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Hurricanes, Gators win AAU College Hockey Championships

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WEST CHESTER, Pa. — When the 28 players on the University of Miami Hurricanes club hockey team woke up Wednesday morning, they were ready to do battle in the AAU College Hockey championship.

When they awoke Thursday, they were champions.

The Hurricanes didn’t just beat the Florida Southern Moccasins, they crushed them, winning 10-0 in the DIII National Championship game.

Following Miami’s win, the Florida Gators took out FAU 8-4 to claim the DII championship.

For Miami, its championship started out a lot closer than it ended up.

In the opening minutes, it was Florida Southern getting the chances.

The Hurricanes stood tall, though, blocking shot after shot, and only allowing four to reach Harlan Jackson in net (with a few post shots as well).

Jackson only had to make a total of 11 saves in the shutout win.

Devon Mussio found the puck in the slot and blasted a wrister past Mocs goalie Jason Cribbs for what ended up as the game-winning goal just under 6 minutes into the game; it was then that Miami started to roll. to make it 1-0, and then Miami started to roll.

Miami led 2-0 after the first after Jake Terlik put home a juicy rebound on the left side at the 13:39 mark.

Florida Southern already looked defeated.

Would this game turn out to be similar to their meeting in the College Hockey South Picksweet Cup Championship in which Miami won 4-0?

Even worse, could it end up like their regular season matchup in December, one where Miami beat the Mocs 6-0?

Turns out, it was even more of a blowout.

Miami scored six goals in the second period on 16 shots.

Tournament hero Elian Estulin picked up where he left off Tuesday, scoring just 29 seconds into the period, and Billy Cincotta added the fourth goal at 6:20.

Estulin picked up a loose puck and swept it under Cribbs, while Cincotta took a feed from Estulin on the right side to make it 4-0.

The game did not quite feel over until just over halfway through, when Mussio ripped a hard slapshot over Cribbs, top shelf, to give the Hurricanes their fifth goal of the day.

The rout was on.

Estulin cemented his spot as tournament MVP with his second consecutive hat trick and by ending with eight goals.

The freshman spring semester addition ended his season with 17 goals in 14 games since joining the team in January.

Miami eased off in the third, with many of the players focused on how they would celebrate. Coach Tom Immello had all of his scratched players get dressed for the celebration, which was just 20 minutes away.

The Hurricanes still put two more past Cribbs, who is the only goalie on the Moccasins roster.Cincotta scored his second of the game 6:20 into the period, and senior forward Gunti Weissenberger, who is from Philadelphia, put the icing on the cake with 3:31 left to get the real party started for the Hurricanes.

Not long after the Miami celebration ended, the Gators got to work by scoring three goals in the opening five minutes against FAU.

After a blocked shot off the stick of Quinn Shepard, Noah Horwitz ripped one past Rocco Bruno to make it 1-0 just 1:51 in. A minute later, Michael McCoy got his eighth goal of the tournament to make it 2-0.

The Owls did not get their legs going until the second, but by then it was too late to mount another comeback.

Myles Davidson picked up the trash from a Matias Weir shot, getting it past Connor Lee to make it 3-1 with 15:03 left in the second.

Michael Katz responded 2:13 later with a snipe from the slot to regain the three-goal lead; McCoy later got his second of the game on another juicy rebound in the slot to make it 5-1.

FAU did make an earnest comeback, getting goals from Emilio Stabile, Weir, and Leon Biller to pull within a goal at 5-4.

But an interference penalty on Anthony Campagna with 8:27 left proved costly for the Owls; Katz, who was to the left of Bruno’s crease, put home his second of the game to give the Gators a 604 lead.

Katz completed his hat trick at 15:15 cleaning up a rebound in front of Bruno, and, with 2:12 left, Kegan Lampinen ended it with 2:12 left.

TOURNAMENT NOTES

This was the first time that AAU college hockey had four championship games.

In those games, five of the eight teams represented Florida, including two champions.

In all, six teams from College Hockey South were represented in championship games, with South Carolina clinching the D1 title Sunday, its first championship.

The other representative was the University of Tampa women’s team, which fell in their final to Paul Smith’s College on Sunday.

 — Miami’s Jackson was named player of the game with an 11 save shutout; Estulin was named tournament MVP.

— It was Miami’s first ice hockey championship since they first fielded a team in 2011-12. The Hurricanes won the national roller hockey championship in 2011.

— Miami will move up to DII next season but will keep a team in DIII as well.

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