April 10, 2017 (Frisco, TX)
For many observers, a Texas team winning a USA Hockey national championship may seem an unlikely event (even though it occurred just two weeks ago in the High School Nationals as Frisco was crowned champion in the blended division). But to have TWO Texas teams facing off in a national title game, played in Texas no less, well that is just, well, what the rest of the country better get used to.
In the USA Hockey Tier II, 16U finals played yesterday, the Dallas Penguins bested Hockey Club Dallas 5-2 in a game that was frankly tight until the very end. The two clubs were very familiar with each other having faced each other no less than five times this season; most recently in the championship game of the Texas State Tournament in February. The Pens also won that game 3-2.
In Monday's final match-up HC Dallas jumped out to a lead in the 1st period on a powerplay marker by Ryan Muckensturm with just under three minutes remaining in the period. Early in the second period, the Penguins tied it with a short-handed goal by Ethan Harrison who finished the day with four goals, including an empty netter at the end.
The game was everything you would expect from two championship caliber teams. It featured solid goaltending, strong defensive play, and brilliantly executed puck movement and offensive zone play.
An all Texas final ensured another National Championship and puts the rest of the country on notice about the caliber of of our players and teams.
Congrats to both teams on your seasons, and for an exceptional final.