The 7th Annual Junior Premier Indoor League (JPIL) ended on Saturday, February 17 with the crowning of the U16 & U19 Champions at the 422 Sportsplex in Pottstown, PA. The U14 Championship was held on Saturday, February 10 at the Camp Hill Sports Center in Camp Hill, PA. The competition was close in all the divisions’ finals with no clear winners in each of the first halves.
After six league dates of competitive Indoor hockey on a consistent and regular basis, all participating clubs were now ready to face competition at the National Indoor Tournament and be successful. Huge improvements can be seen by all participating Clubs and 95% of teams participating in JPIL qualified and competed at the various NIT’s. It is very commendable and is attributed to the commitment made by the players, parents, and coaches alike.
In the U-14 Division, both Freedom HKY and Shore Byrds FHC went undefeated in pool play, so it was no surprise to see them competing in the Championship game. With the first half ending at 0-1, Freedom took the lead with a goal from Daniela Mendez-Trandler, her eighth of the season. Shore Byrds, led by Maci Bradford with two goals of her own, scored four goals in the second half to take control of the game. Freedom HKY scored one more by Cameron Medinger in the last minute of play, but it was not enough and Shore Byrds finished with a 4-2 victory. Shore Byrds were crowned JPIL U14 Champions with added bonuses of Player of the Tournament, Josie Holloman, and Top Goal Scorer, Maci Bradford.
The U16 and U19 Championship weekend began with only one team undefeated across both divisions: Xcalibur FHC in the U16’s. With no clear favorite in each division otherwise, everyone was vying for the 2018 JPIL Championship title.
The U16’s were the first semifinals of the day with undefeated Xcalibur facing off a resilient FSC, while Uprise FHC took on Shore Byrds FHC. Uprise were the first team to tally any goals with Alayna Burns and Elise Pettisani both finding the net in the first half making the game 2-0 at the half time buzzer. Things were much closer on the other court as both Xcalibur and FSC held each other to scoreless at half time. Things quickly heated up in the second halves as Uprise extended their lead to 3-0 with a goal from Julia Gatelein in the 25th minute of play. Shore Byrds fought hard in an attempt to tie the game with goals from Morgan Bradford and Julianna Holland but fell short to end the game at 3-2 for Uprise.
Things were no different on the other court as Xcalibur and FSC vied for the other spot in the final. Aubrey Semler scored on a penalty corner for Xcalibur to put the first goal on the board in the 27th minute. FSC retaliated with a field goal from Allison Gallant just 3 minutes later to tie the game at 1-1. Xcalibur did not let up and scored two quick goals in the 35th minute from Julia Lamb and Carlie Servis respectively. Carlie Servis found the net again just a minute later and Reagan Underwood sealed the victory with a penalty stroke, bringing the final score to 5-1.
The final was now set with undefeated Xcalibur and Uprise taking the court. Uprise was the first to score with a quick field goal from Alayna Burns, her 17th of the season. Xcalibur equalized in the 7th minute from Carlie Servis, with another from Emma O’Neill in the same minute to make the score 2-1 for Xcalibur. Uprise’s Amanda Middleman tied the game shortly after with another field goal, making the score 2-2. Xcalibur would not let the half end that way as O’Neill scored another in the 19th minute while Aubrey Semler tallied another during a penalty corner at the end of the half to make the score 4-2 going into the break. Xcalibur did not let up in the second half, scoring three from Reagan Underwood, Jacey Wittel, and another from Aubrey Semler. Xcalibur claimed the title of 2018 U16 JPIL as repeat Champions with a 7-2 win.
The U19’s semifinals were just as exciting with H2O taking on FSC, while Vipers FHC took on Xcalibur FHC. H2O was the only team in the U19 semifinals with zero losses in pool play with just one draw, that draw being to their semifinal opponent FSC. With bragging rights and a spot in the championship game on the line, this game was bound to not disappoint. FSC opened the scoring with four unanswered goals leading them 4-0 shortly before half time. However, Rachel Borzymowski of H2O had something to say about that. She tallied two successive field goals in the 19th minute to bring H2O back into the fight just before the half. Clinging to the hope Borzymowski had sparked, H20 came out after the half time and quickly scored another from Annie Keele to bring the score to 4-3 with FSC still holding the lead. FSC’s early goal scorers upped their game that and each tallied another goal. Alivia Klopp, Brianna O’Donnell, and Cailyn Amsden each scored a second time to widen the gap to 7-3. H2O’s Sydney Beck tried to rally her team with a penalty corner goal, making it 7-4. FSC’s Olivia Fitzgerald would not be left out of the two-goal party and scored her second of the game in overtime penalty stroke to end the game at 8-4 for FSC.
The final was set for the U19’s now with FSC facing Xcalibur. Xcalibur would look to take home both U16 and U19 trophies this year. Could they pull it off or would FSC be able to claim the title?
Xcalibur came out strong and held FSC scoreless at the half while tallying three of their own from Olivia Trace, Ellie McIntyre, and Shannon Lackey to make the score 3-0. FSC rallied in the second half and scored twice off field goals from Alivia Klopp and Sydney Borneman to narrow the score line to 3-2. Tensions were high, and play was frantic as FSC attempted to tie the score to send the game into overtime but could not muster it. Annie Walsh of Xcalibur sealed the game for her team with a penalty corner in the dying seconds of play to claim dual 2018 U19 and U16 JPIL Championships.
Special Recognition was given to the following individuals who were each presented with a $150.00 Gift Certificate thanks to the generosity of Award Sponsor, Dita USA.
U-14 Most Valuable Player: Jose Holloman, Shore Byrds FHC
U-14 Most League Goals: Maci Bradford, Shore Byrds FHC
U-16 Most Valuable Player: Reagan Underwood, Xcalibur FHC
U-16 Most League Goals: Sophia Gladieux, Xcalibur FHC
U-19 Most Valuable Player: Katelyn Crist, Xcalibur FHC
U-19 Most League Goals: Rachel Fleig, The Gaels FHC
With the NIT’s format of two periods of 20 minutes the same as JPIL, all the JPIL participants were well prepared and ready to compete at this final competition of the indoor season. The NIT results reflects the hard work and preparation put in by all the participating clubs.
The present and continued success of this League is not possible without the support of others who we would like to recognize.
Director of Umpiring, Wendy Stewart along with her Umpires Managers, Dean Wenrich and Fran Corl, and all the dedicated Umpires. We appreciate your commitment and support for this event and hope you will continue to make yourselves available.
Technical Director, Lurah Hess and her Technical Officials, including the parents who provided technical assistance as Judges by keeping the games running on time with accurate results reporting. We thank you all!
We also want to give recognition to the university coaches who took the time to be present and hope that you all were pleased with the level of competition.
Last, but not least, many thanks to Award and Ball Sponsor, Dita USA, for seeing the need and value for league play in the development of our youth and, the sport of indoor by supporting this event. Please reciprocate appreciation for their support of Junior Premier Hockey by visiting the Dita booth at all the National events or visiting online, ditausa.com.
On behalf of the JPH Directors, Rachael Bloemker and Nigel Traverso, we thank you for your hard work, commitment, support, and cooperation in making this seventh year another successful one.
Congratulations to our 2018 Champions, Shore Byrds (U-14), Xcalibur FHC (U-16), and Xcalibur FHC (U-19) and to all the Clubs for your participation!
We are looking for a Title Sponsor for this event to cover the period from 2018 – 2020. If you or anyone you know who may be interested, please contact us at your earliest.