WEST CHESTER, Pa. — The Wilkes-Barre Scranton Jr. Knights and the Rockets Hockey Club lit up Ice Line with an electric best-of-three series to decide the 14U AAA District Champion. In the end, it was the Rockets who pulled out the win and propelled themselves to USA Hockey Nationals. 

The series has provided some of the more exciting games of the entire weekend. After the Rockets won on Saturday, the Knights staved off elimination with a clutch win on Sunday afternoon. The rubber match was set for Monday. After failing to end the series in two games, the Rockets opened the game with playing with even more fiery ferocity. They stormed out of the gates and scored the game’s first two goals, first by Brandon Scali in the first period, then by Stanley Xenakis in opening minutes of the second. As the Rockets took an early 2-0, it appeared like they might cruise to a championship, but nothing could be further from the truth.

The Knights struck back in a big way, scoring three unanswered goals (including a clutch one with forty seconds remaining in the second period) to take a 3-2 lead, their first of the game. It wouldn’t last long, as mere minutes into the third period, the Rockets equalized the game once again. The teams continued to duel back and forth with the same fervor that we’ve come to expect from this outstanding series. With three minutes remaining, Julian Ikeda-Thew drilled one into the back of the net to put the Rockets back on top for the first time since the first period. The Rockets added one more goal minutes later to sew the victory up.  

With that, the Rockets will be represented at Nationals by their 14U AAA, 15 Only AAA, 16U AAA and 18U AAA teams — a near clean sweep of the Tier I districts in the Atlantic Affiliate.