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March 14, 2006 > Blackhawks headed for hockey nationals

Blackhawks headed for hockey nationals

by Norbert Tydingco

Just one week after capturing their third consecutive California state championship title, the Santa Clara Blackhawks Peewee AA team won USA Hockey's Pacific District tournament with an 8-4 win over the Spokane Americans in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Fremont-based team will now represent the Pacific District - comprised of Pacific Coast states, including Alaska and Nevada - at the USA Hockey Nationals in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. The championship tournament runs from March 29 through April 1.

The road to the Nationals started on February, 26 at Logitech Ice in San Jose. The Blackhawks beat their Southern California rivals, the Anaheim Jr. Ducks, 5-1 in the California Amateur Hockey Association championship game.

Three days later, the team traveled to Las Vegas to take part in the Pacific District tournament. The Blackhawks reeled off three straight wins in the round-robin portion of the tournament to earn a berth in the semi-finals against the Las Vegas Outlaws.

In what was to be the first of two games that Sunday (March 5th), the Blackhawks defeated the Outlaws, 4-1 in an early morning match up. In the adjacent rink, the Spokane Americans edged the Anaheim Jr. Ducks, 3-2, to set the stage for the big game.

Earlier in the tournament, Santa Clara scored two late third period goals to break a 2-2 deadlock and record a 4-2 win over the Pacific Northwest champs.

In the championship game, Santa Clara drew first blood as Roy Grandov scored with 6:24 left in the first period, taking a pass from Mattia Bortolotto and shooting the puck over the glove of the Spokane goaltender.

The Blackhawks built a 3-0 lead by the end of the first period on an even-strength goal by Ryan Zehnder and a power-play goal by Grant Cecil. Ryan Atkinson assisted on Zehnder's goal and Cecil was helped by Grandov and Bortolotto.

The Americans scored two goals early in the second period to cut the Blackhawk lead to a single goal at 3-2, but the Blackhawks answered with three more goals in the second period. Grandov added his second goal of the game on an assist by Theo Tydingco. Wesley Starr scored off a booming snapshot as he skated into the offensive zone near the right boards. Nicholas Hildenbrand and Max Krieg were credited with assists on the Starr goal.

Matt Audet closed out the Blackhawks scoring with 1:58 left in the second period on assists by Zehnder and Miguel Solorzano. At the end of the second period, Santa Clara held a commanding 6-2 lead.

Santa Clara and Spokane traded goals in the third period. Grant Cecil scored his second goal of the game taking a pass from twin brother Scott and flipping a shot over the sprawled Washington netminder. Cecil was on his knees when he took the pass and recovered to finish off the beautiful play.

Theo Tydingco's goal capped off the scoring as he blasted a shot from the blueline that went in and out of the goalie's catch glove and into the net. Grandov assisted on the play and finished with a game high four points (2 goals, 2 assists).

The final score -- Santa Clara 8, Spokane 4.

The Santa Clara Blackhawks are: Kevin Braunschweig, Chris Chang, Mattia Bortolotto, Matthieu Audet, Max Krieg, Roy Grandov, Ryan Atkinson, Wesley Starr, Mark Devaughn, Kevin Zhang, Nicholas Hildenbrand, Vincent Dimaggio, Grant Cecil, Scott Cecil, Ryan Zehnder, Miguel Solorzano, and Theo Tydingco. Coaching staff: Gary Bortolotto, Norbert Tydingco, Roy Grandov, and Michael Atkinson.

Follow their progress in the Nationals by logging in to their website at: or at:

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