Team Minnesota's Taylee Manion (left) celebrates after a goal during Low Country Classic pool play.
It feels like just yesterday the Delta plane from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport touched down on the tarmac in Charleston, where a group of northerners armed with backpacks and hockey sticks made their way through the unseasonably cool low country breeze to the airport's "outer curb."
Fast-forward about 48 hours, and the cream has risen to the top of the Low Country Classic, with pool play officially behind us and the top eight seeds slated for quarterfinal matchups starting Saturday morning.
Three teams made it through pool play with perfect records, headed by No. 1 overall seed Junior Bruins Roses out of Boston. One of two Junior Bruins squads in the tournament, and one of two to make the final eight, Junior Bruins Roses has outscored its opponents 18-1 through four games.
Pro Hockey Development Rose, out of Toronto, takes the No. 2 seed with its 4-0 record, not allowing a single goal in the process. PHD Rose will face Junior Bruins Elite on Saturday in the quarterfinals.
Rounding out the undefeated squads is our own Team Minnesota, which eased past PHD's second team Friday afternoon for its fourth win of the week. Wins over the Manitoba All-Stars, Alberta Warriors, and B.C. Jr. Lady Canucks preceded the victory over PHD.
Minnesota's reward for its spotless resume? The third seed and a date with Manitoba Saturday morning. Since the opening loss to Team Minnesota, Manitoba gave Junior Bruins Roses its closest game in a 2-1 defeat, then picked up wins over Illinois Selects and the Connecticut Jr. Rangers on Friday to secure the No. 6 seed.
The Alaska Wild and Connecticut Jr. Rangers enter the playoff rounds with matching 3-1 records, while Manitoba, Illinois Selects, and Junior Bruins Elite are all at 2-2.
Nakayla Beza and the B.C. Jr. Lady Canucks gave No. 1 seed Junior Bruins Roses one of its closest games of the tournament in a 3-0 loss on Saturday.
Rowyn Street, Manitoba All-Stars
|8:00 AM||(3) Team Minnesota||(6) Manitoba All-Stars|
|8:10 AM||(4) Connecticut Jr. Rangers||(5) Alaska Wild|
|9:20 AM||(2) PHD Rose||(7) Junior Bruins Elite|
|11:00 AM||(1) Junior Bruins Roses||(8) Illinois Selects|
Delaney Miller, flanked by Makayla Gore (L) and Harper Wieneke (R), is tied for fifth among all skaters with five points in four games.
With six goals, Team Minnesota's Hadley Bakker is tied with PHD Rose's Adrianna Milani and Junior Bruins Roses' Mia Daley for the tourney lead.
|Annabella VanBerkel||PHD Rose||5||5||10|
|Adrianna Milani||PHD Rose||6||3||9|
|Hadley Bakker||Team Minnesota||6||1||7|
|Mia Daley||Junior Bruins Roses||6||0||6|
|Taylee Manion||Team Minnesota||4||2||6|
|Kyla Corbett||PHD Rose||3||3||6|
|Sydney Stoughton||Alaska Wild||2||4||6|
|Ashlee Marsala||Connecticut Jr. Rangers||4||1||5|
|Ryan Erster||Connecticut Jr. Rangers||4||1||5|
|Isabella Krokos||Junior Bruins Roses||4||1||5|
|Jane Daley||Junior Bruins Roses||3||2||5|
|Madie McKay||Manitoba All-Stars||3||2||5|
|Berkeley Whitehead||Alaska Wild||3||2||5|
|Scarlett Johnson||PHD Rose||2||3||5|
|Delaney Miller||Team Minnesota||2||3||5|
Manitoba All-Stars goaltender Danica Averill has helped her squad into the quarterfinals as the No. 6 seed.