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March 16, 2011

So Cal scholastic inline wrap-up: Part II

Interscholastic Hockey Federation

Members of the Mission Viejo Diablos celebrate their 2010-11 IHF varsity division championship. Photo/Tracy Robinson

The four longest continuously operating scholastic inline hockey leagues in Southern California recently wrapped up their championship playoffs.

The Central Coast High School Hockey League (CCHSHL) in the San Luis Obispo-Santa Barbara area, the Interscholastic Hockey Federation (IHF) in Orange County and Inland Empire and the San Diego County High School Roller Hockey Conference (SDCHSRHC) all crowned club champions as they approached their 15th anniversary seasons.

The San Diego County-based CIF-Metro Conference, the state’s only high school league sanctioned by the California Interscholastic Federation, concluded its history making 11th season.

Reigning as 2010-11 varsity champions in the three club leagues are the Santa Barbara Chargers (CCHSHL), Mission Viejo Diablos (IHF) and San Pasqual Golden Eagles (SDCHSRHC) while the Westview Wolverines won their fourth CIF title in their six years as members of the Metro Conference.

Championship finals took place in mid-February and early March.

California Rubber takes a look at the Interscholastic Hockey Federation’s championship playoffs in the second of a series of three in-depth wrap-up reports.

Interscholastic Hockey Federation

The IHF, which began operations in 1997, topped off its 2010-11 season with an inaugural 37-team playoff tournament, featuring 31 games played over a two-day period Feb. 12-13 at the 949 Roller Hockey Center in Irvine. Seven division titles were at stake, highlighted by top-seeded Mission Viejo’s 6-0 victory over third-seeded Mater Dei to cap play in the top-rung Varsity Division.

In fact, Mission Viejo was the lone top-seeded team to claim a division championship among teams competing in the IHF’s four skill divisions. Third-seeded Aliso Niguel defeated top-seeded Woodbridge, 7-6, to capture the Junior Varsity-A Division title. Second-seeded Los Alamitos defeated top-seeded Capistrano Valley, 3-2, to win the JV-B title while second-seeded Tesoro topped top-seeded Trabuco Hills, 10-2, to win the JV-C title.

Three championship games took place in the new Combo Division. Pacific Coast defeated North County, 5-1, to win the Combo Varsity Division title while Inland Empire East defeated Central Orange County, 9-1, to win the Combo JV-1 title and West Coast defeated Inland Empire West, 6-2, to win the Combo JV-2 title.

Skill Divisions

Mission Viejo’s coaching staff includes head coach Jim Irwin, a NARCh veteran, while Dominic Zendejas serves as the team’s assistant coach. The Diablos’ championship season roster includes Basje Zendejas, Chris Fontana, Corey Lance, Jordan Hessler, Kyle Mooney, Kyle Musser, Nick Haller, Tanner Jackson, Cody Hennings, Leks Zendejas and J.T. Banard.

Mission Viejo went undefeated in its first 10 regular season games (7-0-3) to earn the top seed, followed by the second-seeded (and defending division champion) Edison Chargers. Mater Dei received the No. 3 seed, followed by Marina (fourth) and El Toro (fifth).

Previously, the IHF playoffs were conducted on weekday nights spaced over two weeks, making this year’s festival-style format both fast-paced and unique.

The 2011 varsity playoffs featured a play-in game pitting the fourth seed against the fifth seed. In that game, Marina eliminated El Toro, 2-1, to advance to the semifinals. In that next round, Mission Viejo eliminated Marina by a score of 9-1 while Mater Dei pulled off a 6-3 upset win over Edison to advance to the championship game against the Diablos.

The Diablos roster is one simply  filled with talented players. Musser has established himself as one of the state’s premier players, be in at IHF level or at the NARCh travel club level. He led the IHF’s varsity division in scoring by averaging five points per game, with 27 goals and 23 assists for 50 points in 10 games.

Two teammates followed Musser in the division scoring race. Mooney totaled 20 goals and 15 assists for 35 points in 10 games while Banard collected 16 goals and 13 assists for 29 points.

Mater Dei’s 2010-11 lineup included Jeffrey Beko, Zac Beko, Michael Bennett, Luke Buntich, Jack Gardner, Blaze Goldman, Jonathan Hanna, Zach Jennings, Nicholas Katzaroff, Stefan Malmlund, Brandon Norcutt, Thomas Quayle, Matthew Rogoff and Ruben Rumbaut. Dale Quayle serves as head coach. Assistant coaches include Stephen Beko, Bob Goldman and Matt Kuntz.

In the JV-A semifinals, Aliso Niguel upset second-seeded Brea Olinda by a score of 7-6. In fact, there was one upset in each of the four rounds of the JV-A playoffs.

Aliso Niguel’s JV-A championship season roster included Ahser Goldstein, Blaze Sanderstower, Eli Goldstein, Greg Simmons, Matt Simmons, Mike Simmons, Michael McKenney, O’Neil Van Horn and Ryan Duffy. Miguel Castellanos serves as head coach.

Woodbridge freshman Shane McMahan earned honors as one of the JV-A Division’s top newcomers. A member of the JSerra Ice Lions in the NHL Anaheim Ducks’ High School Hockey League, McMahan tore up both JV and varsity goaltenders this season in the IHF roller circuit, leading the JV-A Division in scoring with 26 goals and 27 assists. McMahan’s senior teammate Sam Clark finished second in team scoring with 36 goals and 14 assists.

Los Alamitos’ JV-B championship season roster included Jason CallananKyle Hayashida, Jacob Lawson, Adrian Maass, Mark Macintosh, Brayden Moore, Jacob Sabraw, Matt Tietavainen and goaltenders Austin Shannon and C.J. Wildey. Brent Wildey serves as Griffins head coach. Assistant coaches include Lance Malinowski and Paul Morrison.

Callahan led the division in scoring with 22 goals and 10 assists.

Tesoro’s JV-C championship season roster included Cameron Coppock, Trevor Durflinger, Kurtis Elofson, Kyler Fisk, Mitchell Grohmann, Mitchell Hagen, Kevin Hunt, Taylor Koh, Chase Lages, Dylan Lander, Tyler Maniscalco, Katie Premac and goaltender Drew Massaro. The Titans are coached by Dave Cairns.

Trabuco Hills’ Hayden Miles led the division in scoring with 28 goals and 11 assists.

The high number of closely contested games (52 percent) stood out throughout the tournament. Outgoing IHF board president Jay Piz termed the two-day playoff tournament highly successful and saluted the various division champions.

Said Piz: “Congratulations go to every player and manager who participated and to their family members and fans who attended the inaugural IHF playoff tournament, and thanks go to the host rink and staff and to each of the volunteers who gave of their precious time in contributing to this event.”

Combo Division

This season's league membership included 32 teams in the four skill divisions (varsity and three JV divisions), plus seven teams in the Combo Division.

Piz called the league’s experiment with the Combo Division a “marginal success” in its inaugural season. Early recruiting efforts attracted nearly 200 candidates from as far north as Thousand Oaks and Victorville to the east, with most coming from the Inland Empire and Orange County. Piz said two terms from the Inland Empire and five from Orange County were eventually formed from small groups at various schools.

“The efforts to organize teams fell short due to a lack of coaches, goalies, financial and personal hardships,” he said.

The level of play between the various combo teams also presented “disparate differences,” according to Piz. Some were clearly at the recreational level while others, Piz said, “were quality JV-A and varsity level competitors and even deemed by some as club level groups.”

Scheduling for travel between the league’s three rink locations and conflicts with school and ice hockey commitments, plus the competitive disparities, contributed to many players becoming disappointed and leaving the league, according to Piz. A revaluation and realignment later took place in the season to produce a better experience for everyone concerned.

“There are many lessons to be learned and corrective measures to be taken in advance of the next season but it is important to the growth and rebuilding of the sport to give weight to the combo division,” Piz said. “The league will be continuing its efforts to build this division as a means of growing overall enrollment and interest, and also aims to have them compete in tiers within the division.”

For more information on the IHF, visit the website at

High School Roller Hockey Scoreboard
Interscholastic Hockey Federation

Varsity Division

Play-in round
(4) Marina 2, (5) El Toro 1

(1) Mission Viejo 9, (4) Marina 1
(3) Mater Dei 6, (2) Edison 3

(1) Mision Viejo 6, (3) Mater Dei 0

Junior Varsity-A Division
First round
(7) El Dorado 11, (10) Santiago 4
(9) Santa Margarita Catholic 7, (8) Laguna Hills 5

(3) Aliso Niguel 9, (6) Canyon 8
(5) Villa Park 6, (4) Northwood 2
(2) Brea Olinda 7, (7) El Dorado 5
(1) Woodbridge 11, (9) Santa Margarita Catholic 3

(3) Aliso Niguel 7, (2) Brea Olinda 6
(1) Woodbridge 8, (5) Villa Park 4

(3) Aliso Niguel 7, (1) Woobridge 6

Junior Varsity-B Division
First round
(7) Trabuco Hills 5, (10) Santiago 3
(8) El Modena 5, (9) El Toro 2

(1) Capistrano Valley 5, (8) El Modena 1
(2) Los Alamitos 5, (7) Trabuco Hills 1
(3) Edison 5, (6) Newport Harbor 3
(4) Fountain Valley 10, (5) Brethren Christian 5

(2) Los Alamitos 5, (3) Edison 2
(1) Capistrano Valley 6, (4) Fountain Valley 4

(2) Los Alamitos 3, (1) Capistrano Valley 2 

Junior Varsity-C Division
(6) Santiago 5, (3) Canyon 4
(4) Loara 8, (5) Villa Park 6

(1) Trabuco Hills 9, (6) Santiago 2
(2) Tesoro 11, (4) Loara 7

(2) Tesoro 10, (1) Trabuco Hills 2

Combo Divisions
Varsity: Pacific Coast 5, North County 1
Junior Varsity-1: Inland Empire East 9, Central Orange County 1
Junior Varsity-2: West Coast 6, Inland Empire West 2
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