Redwood City Black Stars took on the top-seeded Tahoe Grizzlies for the championship game for the California Amateur Hockey Association at Sharks Ice Arena in San Jose, and a Coastsider would play a pivotal role.
Three minutes into the first period, Black Stars defenseman and Half Moon Bay High School freshman Sequoyah Klingele intercepted the puck just past mid-ice for a breakaway into the Grizzlies zone, then swung left and let an outside wrist shot fly through the five-hole of the Tahoe goalie.
Six minutes later, the Grizzlies put one past the Black Stars’ goalie to tie the game 1-1. The game went to overtime and the Black Stars won, 2-1, earning the title of 2019 14UB CAHA state champs.
Klingele was thrilled with the victory and was proud of scoring the only regulation play goal for his team.
“At the time I didn’t realize it was such a big deal,” he said. “We’d played that team before, and they had always been high-scoring games.”
Klingele started playing roller hockey on the Coastside when he was 6 and has played in the North Coast Hockey League’s recreational roller program for five years and on the Half Moon Bay Cougar travel team for three. This is only his second season of ice hockey. He said the transition from roller to ice wasn’t easy.
“There was a benefit (to playing roller hockey), but it also carried some bad habits,” he said.
Ali Bailey is the Black Stars’ director and player development coordinator for Nazareth Ice Oasis, which sponsors the travel team. She has coached Klingele over the last two years and is impressed by how much he has developed.
“Watching his progress over the season and his sheer determination on the ice has been an honor,” she said. “Through his time with the Black Stars, he has really come into his own.”
Klingele finished his Black Stars season with one of the top point totals in the state for 14U defensemen and was the No. 1 designated hard hitter for his team, leading the way in team checks. He was awarded the state championship game puck for his strong performance.