Plum inline players earn national tournament experience
The Plum inline hockey organization is growing, and after fielding only a middle school team for the 2014 winter season, there will be a middle school, elementary and varsity squad for the upcoming 2015 campaign.
The middle school players fared well with some strong wins in their first season, and three of those players — eighth-graders John Michael Kadlecik and Ryan Soboslay and seventh-grader Jeremy D'Antonio — were a part of teams at a pair of recent national and international tournaments.
Kadlecik was the only player from the eastern half of the U.S. on a team — Team USA Stripes — that competed at the AAU Junior Olympic Inline Hockey international tournament from July 13 to 17 in Las Vegas.
Team USA Stripes were in the 20-team U14 division. The squad found it tough going in the round-robin portion of the tournament, as it went 0-3.
The top 16 teams advanced to the Gold Bracket, while Team USA Stripes was placed in a four-team consolation bracket.
Team USA Stripes rose to the occasion with its new life and captured its semifinal playoff game and set up a championship matchup.
However, the team was defeated in a close title game.
Kadlecik played with skaters from Nevada, Missouri, Arizona and California, and Team USA Stripes faced teams from Great Britain, Hong Kong, Korea, Canada and Columbia.
Kadlecik then joined Soboslay and D'Antonio at the 10th annual State Wars inline tournament in Ft. Wayne, Ind.
The Plum trio played on separate Team Pennsylvania squads in tournaments from Aug. 1 through 7.
Kadlecik scored two goals and added two assists for his team in the 2000 A round-robin portion of the tournament.
Team PA went 3-1 in the round-robin but saw its run come to an end in the quarterfinals, 6-0, at the hands of Team Ohio.
D'Antonio was a part of Team PA in the 2001 A/AA tournament.
All of the teams in the division faced off in the round-robin part, and Team PA went 3-1 as D'Antonio tallied five goals and five assists.
D'Antonio recorded an assist in Team PA's 5-3 loss to Southern California in the quarterfinals of the AA playoffs.
Soboslay was pretty busy over the course of the tournament, as he played on Team PA's 2000 AAA/AA team and the 1999 AAA/AA squad.
In the 2000 tournament, Soboslay had two assists to lead Team PA to a 3-1 mark in the round-robin.
Team PA played in the AAA playoffs and went 1-1. It lost to Ontario, 4-0, in the championship game.
The 1999 AAA/AA team went 2-2 in the round-robin, and Soboslay scored two goals in the four games. The squad entered the AA playoffs and were 1-1 with a 1-0 loss to Alberta in the title tilt.
Almost 700 teams took part in the event from age groups ranging from 6U to 18U.
In addition to the expansion of teams in the Plum inline program, the organization has moved its home rink from BladeRunners in Harmarville to the Murrysville SportsZone.�
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.