Youth is served: L.A. Selects girls' under-19 hockey team wins opener at national championships
The L.A. Selects girls' under-19 team defeated the Washington Pride, 3-1, on Wednesday in its first game at the Tier I 19-and-under USA Hockey championships at Green Bay, Wis.
The team, composed of young women from all over Southern California, will play its second game on Thursday against the New Jersey Rockets.
Youth hockey for both genders is flourishing in Southern California. The Western Hockey League -- one of the primary junior leagues in Canada and a feeder to the NHL -- will hold its fifth annual prospects camp Friday through Sunday at Anaheim Ice, providing a chance for U.S. players born in 1995 to be evaluated by scouts from WHL teams.
WHL teams have found Southern California to be fertile ground for young talent. Four WHL coaches will coach at the weekend camp and will be assisted by four local kids who play for WHL teams: Tyler Maxwell of Manhattan Beach and the Everett Silvertips; Colin Redden of Corona del Mar and the Prince Albert Raiders; Parker Stanfield of Anaheim and the Prince George Cougars; and C.J. Stretch of Irvine and the Kamloops Blazers.
Good luck to everyone hoping to follow in the skate tracings of Wayne Gretzky and four-time women's hockey Olympic medalist Angela Ruggiero of Simi Valley.
-- Helene Elliott