PRINCETON, XCALIBUR & CENTRAL PENN CROWNED 2017 JPIL CHAMPIONS.
The 6th Annual Junior Premier Indoor League (JPIL) ended on Saturday, February 25 with the crowing of the U14 Champion. The U16 & U19 Championship was held on February 11. Both Championships were held at the 422 Sportsplex in Pottstown, PA. Those in attendance witnessed intense competition throughout and some very thrilling finishes, including the U16 Championship decided in the last second of regulation time.
After six league dates of competitive Indoor hockey on a consistent and regular basis, all participating clubs were now ready to face any level of competition at the National Championship and be successful. Huge improvements can be seen by all participating Clubs and most, if not all, should be successful in competing at the various NIT. It is very commendable and is attributed to the commitment made by the players, parents and coaches alike.
In the U-14 Division, both Central Penn FH and Freedom HKY went undefeated in poll play, so it was no surprise to see them competing in the Championship game. With the first half ending at 4 – 4, Freedom took the early lead with a goal from Sarah Barker, her 4th of the game. But Central Penn, led by Emma Rosensteel with three goals of her own, scored three unanswered goals and took control of the game. They were crowned Championship with a close 7 – 5 victory. Although her team was the runner-up, Katie Fichtner of Freedom HKY was recognized and awarded the Dita Most Valuable Player award.
In the U16 and U19 Division, the questions each year on most people minds is can Xcalibur reclaim their dominance over the top indoor clubs in this league?
The day started off with the U-16 division. The semi-finals resulted with Xcalibur’s easy win over Shore Byrds FHC and Freedom HKY’s tough 4-2 win over H20. This was the first JPIL season for both Shore Byrds FHC and H2O who had very promising showings in pool play. And thus, the Final match up was secured as a rematch of the 2016 Finals between Freedom HKY and Xcalibur FHC.
From the sound of the whistle, Freedom was up for the challenge and was looking for revenge. Their performance was reflected in the 3 – 2 half time score. Freedom held on to this lead up until the 37 minute when Kailtyn Benton converted to tie the game. This game had all signs of headed to shoot-out as the seconds ticked away in the final minute with coaches urging on the players and parents on their feet shouting from the stands on every possession and opportunity. Xcalibur’s Sophia Gladieux was not about to let the game go into shoot-out and converted the winner with no time left on the clock. Xcalibur’s successfully defended their Crown and retain the Championship trophy. Gladieux was named the 2017 U16 Dita Most Valuable Player.
In the U19 Division, last year Champions Hudson Valley, were one point short of making the Semi-final and defending their Championship after placing 5th in Pool play.
In the first semi-finals Xcalibur FHC, again for the second year in a row, fell short of regaining the Championship. They came up against a very strong Princeton FHC who was participating in their first JPIL season. It was a very close match, but Princeton came away with a 3 – 1 victory.
In the second semi-finals, Freedom HKY, who went undefeated in pool play and was the odds on favorite to take home the Championship, came us against FSC and survived a very competitive and close game. They eventually and came away with a tough 4 – 2 victory to claim their spot in the final.
The stage was now set for the two top clubs who demonstrated their speed, skills and abilities all season long and was ranked 1 and 2 going into the Championship weekend.
Princeton took control early in the game with Sammy Popper, a member of the USA FH Junior Indoor team, converting her first goal of the game. She proved unstoppable, scoring all six of Princeton’s goals. The final score was 6 – 4, but is was a much closer game that could have gone Freedom’s way, had it not been for Lauren Hausheer the Princeton Goal Keeper.
Lauren was outstanding in goal, smothering Freedom offence, chance after chance and helped Princeton maintain their slight lead in the jaws of victory. Lauren was named 2017 U19 Dita Most Valuable Player for her outstanding performance in the cage.
Special Recognition was given to the following individuals who were each presented with a $150.00 Gift Certificate thanks to the generosity of our Award Sponsor, Dita USA.
- U-14 Most Valuable Player: Katie Fichtner, Freedom HKY
- U-14 Most League Goals: Tori Griffiths, Uprise FHC
- U-16 Most Valuable Player: Sophia Gladieus, Xcalibur FHC
- U-16 Most League Goals: Taylor Marchetti, H2O
- U-19 Most Valuable Player: Lauren Hausheer, Princeton FHC
- U-19 Most League Goals: Rachel Fleig, The Gaels FHC
With the NIT’s format of two periods of 20 minute the same as ours, 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.
The Umpire 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 our Award and Ball Sponsor, Dita USA, for seeing the need and value for such an event in the development of our kids, the sport and for agreeing to support 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 League Organizers, Rachael Bloemker and Nigel Traverso, we thank you for your hard work, commitment, support and cooperation in making this sixth year another successful one.
Congratulations to our 2017 Champions, Central Penn FHC (U-14), Xcalibur FHC (U-16) and Princeton 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.