The Culver Military Academy U16 and Prep hockey teams are leaving for Pittsburgh and the USA Hockey Tier 1 National Championships Wednesday morning and will begin pool play Thursday. All the games are scheduled to be broadcast on Hockey TV. It is a paid service.
U16 advanced to the Nationals by winning the 16U Mid-American Championship in Columbus, Ohio, on March 19. Prep finished second at the 18U MidAm and received an at-large bid to the 16-team tournament. This the second straight year both teams have qualified and the fourth consecutive year that Prep has advanced to the tournament. Prep finished as the tournament runner-up in 2016.
The 16 teams in each age division are divided up into four-team pools. Teams must win their pools to advance to the semifinals Sunday. The championship games will be played Monday morning. All the games will be played at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex (8000 Cranberry Springs Drive) or the Robert Morris University Island Sports Center (7600 Grand Ave.)
Prep is currently ranked fifth in USA Midget 18U Tier 1 and U16 is ranked 25th in USA Midget 16U Tier 1.
U16 has been assigned to the Liberty Pool with the Chicago Mission, Honeybaked, and the Westchester Express. The Eagles will play Chicago Mission at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Lemieux Sports Complex. Their second game will be against Honeybaked at the RMU Island Sports Center at 10:15 a.m. Friday. The final game of pool play will be at 11:15 a.m. Saturday at the Lemieux Sports Complex against Westchester.
The winner of the Liberty pool will play the USA pool winner at 10 a.m. Sunday, with the Olympic and USA pool winners meeting at 10:15. The championship game will be at 9 a.m. Monday. All three games will be played at the Lemieux Sports Complex.
Prep has been assigned to the Olympic Pool with the North Jersey Avalanche, Anaheim Jr. Ducks, and the Tampa Scorpions. The team kicks off pool play against Anaheim at 3:45 p.m. Thursday. The second game is at 6:15 p.m. Friday against Tampa. The final game is at 5:30 p.m. Saturday against North Jersey. All three games will be played at the Lemieux Sports Complex.
The Olympic pool winner will face the NHL pool winner at 12:45 p.m. Sunday. The Liberty and USA pool winners will play at 12:30 p.m. The championship will be at 11:30 a.m. Monday. All three games will be played at the Lemieux Sports Complex.