Carlsbad hockey team chasing national title

SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Saints hope to make history when they play for a national title in January.

The 14 and under travel team plays in the California Amateur Hockey Association and is currently ranked the 18th best AA team in the country.

Nestled in Carlsbad is where the Saints club hockey team brings 22 boys from San Diego and Orange County together to play ice hockey.

"It's pretty fun," said center Caleb Murray. "It's a lot of traveling. I've never been on a traveling team like this and it's just such a neat experience. I love the coaches, I love the team."

The Saints play as a bantam 14 and under team. In December they went undefeated in the International Silver Stick regional qualifying tournament in Las Vegas, winning the pacific division.

"It was awesome," said right wing Sam Pramenko. "It was probably the best feeling ever. We just all put in the work. Practice, practice, practice makes perfect like everyone says and it paid off in Vegas and hopefully we can keep that streak in Port Huron."

The Saints qualified for the Silver Sticks national tournament held in Port Huron, Michigan where the top 16 teams in the country play in a round robin tournament for the national title.

"Well it would be awesome to shut everyone up because everyone's like, oh it's a ton of surfer kids, there's no way they're going to beat us and then we just come out and roll them and it's just going to be so cool," said Pramenko.

"You got to let them have fun," said assistant coach Mitchell Snyder. "If you're on them too hard, they'll zone you out. There's a fine balance, a fine line there but they rise to the challenge but you got to keep the leash a little tight sometimes."

Aside from winning a national tournament, the Saints are also playing for history. Should they be crowned champions, their names will head to the NHL Hall of Fame in Toronto.

"It would be insane, it would be like the best thing ever," said Murray. "People go there a lot and it would be cool to see and know people know your name."

The Saints will play in the three-day national tournament starting January 24 through 27.

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