Orange Crush: Eight Lady Ducks and Jr. Ducks teams headed to Nationals

By Chris Bayee

If USA Hockey offers a group rate for Nationals berths, the Lady Ducks and Jr. Ducks should have no problem qualifying.

 In what has to be considered one of the most successful weekends – if not the most successful one – in the program’s history, the clubs had six teams win USA Hockey Pacific District championships at Sharks Ice in San Jose and qualify for the USA Hockey National Championships in early April in the Boston area.

 The Lady Ducks captured titles at 14U AA and AAA, as well as at 16U AA and AAA. The LDs’ 19U AAA and Women’s C teams were uncontested in the district and also received Nationals berths. The six Nationals qualifiers are the most in the 19-year history of the Lady Ducks.

 “The Lady Ducks did a phenomenal job,” Jr. Ducks Director of Coaches Craig Johnson said.

 The Jr. Ducks captured Pacific District titles at 16U AAA and 18U AAA, giving its 5-year-old Tier I program its sixth and seventh Nationals berths. It also marks the second consecutive year both Midget teams earned trips to Nationals.

 “What a great weekend for the entire organization,” Jr. Ducks Director of Player Personnel Alex Kim said. “One of the main goals for players and teams at this level is to advance to Nationals. It’s one thing to get that opportunity, but it’s another to seize it. All of these players are well deserving.”

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