2014 NAPHL Champions crowned
The 2014 NAPHL Championship Series came to a close on Tuesday morning with two new Champions being crowned in each of the two Divisions. In the first morning game, the Omaha AAA Hockey Club won their first ever 18U Championship with a 4-1 win over the Esmark Stars. In the second morning game, the Lansing Capitals pulled off their second upset of the Omaha AAA Hockey Club in three days as they defeated Omaha 3-1 to win the 16U title. It is the first 16U Championship for Lansing. Omaha had only two regulation losses during the NAPHL regular season and playoffs and both were to Lansing.
Omaha AAA Hockey Club 4 vs. Esmark Stars 1 – The fireworks began early in the 18U Championship game as it took less than three minutes for Omaha to score. Tyler Doyle scored on the penalty shot after an Esmark player fell on the puck in the crease. Jonathan Dagnal would tie the game at 1-1 towards the end of the period in what would be the only Esmark goal. The difference in the game was a four minute stretch in the beginning of the 2nd period, in which Omaha scored their three remaining goals. Ryan Cagnoni scored an even-strength goal and Tyler Doyle and Nathan Medeiros added power play goals. Omaha ended up outshooting Esmark 24-14 in a very tight and defensive game. The Championship is the first for the Omaha 18U team, as the 16U team won the Championship last season. Justin Ketola made 13 saves in the win, while Brian Baker took the loss making 20 saves. Boxscore
Lansing Capitals 3 vs. Omaha AAA Hockey Club 1 – Lansing goalie Colt Hanks stole the show again as the 15-year-old netminder made 25 saves to shut the high-powered Omaha offense down and help the Capitals capture their first-ever NAPHL 16U title. Things looked good for Omaha early as Van Barr scored to give them a 1-0 lead. However, that was answered a minute later by Lansing’s Adam Goodsir, who beat Omaha goalie Darion Hanson with a nice backhanded shot. The momentum swung Lansing’s way after Hanks continued to shut the door on Omaha, Goodsir wound up a slap shot with the puck on edge that fluttered past Hanson for a 2-1 Lansing lead. Josh Kirsch added a power play goal two minutes later and Lansing held on for the 3-1 win and NAPHL Championship. Boxscore