Over the weekend of October 20-22, 2023, the San Jose Jr. Sharks Girls 16U AAA team had a trip to remember at the Minnesota Elite League Tradition NIT where they dominated the competition and emerged victorious with a perfect 5-0 record. This remarkable performance left hockey enthusiasts and fans in awe, as the team showcased their skills and determination on the ice.
The journey to success began with a thrilling 4-3 victory over the Madison Capitals. The Jr. Sharks set the tone for the weekend, displaying their resilience and teamwork. The excitement continued on Friday when they faced off against the Minnesota North Elite and secured a hard-fought 3-2 win. These early victories were a testament to the team's tenacity and commitment.
Saturday witnessed yet another remarkable performance from the Jr. Sharks as they clashed with the Milwaukee Junior Admirals, securing a 5-3 victory. The team's ability to maintain their high level of play was evident as they faced the Windy City Storm from Chicago, earning a 3-2 win. The momentum was building, and their confidence was soaring.
Sunday marked the culmination of the weekend showcase, and the Jr. Sharks didn't disappoint. They ended on a high note, dominating the St. Louis Blues with an impressive 5-1 win. This comprehensive victory showcased their consistency and skill, as they closed out the event on a triumphant note.
While the entire team's performance was commendable, special recognition must be given to their exceptional goaltender, Gillie Ross. Her remarkable skills between the pipes were a vital component of the team's success, and she stood tall in the face of tough opposition.
The Jr. Sharks also had several standout offensive performers who made a significant impact on the scoreboard. Molly Ji, a formidable forward, led the entire tournament in scoring with an incredible seven goals, three assists, and a total of 10 points across five games. Her stellar performance was a key driving force behind the team's victories.
Notable contributions also came from Athena Cho, who tallied six assists, and Alana Laser, with four goals and two assists, both finishing tied for eighth place in scoring. Their skill and teamwork were instrumental in the Jr. Sharks' success.
On the defensive front, Olivia Higley shone as a key contributor from the blue line. She contributed with one goal and four assists, accumulating five points in five games. Her defensive prowess played a crucial role in both protecting their net and contributing to the offensive plays.
The San Jose Jr. Sharks Girls 16U AAA team's impressive performance at the Minnesota Elite League Tradition NIT exemplified their talent, dedication, and teamwork. Their outstanding skill and sportsmanship was on full display, and the future looks incredibly promising for these young athletes. We eagerly anticipate their future endeavors and more thrilling performances from this exceptional team.
Congratulations are in order for Jr Sharks alumnus, Philippe Blais-Savoie, for being selected to the USA Hockey Junior Select Team that will compete in the World Junior A Hockey Challenge taking place December 10-17, 2023, in Truro, Nova Scotia. Team USA will compete against Canada East, Canada West, Slovakia and Sweden.
A 2005 birth year, Philippe currently plays for the Tri-City Storm of the United States Hockey League and is committed to played NCAA D1 hockey for the Colorado College Tigers. He played his entire youth career with the San Jose Jr Sharks club, getting his start in the Jr Sharks House League prior to making the jump to the competitive level. Prior to joining the Storm, Philippe skated in the prestigious USA Hockey BioSteel Boys 17 National Festival in the Summer of 2022.