The Ducks season may have ended sooner than desired, but there was plenty of hockey played last weekend at Honda Center as the club hosted the 11th annual Anaheim Ducks S.C.O.R.E. Street Hockey Shootout presented by Chick-fil-A.

The tournament is the culminating event of the S.C.O.R.E. (Scholastic Curriculum of Recreation & Education) street hockey program, where this year more than 14,000 students across Southern California schools utilized both physical education curriculum and street hockey equipment provided by the Ducks to learn to play the sport.
With the theme of "Sticks, Sneakers and Sportsmanship," the program's largest tournament to date featured 500 fourth graders from 32 of the participating schools. The students and their families gathered in the arena's parking lot as the teams played across 10 rinks for the chance to hoist the S.C.O.R.E. Cup.


After round-robin play, 16 teams moved on to the elimination rounds en route to crowning a new S.C.O.R.E. Cup champion. This was the first S.C.O.R.E. Shootout for St. Polycarp Catholic School in Stanton, and the team had a positive rookie experience.
"This entire experience has been humbling because our kids got a chance to see what the competition is like outside of our school," said St. Polycarp coach and fourth grade teacher Minh Nguyen. "I'm super proud of them. We did a lot better than I thought we would do."
After a tie and a loss in their first two games, St. Polycarp rallied to win their third game and advance to the championship bracket behind the play of their goaltender, 10-year old Aydin Iseminger.
"It was really fun to play against other people," Aydin said. "It felt good winning with my school. I'm proud."
In his second year of teaching and first as a street hockey coach, Nguyen is thankful for the Ducks' support and the chance for his students to learn a new sport.
"We're a small community, so we're really grateful to the Ducks organization for giving us the opportunity to do this," Nguyen said. "I never would have imagined an opportunity like this would have been given to us. It's really cool."
While the teams that advanced to the championship bracket took a lunch break to recharge and refuel, the
Anaheim Ducks Top Flight Program
designed for special needs players took center stage as participants demonstrated their street hockey skills in an exhibition game that ended in a 2-2 tie.


"Attending the S.C.O.R.E. Shootout introduces our participants to a tournament atmosphere and allows them to interact with other hockey players," said Jesse Chatfield, Director of Marketing for The Rinks. "It also gives us the opportunity to showcase the program to individuals that might not know we have programs for participants with special needs."
After 70 street hockey games were complete, it was Beechwood Elementary from Fullerton defeating Grace Lutheran from Huntington Beach 4-2 in their semi-final game to advance to the finals. They faced Serra Catholic School, who beat Richman Elementary from Fullerton 5-0 to earn a spot in the championship game.
In a back and forth contest that was tight from beginning to end, Beechwood scored first putting the Bobcats up 1-0. By the end of the first half, the scored was knotted up at two.


It was the Serra Bears who took a lead 3-2 early in the second half, but three seconds later, Beechwood tied it up 3-3. Serra scored again making it 4-3, but the Bobcats fought back, tying the score at 4-4 and then taking the lead 5-4 with 1:20 remaining. After fighting off a final shot by Serra in the closing seconds, Beechwood Elementary became the third S.C.O.R.E. Shootout champion in tournament history.
"These kids pleasantly surprised me," said Beechwood coach and physical education teacher Kurt Koerth. "They had so much more in them than I thought they did. I never saw one of my students give up, not one negative comment. A lot of encouragement, and a lot of perseverance all the way to the final (game). I'm super proud of them."
Grace Lutheran took third place overall in an equally thrilling game, defeating Richman in a 3-2 overtime victory. They joined Serra and Beechwood at Rink 1 for the medal ceremony where each player from the top three teams was awarded a medal made from Honda Center plexiglass.
Then it was time for the first-time champions to raise the S.C.O.R.E. Cup, a trophy that will be engraved with each of the Beechwood players' names. Additionally, the Bobcats will keep the S.C.O.R.E. Cup over the summer and every player will get their "Day with the Cup." The S.C.O.R.E. Shootout MVP, Jacob Ahn, was awarded a framed Anaheim Ducks jersey signed by the entire team, and Beechwood will be honored for their achievement at a Ducks game next season.


"It was fun," said 9-year old Jacob. "At first I was nervous, because we were losing. But then we scored, and that was better. Our team was passing, and we shot the puck well. We had a lot of chances."
In recognition of those players who exhibited outstanding sportsmanship during the tournament, all 32 teams participating presented a Sportsmanship Award to one of their players, and each recipient will be invited to participate in a future showcase game in honor of their efforts.
Whether they won or lost, each team, coach and player came away from the tournament having experienced growth in the sport of hockey.
"It's been an awesome opportunity, and it's helped with the kids' ability to understand character, integrity, hard work and sportsmanship," Koerth said. "I am honestly amazed that a professional sports organization takes as much time and provides as many resources as the Anaheim Ducks have done. From street hockey, to science education, to their i3 roller hockey program, they are creating not only hockey fans, but Ducks fans."
For more information about the Anaheim Ducks S.C.O.R.E. program, visit