The Shoreline Sharks U-14 Black girls’ ice hockey squad took the USA Hockey 2017 Tier II national title by posting a 2-0 win over the Wisconsin Black Cats in Troy, Michigan on April 10. Pictured from the Sharks are (front row) Claire Gavin (Durham), Meagan Spring (North Haven), Carina Mancini (Middlefield), Jenna Guglielmi (Branford), Lauren Mullally (New Haven), Katie Porrello (Milford), and Lucy Schumann (Stratford); (back row) Coach Joe Buccheri (Cromwell), Daniella Buccheri (Cromwell), McAllister Dixon (Woodbridge), Sophia Rodham (Madison), Melissa Montesi (North Haven), Juliana Constantinople (East Haven), Taylor Nowak (West Haven), Cecile Tobin (North Haven), Megan Froehlich (West Haven), Kate Hagness (Guilford), Coach Ed Rodham (Madison), and Abby Hart (Fairfield). (Photo courtesy of the Shoreline Sharks
The Shoreline Sharks U-14 Black (AA) girls’ ice hockey team recently won the USA Hockey 2017 Tier II national championship, with several local athletes contributing to the title. Going undefeated in state, regional, and national tournament play, the Sharks earned the championship by beating the Wisconsin Black Cats 2-0 in a competitive game on April 10 at the Troy Sports Center in Troy, Michigan.
The Sharks became the 16th team from Connecticut to win a national girls’ title since the championship tournament started in 1978.
“It was a phenomenal tournament run. I am proud of what the girls accomplished,” said Head Coach Ed Rodham. “We played and beat teams from Alaska, Michigan, Colorado, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin to win the championship title. The dedication of our players and their countless hours of practice paid off. We headed into the tournament undefeated in our last 20 games of the season, giving us the powerful momentum needed to win the USA Hockey national championship.”
The athletes who led the Sharks to their national title included Branford resident Jenna Guglielmi, East Haven resident Juliana Constantinople, Guilford’s Kate Hagness, Madison resident Sophia Rodham, and North Haven’s Meagan Spring, Cecile Tobin, and Melissa Montesi.
The other players on the squad were Cromwell’s Daniella Buccheri, Durham’s Claire Gavin, Fairfield resident Abby Hart, Middlefield resident Carina Mancini, Milford’s Katie Porrello, New Haven resident Lauren Mullally, Stratford resident Lucy Schumann, West Haven’s Taylor Nowak and Megan Froehlich, and Woodbridge resident McAllister Dixon.
Coach Rodham is a Madison resident and fellow coach Joe Buccheri is a Cromwell resident.
The overall season was a strong one for the Sharks as they compiled a 43-11-10 record with the constancy of a top-10 national ranking, according to www.myhockey.com. The team competed in the Connecticut Hockey Conference, winning the state championship in early March. They then advanced to the USA Hockey Regional Tournament in Augusta, Maine in mid-March. The Sharks defeated the Casco Bay Mariners 3-1 in the final.
“From the moment I saw these girls play together at tryouts last year, I knew there was a powerful combination of talent and chemistry,” said Coach Rodham. “We added seven new players last fall who were immediately welcomed, making the transition to a new team seamless. The camaraderie with this group of players is the best I have seen in all of my years of coaching.”
With the national title under their belts, the Sharks’ players will continue to skate and train through the summer, further developing their skills and game play for the 2017-’18 season. A large number of the girls will move up to the U-16 ranks next year, providing the Sharks with strong teams at multiple age levels.
The Sharks’ organization is looking to expand its program by adding national tournament caliber teams at the U-16 and U-19 levels, along with select participation in the competitive New England Girls Hockey League.
For more info on the Shoreline Sharks, visit www.shorelinesharkshockey.com.