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Around The Rinks (USA Youth Nationals Edition): Karissa Haimes and Alaska All Stars Tier II 19U girls pull off last-minute miracle, 5 of 7 Alaska teams advance to playoffs

by | Apr 6, 2024 | Cover Story, Hockey

The Alaska All Stars Tier II 19U girls found themselves in a tough spot midway through the third period of their final pool-play game in the 2A division Friday at the USA Hockey National Championships in East Lansing, Mich.

The All Stars trailed the Mid Fairfield Stars (Conn.) 2-0.

Jacey Matson’s power-play strike off a Malila Miller assist cut the deficit to 2-1 with 8:33 left. Still, the All Stars could not generate the equalizer during the next eight minutes.

Things looked grim.

Then Karissa Haimes skated to the rescue.

Haimes scored the game-tying goal off assists from Rian Runyan and Matson with just 23 seconds remaining, then authored the game-winning strike off an Adeline Gularte helper with just six seconds left to earn the All-Stars (2-1-0) an improbable 3-2 win and a spot in Saturday’s quarterfinals.

Goaltender Tess Jorgensen gave the All Stars a shot at their unlikely comeback by stopping 22 of 24 shots.

Of Alaska’s seven teams at various Tier II national tournaments across the country, five advanced to Saturday’s quarterfinals. Alaska teams went a combined 4-1-2 in games Friday.

Also in the 19U girls tournament, Hockey Club Fairbanks (2-1-0) advanced to the quarterfinals in the 1A division with Friday’s 5-2 win over the Casco Bay Mariners (Maine).

Grace White and Clara Cleviston each furnished Fairbanks one goal and one assist, Teegan Hays generated two assists, Galilee Murray scored a goal for the third straight game, and Avery Lasher and Paetynn Conlon each scored. Gennesaret Halbert racked 21 saves.

Meanwhile, in Delmont, Penn., the Anchorage North Stars boys (3-0-0) remained unbeaten and advanced to the 18U 2A playoffs with a 2-1 overtime win against the Manchester Flames (N.H.) that was buoyed by Kole Kite’s 15 saves.

Paul Dittrich delivered the dagger for the North Stars off Owen Melson’s assist. Austin Wiita gave Anchorage a 1-0 third-period lead with his goal off a Malachi Lachance assist.

The 14U Alaska Wolves boys (2-0-1) fell 3-2 in OT to St. James (Va.) when they gave up the tying goal was just six seconds left in their 2A pool-play finale in Amherst, N.Y. Still, the Wolves, unbeaten in regulation, advanced. Devin Berg scored both Wolves goals – Oliver Zuber and Easton Hickok earned assists – and Rohn Pride made 21 saves.

The other Alaska team to advance was the Valley Thunder (2-1-0) 16U boys in the 2A division in Dallas.

The Thunder beat the Vegas Jr. Golden Knights 6-2 behind Keegan O’Bryan’s 31 saves and Tavian Mukaabya’s two goals. Trenton Huber added 1-2—3 scoring totals, Chase Ringler and Gabriel Lamm each put up 1-1—2 efforts and Clayton Conrad added a goal.

The Valley Thunder 16U girls (1-2-0) were eliminated in Green Bay, Wis., after falling 4-2 to Team South Dakota on Friday. Sophie Dupont and Sammy Gerteisen scored goals for the Thunder, who led 2-0 after one period before surrendering four third-period goals. Goaltender Abigail Blevins, who made 23 saves Friday, put up a 2.00 goals-against average and .915 save percentage across three games.

Also eliminated Friday were the Alaska All Stars 14U girls in Sioux Falls, S.D. The All Stars (0-2-1) lost 3-2 in OT to the Boston Jr. Eagles in the 2A division. Ashlyn Walden and Ayla-Marie Sanders scored for the All Stars and Madelynn Derleth snuffed 30 shots.

In Tier I, the highest level of American youth hockey, several Alaskans who play for Outside teams also advanced:

  • Forward Ellas Johnson of Palmer assisted on a power-play goal less than five minutes into the game as the Shattuck-St. Mary’s (Minn.) 19U girls improved to 4-0-0 with a 1-0 quarterfinal win over the Worcester NAHA Whitehawks (Mass.) in West Chapel, Fla. Johnson has two power-play helpers in four games.
  • Defenseman Olivia Johnson of Palmer and the Shattuck 16U girls also improved to 4-0-0 with Friday’s 4-2 win over Belle Tire (Mich.) in West Chapel.
  • Also moving on to the 16U girls semifinals in West Chapel was forward Annika Stock of Anchorage and the Bishop Kearney Selects (N.Y.). Stock assisted on the game-winning goal in a 3-2 OT win over Minnesota Hardware that pushed the Selects to 4-0-0.
  • At the 18U boys tournament in Las Vegas, forward Ryan Embley of Anchorage and top-seeded Shattuck (4-0-0) moved into the semifinals courtesy of a 10-4 victory over the Central Mass. Penguins.
  • Camden Zaporzan of Anchorage and the Shattuck 14U boys improved to 4-0-0 and qualified for the semifinals in Plymouth, Mich., with Friday’s 5-3 win over the Windy City Storm (Ill.)

Story made possible by:

Black-Smith, Bethard & Carlson

Family of Sponsors

Alaska Airlines | Nicole Johnston | Richard Mize | Advanced Diagnostics, INC | Aktive Soles | Alaska Oil and Gas Association | Aspen Endodontics | Black-Smith, Bethard & Carlson, LLC. | BOSCO's | Coho Financial Group | Continental Auto Group | Don Clary & Judy Besh | Glen Bailey | Invisalign-Ben Ward | JL Properties | Joey Caterinichio & Ja Dorris| Kathleen Navarre | Midas Alaska | Moose's Tooth, Bear Tooth and Broken Tooth Brewing | Perkins Coie - Sarah & A.J. Schirack | R&M Consultants, Inc. | RE/MAX Dynamic Properties Kevin Taylor | Residential Mortgage | Seth Wickersham & Alison Overholt | Taylored Restoration | Korndrop Family Foundation | Arctic Slope Regional Corporation | Replacement Glass | Zareena and Allen Clendaniel | Foley & Pearson | UAA Seawolves | Tony and Carla Slaton Barker | Sportclips Haircuts | Alliance for Support of American Legion Baseball in Alaska | Alice & Gunnar Knapp | Amy and Jason Miller | Burgerfi | Charles Fedullo | Dan Rufner | Darren Lieb | Don Winchester | Donley Family | Dr. Justin Libby, DDS | Firetap | Harlow Robinson | Jason & Shannon Metrokin | Jim & Michelle Hajdukovich | Joe Alston | Kathie Bethard | Krispy Kreme | Kristopher Knauss | Loren Kroon | Mark and Jamie Johnson | Mark Silverman | On the Border | Pete Robinson | Rick Mystrom | Team Heat | Team Moriarty | The Conway Family | Todd Whited | Moria Smith | In memory of Drs. John & Elizabeth Tower | Peter Pounds | Multisport Training of Alaska/Lisa Keller | RSA Engineering

Family of Sponsors

Alaska Airlines | Nicole Johnston | Richard Mize | Advanced Diagnostics, INC | Aktive Soles | Alaska Oil and Gas Association | Aspen Endodontics | Black-Smith, Bethard & Carlson, LLC. | BOSCO's | Coho Financial Group | Continental Auto Group | Don Clary & Judy Besh | Glen Bailey | Invisalign-Ben Ward | JL Properties | Joey Caterinichio & Ja Dorris| Kathleen Navarre | Midas Alaska | Moose's Tooth, Bear Tooth and Broken Tooth Brewing | Perkins Coie - Sarah & A.J. Schirack | R&M Consultants, Inc. | RE/MAX Dynamic Properties Kevin Taylor | Residential Mortgage | Seth Wickersham & Alison Overholt | Taylored Restoration | Korndrop Family Foundation | Arctic Slope Regional Corporation | Replacement Glass | Zareena and Allen Clendaniel | Foley & Pearson | UAA Seawolves | Tony and Carla Slaton Barker | Sportclips Haircuts | Alliance for Support of American Legion Baseball in Alaska | Alice & Gunnar Knapp | Amy and Jason Miller | Burgerfi | Charles Fedullo | Dan Rufner | Darren Lieb | Don Winchester | Donley Family | Dr. Justin Libby, DDS | Firetap | Harlow Robinson | Jason & Shannon Metrokin | Jim & Michelle Hajdukovich | Joe Alston | Kathie Bethard | Krispy Kreme | Kristopher Knauss | Loren Kroon | Mark and Jamie Johnson | Mark Silverman | On the Border | Pete Robinson | Rick Mystrom | Team Heat | Team Moriarty | The Conway Family | Todd Whited | Moria Smith | In memory of Drs. John & Elizabeth Tower | Peter Pounds | Multisport Training of Alaska/Lisa Keller | RSA Engineering

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