Jr. Kings open USA Hockey National Championships with three victories

Three Los Angeles Jr. Kings teams opened this year’s USA Hockey National Championships with victories today (Wednesday) in their respective divisions.

The Louis Pacella-coached 16U AAA Major team got off to a strong start with a 4-1 win over the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets.

Four different players lit the lamp for the Jr. Kings, with Kailer Yamamoto, Matthew Wiesner (game-winner) and Evan Johnson all striking for a goal and an assist. Between the pipes, goaltender Robert Jackson steered aside 19 shots.

The 16U AAA team will square off against Omaha AAA (1-0) on Day 2 of nationals at 8 a.m PST.

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The Bantam Major team, coached by Shawn Pitcher, opened nationals with a 4-2 victory over Michigan’s Oakland Jr. Grizzlies.

Cole Guttman connected for two goals in the win, and Cameron Hausinger and Jacob McGrew (game-winner) each added a goal and an assist. In goal, netminder Rhett Bruckner stopped 33 shots.

On Day 2, the Bantam Major club will take on the Syracuse Nationals (0-1) at 6 p.m.

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The Jr. Kings’ Bantam AA1 team, led by Brandon Convery, kicked off nationals with a 9-5 triumph over Hockey Club of Dallas.

Oscar Landry recorded a pair of goals and an assist in the victory, and Nickolai Gruzdev added two goals of his own. Dylan SanAgustin connected for four assists, and goaltender Griffin King turned back 36 shots.

The Bantam AA1 squad will face off against Connecticut's East Haven (0-1) on Day 2 of nationals at 7 a.m.

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The 18U AAA team fell to Michigan’s Victory Honda on Day 1, 5-2, and will play the Central Connecticut Capitals (1-0) in its secon game at 2 p.m.

Evan Weinger and Kyle Orgel notched the Jr. Kings goals in defeat.

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The program’s three participating Tier I teams - Midget 18U AAA, 16U AAA Major and Bantam Major - are vying for national titles in Green Bay, Wis., while the Bantam AA1 team is playing in Hackensack, N.J. Nationals will run through April 6.

Fans wishing to follow all the USA Hockey National Championships can do so online at Nationals.USAHockey.com and also via the new USA Hockey National Championships app, available for Android and iOS devices. The USA Hockey National Championships app is available in the Apple App Store and on Google Play.

USA Hockey, in conjunction with FASTHockey, will once again provide live streaming coverage of the USA Hockey National Championships, giving fans an opportunity to watch the excitement unfold on televisions, computers, tablets and smartphones.

Games will be offered on an individual pay-per-view basis, with live streaming video from each national championship venue.

In addition, DVDs of individual games will be offered at USAHockey.FASTHockey.com.

Fans can also follow all the action on Twitter at both @USAHockey and @USAHNationals.