Hart High senior Joey Cicoria is headed to the USA Hockey national championship tournament after winning the Pacific District championship with the L.A. Junior Kings on Sunday.
The Junior Kings beat the Alaska Wolves, 4-3, in overtime to win the Pacific District Tier 1 18U championship at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo.
Cicoria, a forward on the team, joined the Junior Kings midway through the season. He was also a linebacker on the Hart High football team.
“I came half way through the season, so it’s pretty exciting to be where we are now,” Cicoria said. “Even though I’ve only come halfway through, to see how far we’ve grown as a team, it’s amazing, it’s unreal. We came back and won in overtime. It’s such a great feeling.”
The Junior Kings were down 3-1 in the third period, but scored two goals in the final five minutes of the game to send it into overtime.
Ian Hoang, a freshman at Long Beach State, scored an unassisted goal, his second of the game, to cut the lead to 3-2.
“He started the momentum with the first goal, then he continued it with the second goal,” Junior Kings coach Jack Bowkus said. “It’s just amazing to see the character and how much fun they’re having right now.”
Austin Ho scored the game-tying goal with 36 seconds to play in regulation.
Paul Ramsey scored the game-winner with 3:26 to play in overtime.
“We’re always talking about how to get pucks to the net and our captain just fired it away,” Cicoria said. “Good things happen when we throw it at the net.”