Tourney Recap from Coach Moyer of the Girls U19 Capital Wolves:
The scene is painted as a partly cloudy day that will be remembered for eternity. The U19 Capital Wolves stare across the ice at a bigger physical Hamden girls team. They watch as Hamden prepare themselves for yet another trophy. The game is fast and physical. Hamden brings it hard off the first drop, showing lots of pressure but our tendie Nora turns them all away while brushing her shoulder off. The game slowly turns the other way and Lindley drops a bomb from the blue line 1-0 Wolves. Shortly after, Lee Ann decides she also wants a piece and makes it 2-0. Hamden decides they would like to start playing the game again and puts one in the back of the net 2-1 and the momentum shifts back to Hamden. The captain of the Wolves, Shibe, says "enough of this" and walks the Hamden goalie with a sick move across the crease 3-1. Lee Ann decides one piece of pie was not enough and wanted seconds on a 2-1, when she faked pass and went shot 4-1. (It is legend to this day that the goalie's pads are still missing from the pass fake). Hamden ended the scoring at the third period horn 4-2.
Congrats U19 Wolves on a great weekend and great championship run.
The inaugural WHYHA Mite Fall Face-Off was a great success. Our Mite A team was chomping at the bit to play their first games of the season and they brought this enthusiasm and intensity to the ice. The Mite A team played ECHO, Cromwell, Enfield and South Windsor. The kids played incredibly well as a team and impressed all the coaches and fans with their passing, hustle and wonderful sportsmanship.
The Mite A team won the inaugural tournament with a 3-1 record. Given the format of the tournament, there was not a championship game and the tie breaker was on goal differential. Our team compiled an impressive goal differential of 27 over our four games played. Charlie “Bearclaw” Faulkner was a star in net all weekend. One of my favorite coaching moments of the tournament was when Charlie skated over to the bench during one of the games and said “goalie is boring” because he wasn’t getting enough action. Every player scored a goal, including Emerson Fletcher and Parker Bastos scoring their first goals at the “travel team” level.
Most importantly, the team had a blast and represented our program incredibly well as one of the host teams. After each game, we had a few of our players present an opposing player with a “hustle/player of the game” honor. Each team, including parents and coaches, commented how “classy” this gesture was. This early tournament experience will hopefully set the stage for a great year!
The Peewee A1 Wolves punched a ticket to Championship Monday in the Columbus Day Tournament going 2-0-1 during the preliminary round. The Wolves would draw the Southern A1 Stars in the semi-finals. It was a classic battle of big and strong versus small and quick. It took some time for the Wolves to get adjusted to the physical play. During a Wolves powerplay (For the game, the Stars would spend a Squirt period (12 minutes) in the sin bin), the Stars would score shorthanded to lead 1-0 after one. Halfway through the second period, Will Moynihan would tie the game with a sneaky shot from behind the goal line. Three minutes later, Alex Martin would initiate and end-to-end rush feeding Patrick Murphy for the 2-1 lead. The Wolves would keep the Stars scoreless to earn a placement in the finals.
The Peewee B Championship game pitted your West Hartford Wolves against the Central Connecticut Peewee B Capitals. The stands were packed, and the teams would produce a classic that will be shown on ESPN Classic later this week. The first period was like two boxers circling in the ring, testing each other’s defenses. The Wolves would have more scoring chances, but could not solve the Capital netminder. The period would end scoreless, but the Wolves felt confident going into the second period.
Three minutes into the second, a Capital shot from the point would elude the Wolves netminder resulting in a 1-0 deficit. Four minutes later, Bodie Swanson and Patrick Murphy would feed Will Moynihan on a breakaway to tie the game 1-1. Five minutes later on a powerplay, Zach Gerken would win the faceoff to Gabe Martin, who passed it to Noah Wilk at the point. Noah surveyed the scene and passed to an open Bodie Swanson, who ripped it past the goalie for a 2-1 lead. The period would end with the Wolves feeling confident.
The third period saw the Wolves battling the Capitals for every inch. With one-minute remaining and the Capitals netminder pulled, Central would tie the game off a scramble in front of the net. Regulation time would end forcing a 5-minute 4v4 overtime.
Twenty seconds into the first overtime period, the Wolves would be called for roughing and would have to kill off a 4v3 powerplay for two minutes. The Wolves would kill the penalty, with Wolves goalie Liam Joyce making two quality saves, and escaped the first overtime still tied. A second period of 5-minute 3v3 overtime would be next.
In the NHL, 3v3 overtime is exciting to watch and always produces grade A scoring opportunities at a moment’s notice. 30 seconds into the 5th frame, Zach Gerken would poke check the puck away from a Capital to spring him free on a breakaway. Zach made his move on the goalie and beat him like a rented mule. Final: Wolves 3 – Capitals 2, 2OT.
5 games in three days is a tough schedule for any hockey team. Your Wolves were resilient battling back multiple times in the tournament and had seven different goal scorers. It was a memorable Columbus Day Weekend.
Tournament Recap from Coach Strauser and the Squirt C Wolves....
The kids had a great weekend!
The coaches were all very impressed with their level of play for their initial 1st 4 full ice games.
We played in the championship this afternoon. It was once again a nail biter vs the Southern Stars Squirt B team.
The Stars were 1st on the board. The Wolves were playing solid D and having stellar goaltending from Jacob “StoneWall” Krause. We had a great deal of offensive pressure, but just couldn’t find the back of the net. Then, we found our chance, started off with a great defensive play and an amazing pass to start the transition- one of the D jumped up to lead the offensive rush and she was able to bury it in the back of the net.
We continued our offensive pressure, amazing defensive positioning, and rock star level goaltending. The Stars, though, were able to bury a 2nd goal and went up 2-1.
The Wolves did not slow down. They continued with heavy offensive pressure. Then, as one of the Stars was breaking out of their zone, our defenseman got called for a penalty. He headed to the box disappointed. The crowd looked concerned, but not the players. We jumped right into an aggressive PK. After an amazing defensive effort, the team was able to push the puck forward and one of the defensemen took off, along with one of the forwards. The pair flew down the ice (did not go offsides) and were able to find the back of the net. It’s now a 2-2 game. Shortly after our short-handed goal, we made a defensive mistake and gave the Stars an open net goal to take the lead. The team had a ton of offensive pressure and just couldn’t find the back of the net.
We called timeout with 2 minutes left, pulled the goalie, and went for it. The kids did a great job keeping it in the zone and putting solid pressure on the Stars. They just couldn’t find the back of the net. The game ended with one of our players streaming down the ice, but the buzzer sounded and that was the game.
Stars win the tourney 3-2
We had an amazing battle with the Stars this weekend and it was quite the start to our squirt season. The kids had a ton of fun and we brought home some hardware for the Wolves!!
Please see below for weekend recap from Coach John Rossi and the Mite B squad.
Mite B Columbus Day Tournament Summary:
All 12 Mite B players had their first travel team games this weekend and showed great focus, determination and perseverance playing a Ludlow program with no B team. We finished the weekend with 2 wins and 2 losses to secure the runner up position for the tournament. In addition the Mite B’s very much enjoyed awarding the opposing team with player of the game honors. The highlights were:
- The National Anthem for game 1 (sung live by the legendary Tony Harrington of Hartford Whalers fame) and our 12-0 shutout of ECHO green, almost one goal for every player and 15 saves for Landon Brownlie
- Game 2 was a shoot out against Ludlow, where we fell 6-3 with well over 30 saves by Landon Sherwood
- Game 3 was another strong passing and scoring performance with an 8-2 win over ECHO gold, Jake Rossi with 18 saves
- Finals: we played Ludlow pretty even the first half, but let in some tough goals in the second half to end with a 4-1 loss.
Extremely proud of all players, parents, coaches and especially our team manager Keri Sherwood and scheduler Corrina Brownlie for organizing the event and dedicating most of their weekend to the effort. Seeing the kids so excited during the games made it all worth it!
A spirited and very successful 1st full weekend of hockey games for our program. With the help of our Head Coaches, and Coaching Director Jared Cohane and his traditional / legendary game recaps, please see below for details about many of our Wolves' teams that were in tournament action this weekend.
Mite A / B - Vets Tournament
In the inaugural Mite Fall Face Off Tournament held at Vets this weekend, our Wolves' Mite A team took home the 1st place hardware and our Wolves' Mite B team fought hard against a good team from Ludlow, MA, before ultimately falling short and bringing home the tournament runner-up trophy. More detailed write ups and post-game trophy photo ops to follow, but a fantastic start to the season for both Mite teams, who showed great resilience, teamwork, and sportsmanship throughout the weekend, not to mention a bunch of talent and skill...
Bantam A – Wallingford Tournament
The Bantam A team started off the tournament with a Saturday night affair against the Watertown Wings, who turned out to be the toughest opponent of the weekend. The Wolves started off the scoring when Aidan Adams put the biscuit in the basket in the first period. The second period however began with the Wolves taking some untimely penalties and the talented Wings power play took full advantage by tallying three goals in the second. The Wolves had trouble keeping up with the Wings speed in the third and the game ended 6-1.
Game 2 took place on Sunday morning when the Wolves faced off against New Haven. The game was very even and chances went back and forth throughout the first two periods. New Haven put in two quick goals in the last 90 seconds of the 2nd which was all they needed for the victory. They tacked on an empty netter with 10 seconds remaining but the Wolves went down swinging and fought to the bitter end.
Despite not being eligible to qualify for the Championship game, the Wolves played with a lot of fight and pride in their 3rd game vs. Wallingford, which was reflective of their high level of character. Despite giving up the first goal early in the 2nd period, they focused on playing smart with consistent effort. Luke Roux turned a turnover in the defense zone into a beautiful long range pass to a streaking Keegan Bankoff who skated behind the D and put his breakaway goal top shelf, where Momma hides the cookies. The Wolves continued to grind out quick and smart shifts until with six minutes left in the game Bankoff left the penalty box and managed to cause a turnover in the D zone before skating in on another breakaway. This time Bankoff faked a shot and deked to his forehand where he buried his second of the game. Despite some chippy play and questionable hits by Wallingford, the Wolves kept their heads and discipline and held on to the 2-1 victory. Goalie Luke Nordstrom played outstanding all weekend and kept the Wolves in every games.
While the Bantam A team would have liked more wins this weekend, they made some great strides towards their longer term goals of playing hard and smart as a team while maintaining fundamentals and discipline. Overall the team is comprised of a great bunch of kids who are gelling together nicely and having fun in the meantime. Great things to come from this bunch later in the season.
The Bantam B team dropped the tournament opener to a tough Cromwell Whalers team. Aeden Mallett was stellar between the pipes, keeping the Wolves within striking distance through two periods, but 39 shots on goal proved too much, as the Whalers came away with the 6-1 win. Josh Orsey had the lone tally for the Wolves, redirecting the Ethan Morander blast from the point to deny the Whalers the shutout.
Bantam B took on Greater New Haven in the second game on Saturday evening. It was a tight-checking affair for the better part of two periods, with Josh Kaminski taking his turn in net with another standout performance from the Bantam B goaltending unit. Goal posts and missed opportunities was the story of the night for the Wolves offense. Ethan Morander tied it at one late in the second with a low blast from the point, but the Warriors answered right back to take a 2-1 lead into the third. Undisciplined play resulted in Greater New Haven extending the lead on the power play midway through the third. The Wolves surrendered an empty netter, ultimately falling 3-1.
Although eliminated from the cross over game, the Wolves closed out the tournament against the host Wallingford Hawks playing for pride. The Wolves took their first lead of the tournament when Teddy Braiewa went bar down from the high slot off of a great feed. Wallingford answered right back, but the Wolves would regain the lead off of the stick of Will McCann. The game took a physical turn and the Wolves fought off two 5 on 3 situations in the third to earn Coach Richetelli his first win behind the West Hartford bench. Positive steps forward for the Bantam B’s.
Pee Wee A1
The Peewee A1 team entered the Andy Noel Hawks Columbus Fall Classic Tournament chomping at the bit after seventeen grueling practices. It was time to wear the nice uniforms and play games. Opening game saw the Wolves play a complete game against the Wonderland B1 Wizards in route to a 3-0 victory with Liam Joyce earning his first shutout. A double header on Sunday had the Wolves playing the host Wallingford A1 Hawks for the first game. Down by one entering the third period, the Wolves would kill off a five on three power play early in the third period and take the lead only to have the Hawks tie the game 2-2 with 4 seconds left. The afternoon matinee had the Wolves entertaining the Riverhawks A1 team. A three-goal explosion in the first was enough for the Wolves to cruise to a 3-1 victory and earn a spot in the semi-finals Monday afternoon.
The Squirt A’s punched their ticket to the finals running through the round robin portion of the Andy Noel Columbus Day Tournament. The Wolves opened on Thursday evening with a 1-0 win over the host Hawks. Chase Emery posted the shutout in net, with Teagan Cohane scoring the only goal off the game off of a Ben Goldstein Rebound.
Game two on Saturday morning brought the Southern Stars. Ben Goldstein notched the hat trick, with Henry Tamaccio and Teagan Cohane popping in a goal apiece as the Wolves advanced to the final with a 5-2 win. Lachlan Fletcher was solid in net for the Wolves.
Game three late Sunday afternoon against the Watertown Wings was closer than it should have been, but the Wolves completed round robin play without a blemish eking out a 3-2 win. Teagan Cohane had the hat trick and the solid defensive play by Liam Alver, Lachlan Fletcher, Riley O’Keefe and Dylan Smith in front of Chase Emery made all the difference.
The Wolves meet the Stars for all the marbles 10:20 Monday morning.
West Hartford Squirt C opened the Andy Noel Tournament with a blast, besting the Wallingford Hawks 11-0 early Saturday morning. The second game of the double header was a hard fought battle, with the Wolves coming away with the 3-1 victory over the Southern Stars. A short bench with only eight skaters fought valiantly on Sunday, falling 2-1 in a rematch with Southern, but the Wolves advanced as the top seed for the championship game at 3:55 p.m. against who else? Southern. It should be a barn burner!