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KYUSUNG GONG , STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Santa Margarita's Dante Saccacio, far right, and Jett Shibata, right, battle along the boards with Orange Lutheran's Ryan Fischer, far left, and Stephen Goodman, left, during the Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League Division 1 Championship game at the Honda Center on Monday.

OLU, Santa Margarita to vie for national title

STAFF WRITER

Orange Lutheran will take aim at completing a high school hockey trifecta this week.

The Lancers, who have already won an Anaheim Ducks Hockey League championship and a California Amateur Hockey Association state title, will set their sights on capturing the biggest crown of them all at the USA Hockey Youth National High School Championships in Chesterfield, Mo.

Orange Lutheran (35-2-1), the No. 1-ranked high school team in California, begin play in Pool A of the Pure Division Thursday at 6:30 a.m. (PST) against Carroll of Indiana at the Hardee’s Iceplex Olympic Rink. The Lancers conclude pool play with games against Edina of Minnesota on Friday at 1:30 p.m. (PST), and St. Rita of Illinois, Saturday, at noon (PST).

While Orange Lutheran will be aiming for its first national title, rival Santa Margarita will be shooting for its second.

The Eagles (31-16-2), who won a national championship in 2013, open play in Pool B of the Pure Division Thursday against Jesuit College Prep of Dallas, Texas, at 10 a.m. (PST). Santa Margarita then plays North Broward Prep of Coconut Creek, Fla., on Friday at 7 a.m. (PST), and concludes pool play with a 11 a.m. (PST) game Saturday against Regis Jesuit of Aurora, Colo.

The top two teams from each of the four pools in the tournament advance to the championship round, scheduled for Sunday. The championship game is slated for Monday at 8:30 a.m. (PST)

Santa Margarita, who has qualified for the nationals in four of the last five seasons, qualified this year after finishing second at the state finals last month. The Eagles lost to Orange Lutheran in the championship game. Orange Lutheran, who has beaten the Eagles in 7-of-9 games this season, also defeated Santa Margarita to win the ADHSHL title earlier this month.

In 2013, Santa Margarita completed the trifecta, winning the ADHSHL, state and national titles. The Eagles are the only California team to win a national championship in the high school division.

Catch all the action from this week’s tournament online at usahockey.com.


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