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Hockey Glides into States

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The team gets together and prays before their match. Courteous of @wphshockey

Wheeling Park club hockey is looking to cap off a stellar 14-4-0 season with a state championship. This young team has dominated their competition in the regular season, and they now set their focus on winning some silverware.

“We’re preparing for states by keeping ourselves disciplined and making sure everyone is in go mode leading up to states. We feel we have a really good shot at it, ” said junior assistant captain Sam Kiger. 

Teamwork has been essential to the success of this team. The team’s chemistry and will to play for one another are aspects of their game that have improved throughout the season, allowing the team to run like a well oiled machine.

 “We’ve gotten a lot better at playing as a group. Throughout the year, we’ve learned to play less as individuals and more as a connected five man unit on the ice,” said head coach Shayne Wilson. 

Succeeding in the State Tournament will serve its challenges, but this team is battle tested. Competing in the PIHL, they have faced high level Pittsburgh area opponents.

“Whenever we play our PIHL games, they are much higher competition, so they really bring out the best of our team and get us ready to compete in states,” said Kiger. 

This team certainly has the skill to win it all, but Coach Wilson believes that the overall approach that the team takes is integral to winning a state championship.

“The key to success at states is the same three things we’ve emphasized and committed to all year: Be a good teammate, relentlessly compete, and have a high emotional IQ,” said Coach Wilson. “We’ve got a really good group this year that have already accomplished a lot, so we’re looking forward to the challenge that is the state tournament.”

The WV State Bob Otten Hockey Tournament is taking on a different format this season. The tournament will consist of two brackets with three teams in each bracket. The teams that win their respective brackets will face each other in the championship game. One bracket consists of Wheeling Park, Linsly, and Central Catholic while the other includes WV East, Morgantown, and Charleston. The tournament will kickoff on Saturday, Feb. 10th and the finals will be held the following day.

Wheeling Park Hockey will take the ice to face the winner of the Linsly vs. Central Catholic game at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 11th in the state semi-final.

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Gavin Border, Staff Writer
  • Journalism I
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