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The Palm Beach Hawks 10UA travel hockey team recently had an impressive performance on the ice as they won the 49th annual Gene Harrington Shootout Classic in Niagara Falls, New York.
The Hawks, based out of the Palm Beach Skate Zone in suburban Lake Worth, captured the championship in the 10U Squirt Division and won four games against the competition.
The Hawks cruised past the Batavia Ramparts 6-1, registered a shutout victory against the Johnstown Warriors 3-0 and held off the Rochester Coalition 3-1 to reach the title game. The Hawks defense stepped up as well as goalies Fisher Mitchell and Liam Grand.
The Hawks defeated the Batavia Ramparts 3-2 in the championship contest. The Ramparts had scored a combined 10 goals in two victories entering the championship, but the Hawks delivered another strong effort. In the first period, the Hawks jumped out to the lead as Jack Avila opened the scoring. In the second period, Evin Valero scored to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead. In the third period, Luke Laoutas scored the game-winning goal. Fisher Mitchell had another strong performance in net.
“We made it into the finals only allowing two goals in three games and had strong defensive play and outstanding goaltending,” head coach Max Genest said. “In the finals, we came out to an early lead. They played in front of a large and enthusiastic home crowd.”
The Hawks had several contributors, including Jack Avila, Miller Brophy, Jonah Cohen, Emy Genest, Jordana Grand, Liam Grand, Luke Laoutas, Derek Laut, Trent Mantua, Cory Mills, Fisher Mitchell, Aiden Monks, John Sisto, Evin Valero, Ethan White, Reef Wilkes and Joseph Young. Head coach Max Genest was joined by assistant coaches Ryan Grand, Jeff Brophy, Ruben Avila, Quin Menosky as well as team manager Joe Laut.
The Gene Harrington Shootout Classic, which took place from Nov. 19 to 21, featured over 40 teams from the 8U to 14U age group and included squads from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Virginia. The tournament previously also featured teams from Canada in attendance, but they were not able to participate due to COVID-19 restrictions. Genest coached the Hawks to a second-place finish during the 2020 tournament.
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Genest said the team visited Niagara Falls twice during the trip. They also had the opportunity to play a game at an outside rink at Healthy Zone in East Aurora, New York. The Hawks had some fun on the ice by switching goalies on the fly for the first time. In the second period, Fisher Mitchell hustled to the bench and Liam Grand went full speed toward the crease while the play was on the other end of the ice.
“Everyone got a kick out of it,” Genest said. “Even the referee gave me a thumbs up.”
The Hawks 10UA team has enjoyed success on the ice with a 23-6-4 record through the month of November. They also finished in second place during the Orlando Labor Day Tournament and in third place during a tournament in Delaware. The Hawks are scheduled to attend the President’s Day Tournament in Ellenton during February.
“The Palm Beach Hawks are a unique organization with a co-ed team,” Genest said. “Emy Genest and Jordana Grand bring strong hustle and speed and are key elements to an aggressive offense.”
The Hawks organization participated in charitable endeavors for the Thanksgiving holiday. The Hawks 16UA team, coached by David Israel, provided donation baskets to Friends of Foster Children of Palm Beach County. Israel’s team has participated the last two years since he started coaching. Vicky Marshall, who serves as the team manager, gave the baskets to the players and parents. The team went out to get the food items and handed the baskets to Marshall, who provided them to Friends of Foster Children of Palm Beach County.
“The idea of donating the baskets to Friends of Foster Children came from our team manager Vicky Marshall,” Israel said. “She’s the superhero. As a coach, I love that we are able to teach the kids to give charity and be a part of something bigger than hockey. This has become a team tradition for us and it’s always a great feeling to help others who need it, especially during the Thanksgiving holiday.”