SCORE Shootout Quick Selects-10

A beloved event made its triumphant return last weekend at Honda Center as the Ducks hosted the 15th annual S.C.O.R.E. Street Hockey Shootout presented by Chick-fil-A SoCal.

More than 300 fourth graders on coed teams representing 20 local elementary schools battled in the day-long tournament for the chance to win the S.C.O.R.E. Cup.

Held each spring, the tournament represents the final event of the S.C.O.R.E. (Scholastic Curriculum of Recreation & Education) street hockey program. During this academic year, more than 11,000 students across Orange and Riverside County schools utilized physical education curriculum and street hockey equipment provided for free by the Ducks S.C.O.R.E. Program as a way to introduce the sport.

One of this year’s participating schools was Saint Jeanne De Lestonnac in Tustin, coached by parent volunteer Darcy Ryan. As a native Canadian, Ryan grew up playing hockey year round, including what he calls “road hockey” during the spring and summer months.

This year, he had the opportunity to coach his 10-year old twin daughters and their 4th grade classmates as they learned to play street hockey in preparation for the S.C.O.R.E. Shootout. The tournament brought back some great memories for Ryan.

“I’m excited for them, knowing how I grew up,” Ryan said. “Hockey was like a religion to us. My whole childhood I can tie to hockey. So just seeing that at the grass roots level, and seeing the enthusiasm of the kids, I’m proud of the Ducks for starting this program. It’s huge for hockey in general, but especially for hockey in Southern California.”

Ryan’s daughters had a blast playing in the tournament as well.

"It was really fun learning a new sport with my friends,” Ava Ryan said. “And I love that we got to play so many games."

"Hockey is super fun,” Olivia Ryan said. “We played better than we thought, and Wild Wing signed our jerseys!"

Each school in attendance played in a series of round robin games which produced 16 teams advancing to the championship bracket. After a number of hard fought contests, Beechwood Elementary, St. Serra Catholic, Pacific Drive Elementary and Friends Christian battled in the semi-finals.

Beechwood and Friends Christian faced off in the title game with Friends Christian emerging as the champion in a 5-3 win, marking the 11th S.C.O.R.E. Cup victory for the school. St. Serra defeated Pacific Drive in the 3rd Place game 4-1, and Beechwood received the tournament Spirit Stick Award.

This was the second year in a row that two of the four schools to reach the semi-final round were from Fullerton School District, including Beechwood, Pacific Drive and Hermosa Drive Elementary, with Beechwood finishing as the S.C.O.R.E. Shootout tournament runner-up the last two years.

The recent success of the schools from the Fullerton School District can be attributed to their participation in the Fullerton Street Hockey League, a district-wide league that includes 17 elementary schools and five middle schools.

The league got its start 10 years ago with just four schools as a way for students to use the street hockey curriculum and equipment provided by the Ducks S.C.O.R.E. Program to train for the S.C.O.R.E. Shootout tournament.

Now, with on-campus rinks provided by the Anaheim Ducks Foundation at three district school locations, the Fullerton Street Hockey League not only hosts an elementary tournament each spring before the students head to Honda Center, but also a middle school league, which allows older students to continue playing street hockey beyond the fourth grade.

One of the results of this commitment by the district to provide these expanded street hockey opportunities for their students is the improved level of play by the schools at the S.C.O.R.E. Shootout tournament.

“The impact has been exponential for children who had never played hockey,” said Fullerton Street Hockey League Tournament Director, Alison Garcia. “It gives them that opportunity to practice more, play more, perfect their craft and know their positions better. We’ve noticed that our kids are starting to perform better at the S.C.O.R.E. Shootout because of our tournaments.”

This year, Fullerton School District had seven schools participate in S.C.O.R.E. Shootout, and in the case of Pacific Drive, the Dolphins advanced to the semi-finals in their first appearance at the tournament.

“I think playing in the Fullerton league helps students stay motivated,” said Pacific Drive head coach Mitchell Tao. “It helped them get excited to play more street hockey. They really enjoyed experiencing what it’s like to put a team together. Playing in that league definitely helped them prepare and have a greater drive to do better.”

Despite coming up short in the 3rd place game, Tao was proud of his students for how quickly they learned the sport and for advancing to the final four. As the school’s physical education teacher, he implements the street hockey module into his P.E. curriculum for all 4th – 6th graders, and each week his students are excited to play. His ultimate goal for all of his students is for them to stay active, and the Ducks S.C.O.R.E. street hockey program helps to achieve that goal.

“I think it’s fantastic what the Ducks do for all the schools in the area, giving students the opportunity to learn street hockey,” Tao said. “For me as a physical education teacher, I want students to find something that they love doing, and I want them to be lifelong movers. Being able to empower and instill that goes a long way for the students. I’m a big supporter of the Ducks and what they do for our community.”

For more information about the Anaheim Ducks S.C.O.R.E. program, visit