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May 28, 2010

Prep inline season ends with upset-filled IHF playoffs

Edison High of Huntington Beach won the IHF varsity championship this spring.

While the number of teams may have been down during the Interscholastic Hockey Federation’s 2009-10 season, that in no way diminished the outcome of the league’s championship playoffs. Champions in four divisions were crowned in mid-April at the 949 Roller Hockey Center in Irvine to cap the state’s largest AAU-sanctioned high school inline hockey league.

“This year, we had each team from all four skill levels go into the playoffs — the last two years we only brought up the top eight,” IHF board president Jay Piz said. “Teams were much more pleased to have a last chance to move up or at least get in one more game.”

Teams also had a chance to enact some last-minute revenge as upsets dotted each of the four skill levels.

Top-seeded teams failed to advance to championship games in three of the four divisions, with titles going to one top-seeded team, a pair of second-seeded teams and one third-seeded team. Conversely, runner-up finishes were posted by one top-seeded team, one fourth-seeded team, one fifth-seeded team and one sixth-seeded team.

The second-seeded Edison Chargers defeated the fifth-seeded Santiago Sharks, 9-4, to capture the Varsity Division title on April 14 to get this year’s championship finals rolling.

The three junior varsity finals took place April 15. In the opener, top-seeded Santiago skated past fourth-seeded Santa Margarita, 10-2, in the Junior Varsity-C championship game. The JV-B and JV-A finals followed. The second-seeded Tesoro Titans topped sixth-seeded Brethren Christian, 8-2, to win the JV-B title while the third-seeded Newport Harbor Sailors edged top-seeded El Toro, 4-3, to capture the JV-A championship.

A total of 32 teams competed in this year’s playoff field – 10 in the Varsity Division and JV-C Division and 11 in the JV-A and JV-B divisions.

An example of the parity prevalent in this year’s playoffs, ninth-seeded Los Alamitos narrowly lost to top-seeded Villa Park, 7-6, in the Varsity Division quarterfinals after eliminating the Marina Vikings, last year’s champions, in the opening round.  

What made the 2010 IHF playoffs even more interesting was that the annual California State Cup tournament took place prior to the league’s championship playoffs. The Damien Spartans claimed the Varsity Division title while Santiago captured the JV-1 tier and Brethren Christian won the JV-2 tier.

However, none of the three State Cup champions came out on top of their respective divisions in the ensuing IHF playoffs.

It will be interesting to see the order of finish in this weekend’s upcoming scholastic national championships in Huntington Beach, as the field expects to be stacked with top IHF talent.

Varsity Division

The Villa Park Spartans finished atop the regular season Varsity Division standings with a 12-2-1 record in 15 games. The Spartans received the No. 1 seed, followed by second-seeded Edison (11-3-1), third-seeded Damien (9-5-1) and fourth-seeded Mission Viejo (9-6-0). Rounding out the regular season standings were fifth-seeded Santiago (8-7-0), sixth-seeded El Dorado (7-7-1), seventh-seeded Northwood (7-8-0), eighth-seeded Marina (4-9-2), ninth-seeded Los Alamitos (5-10-0) and 10th-seeded Santa Margarita Catholic (1-14-0).

The opening round of the playoffs began on March 22 in Irvine, followed by quarterfinals on March 29 and semifinals on April 12-13.

In the varsity division, all 10 teams were bracketed in a four-round elimination format. The lowest four-seeded teams faced off post-season play in the first round, with the two winners joining the remaining six teams in the quarterfinals. Quarterfinal winners advanced to the semifinals.

In the first round, seventh-seeded Northwood edged 10th-seeded Santa Margarita Catholic, 4-3, while ninth-seeded Los Alamitos scored a mild upset by defeating eighth-seeded Marina Vikings, 13-12, in overtime. The Vikings were last year’s defending champions.  

The quarterfinals would feature another lower-seeded team coming off the floor with a victory while two more higher-seeded teams had to stave off upsets with cliff-hanger wins.

Top-seeded Villa Park won a tight 7-6 contest against ninth-seeded Los Alamitos while second-seeded Edison slipped past seventh-seeded Northwood 4-1. In the remaining quarterfinals, third-seeded Damien eliminated sixth-seeded El Dorado in a game played in Corona, while fifth-seeded Santiago shocked fourth-seeded Mission Viejo 8-0.

Santiago continued the string of upsets by eliminating top-seeded Villa Park, 7-1, in the semifinals while it took an overtime goal to lift second-seeded Edison past reigning State Cup champion Damien 5-4.   

Edison finished the season 14-3-1 following its championship game victory over Santiago, which finished 10-8-0, including playoffs.

Jeremy Jennings led Edison in season scoring with 32 points on 15 goals and 17 assists, followed closely by teammate Chas Scott with 29 points on 14 goals and 15 assists. Other top scorers for the Chargers included Shea Doyle (10 goals, 12 assists), Jeremy McHenry (12 goals, five assists) and J.J. Millikan (nine goals, four assists).  

Jennings ranked 15th best in the league in point scoring, underlying the strength of this year’s Edison squad. The Chargers allowed just 53 goals in 18 playoff games for an average of 2.94 goals per game to finish with the best defensive showing this season among IHF varsity teams. Edison finished the season with a sterling 94-53 goal-differential.    

Damien finished as the highest scoring team in the IHF during the 2008-10 season with 119 goals. Matt Zendejas led Damien in season scoring with 42 points on 24 goals and 18 assists, followed by teammates Blake Kress (19 goals, 18 assists), Danny Joyner (19 goals, 14 assists) and Henry Berger (13 goals, 12 assists).
Santiago was led during the 2009-10 season by top scorers Travis Meyer (21 goals, 18 assists), Dylan DeCarlo (16 goals, 18 assists), Shawn Vadeboncouer (13 goals, 17 assists), Jordan Watt (16 goals, 10 assists), Justin Bargar (11 goals, eight assists), Justin Soffa (11 goals, four assists) and Tyler Waller (three goals, 12 assists).   

Despite not winning the playoff title, Villa Park’s season was an amazing one. The Spartans started the season 9-0-1 before holding off a late challenge by Edison to capture the regular season championship by two standings points. Andrew Dobson led Villa Park in regular season scoring with 62 points on 33 goals and 29 assists, followed by teammates Raymond Mesa (22 goals, 16 assists), Jayson Smith (15 goals, six assists) and Adam Harper (11 goals, 10 assists).   

The division’s top 15 scorers also included Mission Viejo’s Kyle Musser (33 goals, 32 assists), Los Alamitos’ Austin Shannon (33 goals, 20 assists), Mission Viejo’s Justin Banard (30 goals, 23 assists), Los Alamitos’ Steve Bunting (15 goals, 25 assists), Marina’s Kourtney Kunichika (11 goals, 23 assists) and John Sacco (23 goals, 10 assists), Damien’s Hunter Dymond (19 goals, 13 assists) and El Dorado’s Dustin Hovenden (16 goals, 14 assists).     

Junior Varsity-A

El Toro finished atop the regular season standings with a 14-0-1, followed by Mater Dei (record unavailale), Newport Harbor (12-2-1), Laguna Hills (11-4-0), Trabuco Hills (11-4-0), Aliso Niguel (7-7-1), Canyon (5-10-0), Santiago (2-11-2), Fountain Valley (2-11-2), Esperanza (3-12-0) and Marina (3-12-0). Teams were seeded in their order of finish.

There was one upset in the first round as 11th-seeded Marina topped sixth-seeded Aliso Niguel, 6-2. In the other two games, seventh-seeded Canyon defeated 10th-seeded Esperanza while eighth-seeded Santiago skated past ninth-seeded Fountain Valley 9-4.

Two more upsets took place in the quarterfinals: eighth-seeded Santiago stunned second-seeded Mater Dei, 7-4, while fifth-seeded Trabuco Hills eliminated fourth-seeded Laguna Hills 7-3. Meanwhile, top-seeded El Toro dispatched 11th-seeded Marina, 6-2, while third-seeded Newport Harbor defeated seventh-seeded Canyon 11-8.

The semifinals featured the first-, third-, fifth- and eighth-seeded teams. Both higher-seeded teams prevailed. El Toro ended Santiago’s upset march, 9-1, while Newport Harbor edged Trabuco Hills, 6-5, in overtime.
The championship game continued the upset trend as third-seeded Newport Harbor managed to defeat regular season champion El Toro in a tight game, winning 4-3.

Newport Harbor finished 15-2-1 brace by its three playoff wins while El Toro saw its final record dip to 16-2-0.

Brett Olinger of Newport Harbor topped the division point-scoring chart in the regular season with 63 points (31 goals, 32 assists), followed by Mater Dei’s Zack Beko (34 goals, 17 assists), El Toro’s Alex Bryant (32 goals, 17 assists), Laguna Hills’ Garrett Dickens (27 goals, 17 assists), Trabuco Hills’ Ryan Silva (29 goals, 12 assists), Canyon’s Austin Jenkins (22 goals, 19 assists), Laguna Hills’ Brian Nakamura (26 goals, 10 assists), Newport Harbor’s Brandon Olinger (20 goals, 15 assists), Laguna Hills’ Skippy Curran (10 goals, 25 assists), Trabuco Hills’ Kevin Robert (16 goals, 18 assists) to round out the division’s top 10 scorers.

They were followed by Canyon’s Alec Censullo (20 goals, 12 assists) and Ben Suchin (17 goals, 13 assists), Laguna Hills’ Adam Winter (14 goals, 15 assists), Santiago’s Darian Shirnian (23 goals, five assists), Trabuco Hills’ Zakory Miller (16 goals, 12 assists), Fountain Valley’s Joshua Urlaub (16 goals, 11 assists), El Toro’s Andrew Peterson (11 goals, 16 assists), Fountain Valley’s Tyler Allen (17 goals, nine assists), Mater Dei’s Ruben Rumbaut (13 goals, 13 assists), El Toro’s Blake Reeves (13 goals, 12 assists), Newport Harbor’s Ryan Iverson (17 goals, seven assists), Marina’s Matt Korn (16 goals, seven assists), El Toro’s Chris Laurino (10 goals, 12 assists) and Canyon’s Jeffrey Lum (seven goals, 15 assists), Aliso Niguel’s Branden Spampinato (10 goals, 11 assists) and Trabuco Hills’ Brandon Peterson (10 goals, 11 assists), Derek Carlson (nine goals, 11 assists), Branden Vara (12 goals, seven assists) to round out the division’s top 30 scorers.

Junior Varsity-B

Damien and Tesoro finished atop the regular season standings with identical 10-3-2 records, followed by Corona Del Mar (8-4-3), Capistrano Valley (8-5-2), El Toro (5-7-3), Brethren Christian (5-6-3), El Dorado (5-8-2), Edison (5-9-0), Trabuco Hills (3-8-4), Woodbridge (4-9-2) and Mission Viejo (4-9-1).

Sixth-seeded Brethren Christian proved to be the team to watch as the Warriors eliminated three higher-seeded opponents to advance to the championship game.

Six teams met in the first round of the playoffs, with all higher-seeded teams coming out on top. Sixth-seeded Brethren Christian defeated 11th-seeded Woodbridge, 5-4, while seventh-seeded El Dorado edged 10th-seeded Woodbridge, 5-4, in another close battle and eighth-seeded Edison topped ninth-seeded Trabuco Hills 4-2.

One upset occurred in the eight-team quarterfinals as Brethren Christian derailed third-seeded Corona Del Mar 5-4. The other three higher-seeded teams advanced. Top-seeded Damien won a close contest against eighth-seeded Edison, 3-2, while second-seeded Tesoro eliminated seventh-seeded El Dorado, 5-2, and fourth-seeded Capistrano Valley defeated fifth-seeded El Toro 5-2.

Brethren Christian continued to have its way by shocking top-seeded Damien, 6-2, in the semifinals. Tesoro, meanwhile, upheld its higher seeding by defeating Capistrano Valley 6-3.
Tesoro finished the season with a 13-3-2 record following its championship game victory over the Warriors, who finished the season with a winning record at 8-7-3.

Three players finished with more than 50 points in regular season play: Damien’s David Cartwright (38 goals, 18 assists) with 56 points, Capistrano Valley’s Anthony Squirek (30 goals, 25 assists) with 55 points and Corona Del Mar’s Jacob Mays (28 goals, 25 assists) with 53 points.

Five additional players each scored more than 30 points: Woodbridge’s Sam Clark (29 goals, nine assists), Tesoro’s Dane Figliola (24 goals, 14 assists), Corona Del Mar’s Tyler Maloney (24 goals, eight assists), Damien’s David MacGregor (17 goals, 15 assists) and Tesoro’s Eric Massaro (19 goals, 12 assists).

Rounding out the division’s top 25 scorers were Capistrano Valley’s Jared Fleitman (16 goals, 13 assists), Brethren Christian’s Elijah McHenry (17 goals, 11 assists), Tesoro’s Austin Appleton (16 goals, 12 assists) and Kyler Fisk (15 goals, 10 assists), Woodbridge’s Leland Scott (11 goals, 14 assists), Mission Viejo’s Jordan Hessler (15 goals, nine assists), Damien’s Matt Scharrer (13 goals, 11 assists), Mission Viejo’s Nick Haller (16 goals, six assists), El Toro’s Noah Correa (12 goals, 10 assists), El Dorado’s Trevor Dymond (eight goals, 14 assists), Trabuco Hills’ Kurt Johnson (18 goals, three assists), Corona Del Mar’s Kevin Corey (14 goals, seven assists), Edison’s Slater Hoar (14 goals, seven assists), Capistrano Valley’s Alex Little (seven goals, 14 assists), Brethren Christian’s Carl Swanson (11 goals, nine assists), El Toro’s Dylan Visser (12 goals, seven assists) and Capistrano Valley’s Aaron Sheridan (nine goals, 10 assists).

Junior Varsity-C

Santiago won the regular season division title with a 13-1-1 record, followed in the standings by Capistrano Valley (10-2-3), Fountain Valley (7-5-3), Santa Margarita Catholic (6-6-3), Canyon (7-8-0), Newport Harbor (5-7-3), Damien (5-7-3), Loara (5-8-2), Villa Park (5-9-1) and Trabuco Hills (1-11-3).

Four teams participated in the first round, with 10th-seeded Trabuco Hills scoring a 7-6 upset win against seventh-seeded Damien. In the other game, eighth-seeded Loara defeated ninth-seeded Villa Park 8-3.

The quarterfinals saw one lower-seeded team advance as eighth-seeded Loara pulled off a 3-0 upset victory against second-seeded Capistrano Valley. In the other three games, top-seeded Santiago eliminated 10th-seeded Trabuco Hills, 10-3, while third-seeded Fountain Valley tppped sixth-seeded Newport Harbor, 5-3, and fourth-seeded Santa Margarita Catholic shaded fifth-seeded Canyon 3-2.

Loara’s upset odyssey ended in the semifinals with a 6-2 loss to top-seeded Santiago while Santa Margarita Catholic pulled off a mild upset win with a 7-3 victory over Fountain Valley.

The championship game went according to form as top-seeded Santiago defeated fourth-seeded SMC 10-2.

Santiago’s three playoff victories gave the Sharks a final 16-1-1 record while Santa Margarita Catholic finished the season 8-7-3.

Santiago’s Shane Newton led the division in regular season scoring with 36 goals and 51 points. He was followed by Capo Valley’s Brandon Sigman (20 goals, 18 assists), Damien’s Kyle Mugica (23 goals, nine assists) and Canyon’s Spencer Fitch (21 goals, 11 assists), all of whom racked up more than 30 points.  

Rounding out the division’s top 20 scorers were Loara’s Zach Zuleta (17 goals, 12 assists), Capo Valley’s Sean Patrick (20 goals, eight assists), Santiago’s Derek Newton (20 goals, eight assists) and Brock Domain (six goals, 22 assists), Capo Valley’s Garrett Bratty (16 goals, 11 assists), Fountain Valley’s Colby Johns (16 goals, nine assists), Santa Margarita’s Bryan Abbott (15 goals, 10 assists), Trabuco Hills Evyn Doppert (20 goals, four assists), Loara’s Jose Martinez (17 goals, seven assists), Newport Harbor’s Gunner Everett (21 goals, two assists), Damien’s Hayden Caballero (16 goals, seven assists), Santa Margarita’s Nick Calcaterra (16 goals, seven assists), Fountain Valley’s Austin Griggs (10 goals, 13 assists), Loara’s Paul Vossler (15 goals, seven assists), Santa Margarita’s Nick D’Agonstino (14 goals, seven assists) and Trabuco Hills’ Jordan Procuniar (13 goals, seven assists).

2009-10 IHF Championship Playoff Scoreboard
(Seedings denoted)

Varsity Division
First round (March 22)

  • (7) Northwood 4, (10) Santa Margarita Catholic 3
  • (9) Los Alamitos 13, (8) Marina 12 (OT)

Quarterfinals (March 29)

  • (1) Villa Park 7, (9) Los Alamitos 6
  • (2) Edison 4, (7) Northwood 1
  • (3) Damien defeated (6) El Dorado, score unavailable
  • (5) Santiago 8, (4) Mission Viejo 0

Semifinals (April 12)

  • (5) Santiago 7, (1) Villa Park 1
  • (2) Edison 5, (3) Damien 4 (OT)

Championship (April 14)

  • (2) Edison 9, (5) Santiago 4

Junior Varisty-A
First round (March 22)

  • (11) Marina 7, (6) Aliso Niguel 4 ?
  • (7) Canyon defeated (10) Esperanza, score unavailable
  • (8) Santiago 8, (9) Fountain Valley 4

Quarterfinals (March 29)

  • (1) El Toro 6, (11) Marina 2
  • (8) Santiago 7, (2) Mater Dei 4
  • (3) Newport Harbor 11, (7) Canyon 8
  • (5) Trabuco Hills 7, (4) Laguna Hills 3

Semifinals (April 12)

  • (3) Newport Harbor 6, (5) Trabuco Hills 5 (OT)
  • (1) El Toro 9, (8) Santiago 1

Championship (April 15)

  • (3) Newport Harbor 4, (1) El Toro 3

Junior Varsity-B
First round (March 22)

  • (6) Brethren Christian 5, (11) Mission Viejo 4
  • (7) El Dorado 6, (10) Woodbridge 5
  • (8) Edison 4, (9) Trabuco Hills 2  

Quarterfinals (March 29)

  • (1) Damien 3, (8), Edison 2
  • (2) Tesoro 5, (7) El Dorado 2
  • (6) Brethren Christian 5, (3) Corona Del Mar 4
  • (4) Capistrano Valley 9, (5) El Toro 2

Semifinals (April 13)

  • (6) Brethren Christian 6, (1) Damien 2
  • (2) Tesoro 6, (4) Capistrano Valley 3

Championship (April 15)

  • (2) Tesoro 8, (6) Brethren Christian 2

Junior Varsity-C
First round (March 22)

  • (8) Loara 8, (9) Villa Park 3
  • (10) Trabuco Hills 7, (7) Damien 6

Quarterfinals (March 29)

  • (1) Santiago 10, (10) Trabuco Hills 3
  • (8) Loara 3, (2) Capistrano Valley 0
  • (3) Fountain Valley 5, (6) Newport Harbor 3
  • (4) Santa Margarita Catholic 3, (5) Canyon 2

Semifinals (April 12-13)

  • (4) Santa Maragrita Catholic 7, (3) Fountain Valley 3
  • (1) Santiago 6, (8) Loara 2

Championship (April 15)

  • (1) Santiago 10, (4) Santa Margarita Catholic 2


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