Anaheim-JSerra Catholic High School defeated Santa Margarita Catholic 3-2 to capture the Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League (ADHSHL) championship on March 6 at Honda Center.
More than 1,000 fans watched the varsity and junior varsity championship games, the latter of which was won by Damien HS over Long Beach Prep, 4-2.
Santa Margarita went undefeated in league play (8-0), finishing atop the league and earning a bye to the championship game. The Eagles were the highest scoring team in the league with 46 team goals. JSerra advanced to the finals after defeating Servite High School, 2-1, in the semifinal contest on Feb. 25.
JSerra came into the championship game as the underdog but jumped out to an early 1-0 lead with a goal from Joseph Pauluzzi, but Santa Margarita came back to tie the game with a power play goal from Kyle White.
“Joe (Pauluzzi) has been a true leader for us all season,” said JSerra Head Coach Mike Perkins. “It is fitting that he scored the first goal and then cleared the puck out of our zone with 5 seconds remaining to ensure our victory.”
Santa Margarita jumped out to a 2-1 lead in the second when Kyle White capitalized on the power play with his second goal of the night, but JSerra answered five minutes later with a goal by Chandler Cole. The game remained tied going into the 3rd period and was back and forth throughout until JSerra’s Blake Reeves scored late in the third to take a 3-2 lead. Santa Margarita came back with a lot of pressure late in the game, but JSerra was able to hold on.
“The team took advantage of the last time they were to step on the ice together this year as a team. We talked about it in the locker room before the game. These guys deserved to win this game.”
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