The 10th Annual Junior Premier Indoor League (JPIL) ended on Saturday, February 12 at the 422 Sportsplex in Pottstown, PA with the crowing of new U16 and U19 Champions. The U14 Championship was held on February 6 at the Indian Creek School in Crownsville, MD.
Those in attendance witnessed intense competition throughout the season and several highly contested matches on the final day. After six league dates of competitive indoor hockey, all participating clubs were well prepared for success at any level of competition at their upcoming National Indoor Tournaments (NITs). Huge improvements were seen from all participating Clubs. Their hard work is commendable and attributed to the commitment made by the players, parents, and coaches.
In a battle for bragging rights among their peers, the U14 Division Championship saw Central Penn Purple against Central Penn Black. In the end, Purple got the better of Black by a score of 6 – 3. Central Penn Purple was consistent each and every week, scoring an astonishing one-hundred-and-five (105) goals in eleven (11) matches. Alison Bechtel was the Dita’s Top Goal Scorer of the League with forty-one (41) goals and Jesse Ickes was awarded the Most Valuable Player Award.
In the U16 Division, Freedom HKY earned the opportunity to retain the Championship Trophy and exact revenge against SPark, who were the only team to defeat them during pool play. Both Clubs were ranked first and second respectively after pool play with Freedom suffering its only defeat at the hands of SPark and SPark suffering two loses. Who would reign supreme? Would Freedom HKY defend its 2020 Crown (2021 JPIL was cancelled due to COVID-19) or would SPark prevail in the only match that counts?
In this match of hometown rivals, SPark came out strong by scoring the first three goals and ending the half with a decent 3-0 lead. Two of the first three goals were off the stick of Dita’s Most Valuable Player Kylie Corcoran who helped lead her team to victory. Freedom began their way towards a comeback by scoring the next two goals of the game, however SPark wasn’t ready to give up. They responded with another four goals to end the match for a final score of 7 – 2 at the buzzer.
In the U19 Division, the first semi-final was the top-seeded and only undefeated team, Freedom HKY versus the fourth-ranked Alley Cats. Earlier in the season, Freedom beat Alley Cats with a close 3-1, and this semi-final proved to be just as exciting. Alley Cats came out early scoring the first two goals, but by half time Freedom had leveled it out 2-2. Over the next two quarters, Freedom pulled away with three more goals to Alley Cats’s one for a final score of 5-3. Freedom remained undefeated and moved to the Championship against the winner of the second semi-final.
Semi-final two saw the return of Xcalibur FHC, who had not seen the podium since 2019, against Central Penn FH, one of 2022’s hottest competitors throughout all JPIL divisions. In a highly contested match and a tie-score of 5-5, Xcalibur was awarded a penalty stroke in the final seconds of the game. Dita’s Top Goal Scorer with forty-eight (48) goals, Julia Bressler, stepped up and converted the goal to make it 6 – 5. Central Penn was unable to break through in the remaining seconds, paving the way for Xcalibur to the final match. Xcalibur, the five-time Champion, continued their hunt to reclaim their 2019 crown in this 10-year Anniversary edition of the league.
The Championship was set between two indoor powerhouses – Freedom HKY vs Xcalibur FHC.
The match began with a scoreless first quarter. In the second quarter the scoring began to open up, closing out the half with Xcalibur 2 and Freedom 1. At the start of the third quarter, Freedom HKY came out with aggression and determination to tie the game. Five minutes into the third period it was tied 2 – 2, but not for long. One-minute later Xcalibur FHC retook the lead 3 – 2. With eleven-minutes to go, Freedom converted a penalty corner to again tie the game at 3. The next five-minutes were a spectator’s treat with some of the best Indoor hockey seen thus far. The coveted Championship Trophy and newly designed JPIL medals were on the line.
With six-minutes left in the match, Xcalibur FHC earned a penalty corner and converted by Dita’s Top Goal Scorer Julia Bressler, for another clutch goal. This proved to be a game-winner as the last goal of the match to enable Xcalibur FHC to reclaim its sixth JPIL Championship.
As Junior Premier Hockey celebrates their 10th Anniversary of JPIL, they would like to thank everyone past and present for your continued support over these ten years. They hope that you will continue to support JPH and what they do as we all look forward to the next decade of hockey competition and blooming talent.
The past, present and continued success of this League is not possible without the support of others who JPH would like to recognize: To the Umpire Managers, Donny Gobinsingh and Fran Corl, and their teams of dedicated Umpires. JPH appreciates your commitment and support and hope you will continue to make yourselves available in the years to come. To the Technical Director, Lurah Hess and her team of Technical Officers, including the Club parents who provided technical assistance as Judges, by keeping the games running on time and with accurate results reporting. JPH thanks you all! To the AltiusRT Director Kim Scott, who works tirelessly throughout the event to make sure all of the Team Rosters are set up and accurate and ready from day one. Much appreciation to her and her support crew! Junior Premier Hockey also wants to give recognition to the University coaches who took the time to be present and JPH hopes that you all were pleased with the level of competition and organization.
Last, but not least, many thanks to Junior Premier Hockey’s dedicated Sponsors: Dita USA, Official Award Sponsor; Mercian (dba Savage Field Hockey), Official Ball Supplier; Phoenix Hockey USA, Official T-Shirt designer; Rothman Orthopedics, JPH Gold sponsor and Exeter Foot, JPH Bronze Sponsor. Thank you for your continued support and for seeing the value for such an event in the development of our sport and its participating athletes. Junior Premier Hockey asks everyone to please show your support to these Sponsors throughout the year and by visiting them at NITs and the other National events. You can also go online and show your support by purchasing their products and services.
In celebration of their 10th Anniversary, Junior Premier Hockey gave Special Recognition 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: Jesse Ickes, Central Penn FHC
- U-14 Top Goal Scorers: Allison Bechtel, Central Penn FHC
- U-16 Most Valuable Player: Kylie Corcoran, SPark
- U-16 Top Goal Scorer: Skylar Gilman, Freedom HKY
- U-19 Most Valuable Player: Puja Nanjappa, Freedom HKY
- U-19 Top Goal Scorer: Julia Bressler, Xcalibur FHC
On behalf of the Junior Premier Hockey Directors, Rachael Bloemker and Nigel Traverso, thank you for your hard work, commitment, support and cooperation in making this tenth-year a tremendous success.
Congratulations to the 2022 Champions, Central Penn Purple (U-14), SPark (U-16) and Xcalibur FHC (U-19) and all the Clubs for your participation!
Please note that JPH continues to look for a Title Sponsor for both their JPIL and JPOL events for the period from 2022 – 2024, as well as other supporters. If you or anyone you know who may be interested, please contact them at your earliest.
For all results and final rankings, please go to our Results Archive.