The Piedmont Predators 16U Navy team are the 2019 16U LA (Lower A) CBHL (Chesapeake Bay Hockey League) playoff Champions. The Predators completed the regular season in 4th place out of 10 teams with a record of 11-5-4. Overall, the team played 44 games during the season between Exhibition, Tournaments, and CBHL division games.
Semi-final play on February 23, 2019 saw the Predators face the Baltimore Stars (1st seed) at the Haymarket Iceplex. By the end of the 1st period the score was tied 1-1. Second period revealed an energized Predator Defense and Offense that was able to produce 3 goals to Baltimore’s 1 by the end of the period. Goalie Brady Andrea performed near acrobatic maneuvers to keep Piedmont safe from elimination. The Predators went on to score 2 more unanswered goals in the 3rd period resulting in an upset victory and a trip to the Championship game the next day on Sunday February 24, 2019.
The 16U LA Championship game on Sunday, February 24, 2019 produced an exciting rivalry match between the Piedmont Predators and the Ashburn Xtreme, who beat 2nd place Easton 11-1 in the previous day’s semi-final. The competition was fierce and the Predators continued to battle head-on while gradually building momentum despite a 1 goal deficit throughout the 1st and most of the 2nd period. Then with 2:07 left in the 2nd period when Kevin Manuel “broke the ice” scoring the team’s first goal with assistance from Brandon Stumpf ending the period. After a huddle in the locker room during the ice cut between 2nd and 3rd period, the players emerged with a renewed sense of purpose and determination. With only 17 minutes left in the season, the players could sense the urgency to continue their aggressive forechecking and taking the fight to the opponents, keeping true to their style of play that served them well and brought them to the Championship game. The 3rd period was marked with several penalty killing (PK) situations but the Predator’s calm and systematic PK teams were instrumental in neutralizing Ashburn’s tenacious power play attempts. Goalie Chris With was reported to have lost 5 pounds due to the amazing saves and moves required to keep Ashburn shutdown. Suddenly there was a shift halfway through the 3rd period and Vinson Nguyen positioned himself perfectly to get the pass from Ian Scarborough and Halden Smith producing the 2nd goal. You could feel the electricity in the rink and the dogged determination in the players’ eyes as the Predators continued their assault on Ashburn Xtreme. With only a 1 goal buffer, Predator Defensemen threw up a wall in front of Goalie Chris With protecting “the house” and enabling the forwards to mount continual offensive actions. Late in the 3rd period, Grayson Holley comes up big and scored the 3rd goal of the game with assistance again from Ian Scarborough. With a couple of minutes remaining, Ashburn pulls their goalie, however with only 56 seconds left in the game Brandon Stumpf secures the puck and puts it home for an open net goal to bring the final score to 4-1.
Congratulations to the boys for all of their hard work this season and the best teamwork in the playoffs! The Piedmont Predators 16U Navy Team would like to recognize Next Level Fitness which was responsible to the physical training and fitness program that provided a critical pillar of their successful season.
Brady Andrea (#80-Goalie), Aidan Benek (#37), Brendan Green (#52), Peter Grgurovich (#25), Grayson Holley (#43), Kevin Manuel (#39-Captain), Gavin Moore (#21), Blake Morris (#21), Blake Morris (#32), Ian Napolitano (#93), Vinson Nguyen (#12), Colin Palmer (#77-Assistant Captain), Robert Petro (#66), Michael Pleickhardt (#72), Carrick Randall (#28), Adam Rodriquez (#9), Ian Scarborough (#20), Halden Smith (#00), Brandon Stumpf (#76-Assistant Captain), Raj Vats (#41), Chris With (#30-Goalie)
Coaches: Brian Moore, Bob Petro, and Lorin Randall.