Seven teams ready for Tier I state tournament

Seven 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. 6-8.

The No. 1-seeded Jr. Kings 18U AAA team (9-1-2 in CAHA play), coached by Jack Bowkus, will open its playdowns against the California Titans on Friday (Feb. 6) at 8:15 p.m.

In the 16U AAA Major division, the Bowkus-led Jr. Kings squad (13-2-3) - the No. 2 seed - will commence its state playoffs on Friday at 6:45 p.m. against Orange County Hockey Club.

Coach Igor Nikulin will lead the Jr. Kings 16U AAA Minor team into states beginning on Friday at 4:45 p.m. for a best-of-three series against the San Jose Jr. Sharks.

The Jr. Kings’ Bantam Major team (13-2), led by Jeff Turcotte, enter the state tournament as the No. 2 seed and will face off against Wildcats Hockey Club in its opening game on Friday at 3 p.m.

The Bantam Minor club, coached by Shawn Pitcher, will play a best-of-three series against the Jr. Sharks beginning on Friday at 4:30 p.m.

At the Pee Wee level, the Jamie Storr-coached Major team (7-5) will open playdowns as the No. 2 seed against the Golden State Elite Eagles on Friday at 1:15 p.m.

The Pee Wee Minor squad, led by Patrik Stefan, will begin states against the Anaheim Jr. Ducks on Friday at 1 p.m.

At the conclusion of states, the top two teams in the Midget 18U and Bantam Major brackets will advance to the Pacific District Regional Tournament, which will be contested from March 5-8 at Sharks Ice-San Jose (the Jr. Sharks have auto-bids to districts in the 18U and Bantam Major divisions and don't particpate at states). Only the top team in Midget 16U Major will advance to districts.

In the Midget 18U, 16U Major, Bantam Major and Pee Wee Major divisions, the top four teams in each division in CAHA regular-season play qualify for state playoffs, which for the third 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.