Photos by: Marc Posner The Capistrano Coyotes high school hockey team won the Division 2 championship for the Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League, beating Pacific Ridge Firebirds 5-0 at Five Points
Arena on March 9, 2019. All players on the Coyotes attend high schools in the Capistrano Unified School District. Jean Labbe has been the head coach of Capistrano’s varsity team since the 2014-2015 season, winning three division championships. The Coyotes are the first team in league history to win back-to-back championships. In both 2018 and 2019, they entered the final game as underdogs and came out victorious.
While Pacific Ridge beat Capistrano each of the five times they played this season, it was the Coyotes who dominated the championship game from the moment the puck dropped. At the end of the first period, Capistrano was up 3-0, thanks to two goals from Zachary Lane (Tesoro senior), and one goal from Chris Dauria (Tesoro junior). The score remained 3-0 until the third period, when Bryan Choi (Aliso Niguel junior) scored on an assist from Lane and Blake Andrews (Capistrano Valley senior). Shane Domanick (Capistrano Valley senior) capped off the scoring with an empty net goal on an assist from Wyatt Lippis (Tesoro senior). As the final horn sounded, Capistrano’s goaltender Garrett Kennedy (Tesoro senior) earned the shutout, stopping all 16 shots from the Firebirds.
The Coyotes winning history began when they won the championship during their 2013-2014 inaugural season. Six years and four championships later, the program continues to expand, now rostering Junior Varsity, Division 3, and Division 2 teams. Michael Townsend is the manager of all three teams. He took over the job four years ago when this year’s graduating seniors were freshmen and has watched them grow in stature and skill level since then. For the seniors, Saturday’s
championship victory was their last high school game, but it provided the perfect story-book ending to their youth hockey careers.