2018 AHAI Adult State Tournament Champions Crowned

By Robert N Fiorio, AHAI Adult Committee Chairman & AHAI Adult State Tournament Director

The 2018 AHAI Adult State Championship Tournament took place April 25-29, 2018 at The Edge Ice Arena in Bensenville with 20 Adult Men’s Teams from 12 area Adult Leagues participating.

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The Men’s B Division featured newcomer Hilary’s Knights, named after the Gold Medal U.S. Women’s Olympic Hockey Team member, Hilary Knight. They acquitted themselves very nicely, beating out Chris Cairo’s perennial participant Pucking Awesome in a 1-goal game to meet the Chiefs in the Final. The championship game was tied for most of the tilt until Tyler Paine’s Chiefs pulled through late in the 3rd to win the Men’s B Division title again in a close game.

In the Men’s C1 Division, the Untouchables played hard but John Dent’s Bar Down Benders met Ciro Iandoli’s Green Berets in the Championship Game for a rematch of the 2017 C1 Final. The game ended in a tie and was still tied after OT. The Green Berets finally prevailed in an exciting shoot-out Final win, getting revenge from last year’s loss.

In the Men’s C2 Division, Ed Waghorne’s Wags Team beat Michael Collin’s Flamers (all fireman and firewomen team) to reach the championships, and Robert Hahn’s Beer League team defeated Ryan Maloney’s Tundra Wookies team to meet Wags in the Final. The Championship was a close game, tied until the Beer League capitalized late to edge Wags 10-7 in a great C2 Final.

In the C3 Division Roman Hubacek’s Golems led the division fending off the 2017 Novice Champ Rum Runners of Captain Daniel Kutschke and faced Captain Ed Flathau’s Armored Saints in the Final. Although the Golems were favored, Armored Saints outworked the Golems for a close win in the Men’s C3 Championship Game. Congrats to Armored Saints for their 1st Championship title after many runners up and being the longest tenured team in this Tournament!

In the Men’s Novice Division, Manny Guagliardo’s Cobra and Bob Fiorio’s Chicago Tops made the final over Ottawa and Whalers, first time entrants. The Final was anti-climactic after a 3-3 tie the day before, Cobra turned on the power and decisively beat the Chicago Tops 7-1 for the Title, it was their second State Title in 3 Tournaments.

All participants took home an award and enjoyed complimentary Labatts all weekend long courtesy of North America Brewery, a solid long-time sponsor of USA Hockey and this AHAI State Championship Tournament. Thank you very much to Labatt!  Also, a big thanks to the AHAI Adult Committee, AHAI, USA Hockey, IHOA for refs, Ron Abels and all the scorekeepers, Todd Finer and The Edge and all their great people who worked hard to be fantastic hosts all Tournament long! Finally, thank you very much to all the fine Captains for entering their teams and all the players for participating! We are looking forward to a great next year’s Adult State Tournament returning to the Edge in late April 2019!

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