COLUMBUS, OHIO – After capturing Tier 1 Ohio State Championships last weekend, the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets Pee Wee Major (1995 born players), Bantam Major (1993 born players) and U16 Midget Minor (1991 & 1992 born players) teams will advance to the USA Hockey Mid-Am District Championships in Youngstown, Ohio on Saturday, March 15. The three state titles are a first for the two-year old Ohio AAA Blue Jackets program and for the city of Columbus. The Ohio AAA Blue Jackets program consists of six youth hockey teams playing in various age groups at the Tier 1 level, the highest level of youth hockey offered by USA Hockey.
Under the head coaching direction of former Blue Jackets player Andrew Cassels, the first title was won by the Pee Wee Major team as they shut out the Cleveland Barons by a score of 7-0. The Bantam Major team followed suit by blanking the 1993 Barons with a 5-0 final. The U16's rounded out the winning weekend after defeating Team Ohio, 9-5, on Monday, March 10 to capture the third State Title for the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets.
"The Ohio AAA Blue Jackets program is a joint effort between the three youth associations in Columbus (Columbus Chill Youth Hockey Association, Capital Amateur Hockey Association and Easton Youth Hockey Association) and the Columbus Blue Jackets. This has been a very positive collaboration and the rewards can be measured in these great accomplishments," said J.D. Kershaw, Director of Marketing and Fan Development for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Ohio AAA Blue Jackets teams will face teams from Pittsburgh's Tier 1 programs in the District Championships on Saturday, March 15 at Boardman Ice Zone in Youngstown. The winners will then advance to play for a USA Hockey National Championship. The schedule for Saturday follows:
*1995 Ohio AAA Blue Jackets vs. Pittsburgh Amateur Penguins, 11 a.m.
*1993 Ohio AAA Blue Jackets vs. Pittsburgh Hornets, 1 p.m.
*U16 Ohio AAA Blue Jackets vs. Pittsburgh Viper Stars, 3 p.m.
The Ohio AAA Blue Jackets Tier 1 AAA program was formed to provide a first class Tier 1 AAA hockey program in Ohio focused on both player development and academic achievement.