JSerra Catholic High School’s Hockey future is secure.
The Junior Varsity Ice Lions capped their incredible season with a win Saturday against Servite High School, the 2nd place team in the Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League. The Ice Lions completed a perfect 12-0 record in league play.
“If we include our preseason we are 15-0”, say Ice Lions Team Manager, Kevin Stein. The championship game is being played on Monday February 28th at Honda Center. The puck drops at 7:00 p.m. and all hockey fans are encouraged to attend.
“It’s been a terrific year as the boys have really worked thru multiple line changes, injuries and adversities in their quest to finish in first place. Everyone had high hopes and I must admit that when the notion of remaining undefeated throughout the entire season was first mentioned I was a huge skeptic.” Says Stein.
Stein is quick to point out that the boys are fortunate to have the league’s overall scoring leader but, this is a team effort and several players on multiple lines contributed to the victories with goals, assists, penalty kill minutes and an attitude of hard work which contributed to the boys finding a way to win even on the days that they weren’t playing their best hockey.
Former professional hockey player, Kelly Askew, coaches the JSerra Ice Lions. Formed two years ago, the JSerra Ice Lions were the first high school hockey team in Southern California.
Dave Pauluzzi, president and Founder of the Ice Lions looks at the Junior Varsity team with a smile on his face knowing that the organization that he, along with Art Trottier of the Anaheim Ducks, formed three years go, is in safe hands.
“I am extremely proud of the boys, coaches, management and volunteers for this amazing accomplishment” say’s Pauluzzi. “Since the program was founded three years ago, we have been focused on developing athletes who are top students and role models in their community.
*Running in the current issue of The Los Angeles Times
Building a pipeline to the pros wasn’t what Dave Pauluzzi had in mind when he first pitched Schulman on the idea of a prep hockey program. All he really wanted was a chance for his son Joe, then a freshman at JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, to play his favorite sport in the school colors.
“They get to experience the sport of hockey like other student-athletes have with football, basketball, baseball, to represent something you live every day,” says Pauluzzi, the 49-year-old CEO of a diagnostic pathology laboratory who still has the sweater he wore playing for Notre Dame College Prep in suburban Chicago three decades ago. “Sports are a big part of the high school life.”