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USA Hockey Youth Tier 1 Nationals Preview

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Rankings as of Week 28

The puck finally drops Wednesday morning at around 10 a.m. Central for all four age groups competing in the USA Hockey Youth (Boys) Tier 1 National Championships in Texas and Missouri. Three games will face off right at 10 in the Dallas and St. Louis areas, with the fourth getting underway at 10:15 in Hazelwood, Mo.  

Sixteen teams have either earned berths or received at-large bids in the 14U, 15U, 16U and 18U age groups. Teams are separated into four pools at each level and will play each of the three other teams in their pools once to determine seedings for the quarterfinals. The top two finishers in each pool will advance to the playoff round.

Each team plays once per day April 28, 29 and 30 in pool play. Quarterfinals are scheduled for May 1. Semifinals will take place May 2, with national champions being crowned following the May 3 finals.

The 14U Youth (Boys) tournament is being held at the Children’s Health Star Center – Valley Ranch in Irving, Texas. Nearby Children’s Health Star Center – Euless in Euless, Texas is hosting the 15U competition. For the 16U and 18U divisions we move to Missouri, with the Cantene Community Ice Center in Maryland Heights and the Ice Zone in Hazelwood hosting both age groups.

A quick glance at our national rankings shows that the top-13 teams are competing in the 14U tournament and the top-11 are represented in both the 15U and 16U events, with the top-nine and 11 of the top-12 teams playing in the 18U championship.

Here is a breakdown of each age group:


Tier 1 Youth 14U National Championship 

USA Pool

#1 Shattuck-St. Mary’s – 41-1-2

#6 NJ Colonials – 24-8-4

#9 St. Louis AAA Blues – 35-16-3

#28 Team North Dakota – 24-18-5

The only blemishes on top-ranked Shattuck’s record came at the hands of Minnesota’s No. 1 AA team, Chaska Chanhassen (4-4 tie); the No. 2 AA team in Minnesota, the Minnetonka Skippers (5-5 tie); and the overall No. 2 team in the nation, the Minnesota Blades (8-5 loss Sept. 25). SSM brings a 22-game unbeaten streak to Nationals and has gone 16-0 against teams in the field, including 3-0 against teams in the USA pool. Of those 16 games, the Sabres 5-4 OT victory against the NE Wisconsin Jr. Gamblers April 10 was their closes call. The Colonials are 5-6-3 against teams in the field, while the Blues are 5-9 and North Dakota is 0-3, including a pair of losses to Shattuck.


Olympic Pool

#2 Bishop Kearney Selects – 41-5-5

#7 Chicago Mission – 20-11-1

#11 Minuteman Flames – 23-13-3

#26 Team Maryland – 24-18-5

The second-ranked BK Selects bring a 14-game winning streak (12-0-2) into the post season, with their last loss coming by an 8-3 margin against top-ranked Shattuck-St. Mary’s Feb. 28. They lost to SSM, 4-3, the previous day and are 13-4-3 vs. teams in the tournament field. The Mission are 7-9-1 against tournament teams, including 0-3 vs. Shattuck, and Team Maryland is 1-8-2 vs. the field.


NHL Pool

#3 Boston Jr. Eagles – 31-5-6

#8 LA Jr. Kings – 20-11-1

#10 Compuware – 24-18-5

#25 Colorado Thunderbirds – 23-13-3

Of the Jr. Eagles’ five losses, three came against teams in the field as they have an impressive 14-3-3 record against Nationals qualifiers. Two of those three losses were vs. the No. 11 Minuteman Flames, with the other coming against the No. 2 BK Selects. The Kings are 3-7-1 against the field, while Compuware is 1-4-1 and the T-Birds are 1-5.


Liberty Pool

#4 NE Wisconsin Jr. Gamblers – 33-8-0

#5 Mount St. Charles – 19-4-0

#12 Pittsburgh Penguins Elite – 23-10-3

#18 North Jersey Avalanche – 28-15-4

These four teams figure to be very evenly matched, which should make for some great hockey in what on paper looks like the most balanced 14U pool. The Jr. Gamblers dropped their last two games heading into Nationals against top-ranked Shattuck, including a 5-4 overtime setback April 10. They had been 14-1 in their previous 15 contests before that and are 10-7-0 against the field. Mount St. Charles (RI Saints) played a somewhat limited schedule against strong opponents and is 1-2-0 against the tournament qualifiers. Pens Elite is 2-3-1 against the field, and the Avalanche are 1-8-1.



Tier 1 Youth 15U National Championship

USA Pool

#1 Chicago Mission – 34-5-1

#5 Shattuck-St. Mary’s – 42-15-2

#11 Buffalo Jr. Sabres – 29-7-2

#55 Sioux Falls Power – 32-31-7

The Mission went 3-1 against No. 5 Shattuck and No. 8 Team Wisconsin, both Nationals qualifiers, back in March. The lone loss was a 4-1 decision against SSM. They have won 12 of their last 14 contests entering the tournament, with 12 of those games coming against Nationals’ participants. In addition to the victories over Shattuck and TW during that run, Chicago also knocked off the No. 4 Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers, No. 3 Compuware, No. 2 Honeybaked and No. 7 North Jersey Avalanche. For the year the Mission are 15-5-1 against teams in the field. Shattuck is 10-7-2 against potential Nationals foes after dropping its first four games of the season against teams in the field. The Jr. Sabres are 4-4 against tournament teams, and the Power are 1-6-1, including an 0-5-0 mark against Shattuck.  


Olympic Pool

#4 Mid-Fairfield Rangers – 32-21-4

#7 North Jersey Avalanche – 39-11-4

#8 Team Wisconsin – 27-11-2

#41 Team Alaska – 20-13-4

Mid-Fairfield played the most difficult schedule among all the teams in the 15U field according to our rankings, which may account for the Rangers having the highest ranking in this pool despite their 21 losses. They bring a five-game winning streak that includes two victories against No. 10 Mount St Charles into Nationals. They also split with the No. 7 Avalanche in posting an 8-2-0 mark in their last 10 outings. Mid-Fairfield is 10-7-1 against teams in the field. The Avalanche and Rangers split four meetings this season, and North Jersey is 4-2-0 against other Nationals’ qualifiers. TW is 6-7-2 against tournament teams, while Team Alaska is 0-2-0.


NHL Pool

#2 Honeybaked – 42-15-2

#6 Florida Alliance – 28-16-0

#10 Mount St. Charles – 20-13-4

#14 Pittsburgh Penguins Elite – 19-4-3

Honeybaked saw its nine-game winning streak brought to a halt in its most-recent outing, a 4-2 loss to No. 15 Little Caesars April 10. Prior to that their previous setback was a 2-1 defeat against the top-ranked Chicago Mission Feb. 28. Honeybaked is 11-2-1 in its last 14 outings and is 10-8-2 vs. tournament qualifiers. Florida Alliance dropped their last three games against top-17 teams entering Nationals and is 1-5-0 against similar teams in their last six outings. Three of those losses were by a total of five goals against the fourth-ranked Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers. Prior to that stretch Florida had posted a 27-11-0 record, and they are 8-9-0 vs. teams in the field. Mount St. Charles (RI Saints) is 2-3-2 vs. Nationals’ qualifiers, and Pens Elite is 3-12-2.


Liberty Pool

#3 Compuware – 42-11-3

#9 Chicago Young Americans – 39-19-5

#20 Minnesota Blue Ox – 17-3-2

#24 Dallas Stars Elite – 48-18-2 

Compuware is riding a 10-game winning streak, allowing just nine goals and recording three shutouts during that stretch, as it rolls Into Texas for the 15U National Championship Tournament, and the team has won 15 of its last 16 with seven shutouts. For the season, Compuware has allowed just 90 goals in 68 contests while posting a 13-10-1 mark against teams in the tournament field. CYA has played Compuware seven times this season, going 2-5-0. Overall, and against the field they are 10-13-4. The Blue Ox only played three games against one team in the field and posted a 1-2 record against No. 5 Shattuck-St. Mary’s, include a 4-3 overtime loss. Dallas is 2-3-1 vs. tournament qualifiers. 



Tier 1 Youth 16U National Championship

USA Pool

#3 Shattuck-St. Mary’s – 35-4-5

#7 NJ Rockets – 31-22-1

#9 Seacoast Performance Academy – 40-15-5

#35 Sioux Falls Power – 32-29-0

Shattuck only dropped four games all season, falling to the Nos. 1, 15 and 20 Tier 1 teams in three of those setbacks. The Sabres enter Nationals having gone 1-1-1 in their past three outings after winning six straight dating to a 3-1 loss against the top-ranked North Jersey Avalanche Feb. 27. SSM is 6-3 against teams in the field, including a 5-3 win against the Power. The No. 7 Rockets played the nation’s toughest 16U schedule this year and enter Nationals coming off 2-0 and 2-1 losses against the No. 1 Avalanche. Those losses snapped a four-game winning streak. At one point this season the Rockets faced the Avs in five straight contests, posting a 1-4-0 record in those games with each one requiring overtime or a shootout. They are 7-19-6 vs. teams in the field. Seacoast dropped its last two games, including a 7-1 setback against No. 6 Mount St. Charles (RI Saints), snapping a 9-1-2 stretch. They are 13-10-3 vs. Nationals’ qualifiers. Sioux Falls is 0-10 vs. the field.


Olympic Pool

#1 North Jersey Avalanche – 43-6-2

#8 Fox Motors – 39-18-1

#10 Colorado Thunderbirds – 47-10-1

#26 Nashville Jr. Predators – 32-28-0

Each of the Avs’ six losses this season came against a team that qualified for nationals, including a pair of setbacks against No. 9 Seacoast Performance Academy. They went 16-0-1 in their other matchups against the tournament field. They have won 16 of their last 18 contests coming into Nationals. Fox is 13-14-1 vs. other Nationals’ qualifiers and is 6-4-0 in its last 10 outings. The T-Birds opened their season by going 34-5-1 before dropping five of their last 18 contests leading into Nationals. They are 13-7 vs. other teams in the tournament, while Nashville is 5-15-0 but has won three of its past six against Nationals’ qualifiers.


NHL Pool

#2 Pittsburgh Penguins Elite – 33-6-2

#5 Honeybaked – 35-12-3

#18 Anaheim Jr. Ducks – 31-14-0

#20 NE Wisconsin Jr. Gamblers – 33-17-4 

Pens Elite suffered four of its six losses at the hands of Nationals’ qualifiers, including a pair of setbacks against the No. 7 NJ Rockets, a loss to the No. 9 Seacoast Performance Academy and a setback against the No. 1 North Jersey Avs. In all other games vs. tournament teams they were 12-0-2. They are 11-2-1 in their last 14 outings entering Nationals. Honeybaked has gone 6-5-1 in the 12 games leading up to the tournament, with four of those losses coming against teams in the field – the N. 16 Oakland Jr. Grizzlies, No. 8 Fox Motors, No. 3 Shattuck-St. Mary’s and No. 1 North Jersey Avalanche. They are 14-9-3 overall against teams in the field. Anaheim is 9-8 against other tournament teams, while the Jr. Gamblers are 4-6-2.


Liberty Pool

#4 Bishop Kearney Selects – 31-13-6

#6 Mount St. Charles – 16-6-2

#11 Dallas Stars Elite – 40-15-1

#16 Oakland Jr. Grizzlies – 30-15-3

The BK Selects recorded three consecutive shutouts and allowed just two goals over five games in winning the New York Tier 1 championship and an automatic berth in the 16U National Championship Tournament. A strong defensive team all season, they have outscored their opponents 180-95 while recording 12 shutouts. BK is 7-10-5 against teams that qualified for Nationals. Despite a schedule that was limited by COVID restrictions, Mount St. Charles rolled through the New England District Tournament with five straight victories and a total winning margin of 44-8. They have gone 16-3-2 since opening the season with three losses and are 3-2-3 vs. teams in the field. Dallas Stars Elite are 3-3-0 in their last six outings after sprinting to a 37-12-1 mark to open the campaign. They are 13-12-0 against tournament qualifiers. The Jr. Grizzlies won five straight games to capture the Michigan automatic Nationals berth, including wins against fellow Nationals’ qualifiers Fox Motors and Honeybaked. They are 9-1-0 in their last 10 and 12-8-1 overall against teams in the tournament. 



Tier 1 Youth 18U National Championship

USA Pool

#1 Shattuck-St. Mary’s – 24-1-2

#7 Culver Academy – 23-12-5

#13 CarShield – 47-15-0

#39 Sioux Falls Power – 35-29-0

Shattuck overcame several breaks in its season to earn the top rating through the regular season with a sparkling 24-1-2 record. The only loss was a surprising 7-3 decision against the No. 2 overall 18U team way back on Oct. 17. They tied the game following that loss and have won 15 straight contests since. SSM has outscored its opponents, 149-50, and is 6-0-0 against teams in the tournament field. Culver dropped a pair of tune-up games against Shattuck April 10-11, falling 3-2 in a shootout and 1-0. Prior to that they tied the No. 12 Esmark Stars, 3-3 and fell to the No. 9 Jr. Preds, 5-2, after winning seven of their previous eight. Culver is 1-7-1 against tournament qualifiers. CarShield is in the midst of a five-game winning streak, with three of those wins coming at the Central District Tournament. They have won eight of their past 10 and are 7-5-0 vs. Nationals’ qualifiers. Sioux Falls has dropped five straight contests, with three of those losses coming against top-10 overall 18U programs, entering Nationals. The Power also beat the No. 11 Rocky Mountain RoughRiders, 2-1, before that streak started. They are 3-7 against tournament teams.


Olympic Pool

#3 Rochester Coalition – 25-4-3

#6 Maine Nordiques – 39-9-2

#11 Rocky Mountain RoughRiders – 42-17-0

#20 Ohio Blue Jackets – 32-28-0

The third-ranked Roco Coalition dropped just four games on the season, with one of those coming against the second-ranked Pittsburgh Penguins Elite and the another vs. the No. 20 Ohio Blue Jackets, both teams that will be competing at Nationals. Rochester has won five of its last six and is 7-2-2 in its last seven outings leading up to the tournament. The Coalition are 7-2-1 vs. other teams in the field. Maine continued its march toward the top of the rankings by playing tough competition right up through April 11. The Nordiques dropped their most-recent game, 3-1, vs. No. 4 Mount St. Charles (RI Saints), and are 5-2-0 in their last seven outings. Maine is 4-5-1 vs. tournament qualifiers. The RoughRiders happened to knock off Maine, 4-3 in overtime, in their last game March 28 bringing their record to 9-2-0 over their final 11 outings. They are 6-8 vs. Nationals’ qualifiers. Ohio shocked No. 2 Pens Elite and beat the No. 12 Esmark Stars, both of whom earned at-large bids to Nationals, to capture the Mid-Am District automatic berth. The Blue Jackets played six more games after earning the bid to Nationals, going 4-2-0, including a split against the No. 9 Nashville Jr. Predators. They are 8-10-0 vs. teams in the field.


NHL Pool

#2 Pittsburgh Penguins Elite – 25-9-2

#8 Boston Jr. Eagles – 13-7-4

#17 Meijer AAA Hockey – 38-16-0

#23 Anaheim Jr. Ducks – 27-13-0

 Second-ranked Pens Elite earned an at-large bid to Nationals after a tremendous season that nearly ended with an upset loss to the 20th-ranked Ohio Blue Jackets in the Mid-Am District Tournament. Since that tournament setback, Pens Elite split a pair of games against the third-ranked Rochester Coalition. They are 8-2-0 in their last 10 games dating to an 8-2 loss to the sixth-ranked Maine Nordiques on Valentine’s Day. They beat Maine, 4-0, the day before that setback and are 9-5-1 against Nationals’ qualifiers. The Jr. Eagles managed to play 24 games during their COVID-affected campaign, finishing the season by winning 10 of their final 14 contests. They are 1-2-0 against tournament qualifiers. Meijer overcame No. 14 Belle Tire and the No. 10 Oakland Jr. Grizzlies to earn the automatic bid for Michigan. They are 8-1-0 In their last nine games and 3-3-0 against teams in the field. The Jr. Ducks closed their regular season with eight straight victories and are 4-3-0 against tournament teams.


Liberty Pool

#4 Mount St. Charles – 21-3-3

#5 North Jersey Avalanche – 38-9-2

#9 Nashville Jr. Predators – 39-14-2

#12 Esmark Stars – 43-18-7

Another team that played a shortened season because of COVID breaks, No. 3 Mount St. Charles (RI Saints) is unbeaten in eight of its last nine games (7-1-1) entering Nationals. Included among those stretch-run victories was a win over the sixth-ranked Maine Nordiques and two victories vs. the No. 5 North Jersey Avalanche. They also dropped a 5-2 decision against an Avs team they will face in pool play. Mount St. Charles is 4-2-1 vs. teams in the Nationals’ field. In addition to going 1-2-0 vs. Mount St. Charles, the Avs are 1-3-0 against other tournament qualifiers. The Jr. Preds played an ambitious schedule that culminated with a Southeast District Tournament championship. Nashville has played seven contests since earning the Nationals’ berth, going 5-1-1 with wins against the No. 20 Ohio Blue Jackets and No. 7 Culver Academy. The Jr. Preds are a remarkable 24-1-1 in their last 26 outings. They had won 19 straight games before a 2-2 tie against the No. 12 Esmark Stars, a team they will meet in pool play, April 2. The Jr. Preds are 7-6-1 against Nationals’ qualifiers. Esmark, which earned an at-large berth out of the strong Mid-Am District, is 4-11-2 vs. teams in the field.


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