Nelson Emerson-coached Jr. Kings (12-2-1) will open playdowns as the No. 2 seed against San Jose Jr. Sharks 1 on Friday at 7 a.m.

The winners of the 18U, 16U and 14U brackets will advance to the Pacific District Regional 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 qualify 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 will use a double-elimination format.

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