See below for information about our 3rd Annual Wolves Winter Classic - an old-school "shinny" style 3 v. 3 hockey tournament scheduled for Sunday, December 31st at Vets.
Registration will open soon, with limited space available in each division, so get your teams organized now and get signed up!
Wolves Winter Classic
New Year’s Eve 3 v. 3 Tournament
On December 31st, West Hartford Youth Hockey will be hosting the 3rd Annual New Year’s Eve 3 v. 3 tournament. This event will be open to any travel skaters registered with West Hartford Hockey. Space will be limited, though, so pick your teammates and get signed up!
When: December 31st, 2017 – first games start at 9:00 am, finishing up by 12:30 pm
Where: Veteran’s Memorial Skating Rink
Eligibility: This event is for West Hartford travel players only (all skaters must be registered with WHYHA for the current season).
Tournament Fee: $60 per team. One representative from each team should handle the online registration and payment.
Tournament Includes: A minimum of 3 round-robin games per team, a medal round, and awards for 1st and 2nd place teams in each Division.
Structure: Games will be 3 v. 3 “shinny” with no goalies, played in a cross ice format with pond hockey nets. Teams will register for one of 4 co-ed divisions: Mites, Squirts, Pee Wee, and Bantam. Tournament will involve up to 8-10 teams in each division, with the top 4 teams advancing to the Medal round to crown a champion. Teams will be 'flighted' if needed to ensure a competitive environment. This will be determined based on RSVP / Sign Up at the discretion of the WHYHA Coaching Director and President.
As promised....the Bantam A Jay Peak report...and since it was "late", there are 2 entries and I've included them both here. The first is from Team Manager, Aaron Jainchill. The second is from Coach John Wenz. Enjoy!
The WHYHA Bantam A team had a strong showing at the Jay Peak tournament. The boys went 0-1-3, with the lone loss being by one goal. Strong goaltending, defense, and forechecking helped balance out a tough weekend for the offense.
On Friday, the Wolves battled Manchester to a 1-1 tie, with the Manchester goalie stopping a last second Wolves breakaway. Colby netted the goal for the Wolves. On Saturday morning, the Wolves and Andover tied at 2-2. Andover rallied back from a 2-0 deficit and Brian Fehl stopped several late chances for Andover to preserve the tie. Colby and Sam scored for the Wolves. On Saturday afternoon, the Wolves lost 2-1 to Acton Boxboro. Keegan scored for the Wolves. Acton's late goal in the third was the difference, and set up a rematch for the 3rd place game on Sunday. The rematch was intense, with lots of aggressive play on both ends. The Wolves took one goal leads three separate times thanks to Aidan B., Drew and Sam. However, Acton answered each goal, resulting in a 3-3 tie. The Jay Peak tournament rules allow for a shootout, so the Wolves and Acton each selected 5 shooters. With Colby in the penalty box for a dubious interference call late in regulation, he was unable to participate. Ryan and Sam buried their chances for the Wolves, but Acton's snipers finished three times and came out on top 3-2 in the shootout.
The boys had a tremendous time at the water park and team luncheon and just spending time together. A little bit of puck luck and they could have gone undefeated in the tournament. Great job by interim coaches Wenz, Vaughan and Russo and kudos to the parents and all of the WHYHA families for cheering on the team at every game!
It was a long drive up to Jay Peak, and some of us drove through some snow and slippery roads on Thursday night. But it turned out to be well worth the trip, even if the boys didn’t come home with a trophy.
The Bantam A’s opened the tournament on Friday afternoon against a strong Manchester team. The action was end-to-end in a well-played game, which ended in a 1-1 tie. Colby Fortuna received the “Player of the Game” award for the Wolves, but his performance was singled-out among a solid effort by the entire team.
Saturday morning saw the Bantams face-off against Andover for the early game. Another tight, well-played game saw all the scoring in the first two periods. Good goal tending and defense on both ends of the ice prevented anyone from “lighting the lamp” during the third period, and the game two ended in a tie, 2-2. Aidan Bradley was singled out for “Player of the Game” for the Wolves for his offensive performance.
Saturday’s second game saw the Bantam A’s versus Acton-Boxboro in another nail-biter. Once again, it was an end-to end affair; fast-paced and well-played with only one penalty whistle. Once again, the score was knotted 1-1 at the second intermission. Acton-Boxboro managed to sneak one into the net in the closing minutes, but that took nothing away from another outstanding performance by Wolves goaltender Brian Fehl, who got the “Player of the Game” award in game three.
After a late-night, complimentary fruit salad in the hotel, Sunday saw the Wolves playing for third place in the tourney, facing a second chance against a tough Acton-Boxboro team. For the fourth time in four games, the score was tied after two periods. Once again, the crowd saw end-to end action in another well-played, competitive game. When regulation time ran out, with the score tied, the result would be determined by a five-man shoot-out. It took all five players from both teams to decide the outcome, but in the end the Acton players managed to put just one more puck in the net. The final score of the game was 3-2, but that was no reflection on how well the team played. Drew Jean was the Wolves “Player of the Game.”
For a goalie to give up only seven goals in four games is about as much can be expected from a net-minder and Brian Fehl deserves extra congratulations for an All-Star performance at the tournament. The rest of the boys played well and they put in a big effort all weekend. And we needed big effort from all, missing both one of our forwards and one defenseman for the weekend. The Bantam A’s were just a few bounces away and took an early lead in three of the four games. At the rate this team is improving, we can expect great things for the rest of the season.
Overall, this was a great tournament- almost every game in every division was competitive, and the match-ups were even. The rink is nice, the officials were good, and the hotel had something for everybody. A great tournament weekend!
This past weekend, our program sent 3 teams to the Jay Peak Green Mountain Avalanche Tournament in VT. I asked the Head Coaches of each team to share some of their experiences with us. Please see the entertaining write ups from Coach Mike Gerken (Squirt A) and Coach Jared Cohane (Pee Wee A) below. I am awaiting a write up from the Bantam A team and, once I receive it, I will share it as well.
Congratulations to all 3 teams! A very nice showing, with competitive games and excellent sportsmanship, on and off the ice. West Hartford was well represented and the Wolves definitely left their mark on the mountain.
Your West Hartford Squirt A Wolves explored the northern limits of Interstate 91 participating in the Jay Peak Green Mountain Avalanche Tournament. The schedule had a Beanpot environment, as the Wolves were matched up against three Boston teams. Friday’s action had the Wolves playing two competitive games, but ultimately succumbing to Acton Boxboro 1-3 and eventual champion Burlington 2-3. Goaltender Brendan Murphy and forward Brady Narus would earn players of the game respectively.
Saturday’s late afternoon contest appeared to be a daunting task. The team from Andover had steamrolled their previous two opponents 6-0 and 6-0 and looked upon the Wolves as easy fodder. But like Ali in the Jungle, your Wolves would put up a fight that Andover would not forget. The pesky Wolves kept hanging around and would enter the third period tied 1-1. Two quick goals by Andover would put the Wolves up against the ropes, but Andover had tired themselves out. Bodie Swanson would score to bring the deficit to one and, with two minutes remaining, Zac Jainchill would roof a shot off a breakaway to tie the game as your final. Down went Andover out of the Championship game due to goals against. The Wolves were “the greatest in the world”!
Sunday’s early morning contest debuted the team’s new enormous, slithery, colorful, and magical snake mascot “Dilly Dilly”. The serpent would not be disappointed as the Wolves would suffocate St. Albans 7-1 with Jack Eisenberg earning player of the game.
A great weekend cheering on the Peewee and Bantam teams with lots of surfing wipeouts, double black diamond water slides, and plentiful libations had by all. GO WOLVES!
PEE WEE A
The West Hartford Wolves Pee Wee A had a successful trip to the 49th parallel, losing in the final of the Jay Peak Green Mountain Avalanche Tournament Series. In the tournament opener, the Wolves spotted Acton-Boxboro a 5-0 lead before chipping in three goals to make it a game. A-B was able to stem the Wolves’ late push to hold on for the 5-3 win. Aiden Emery potted two, taking player of the game honors.
After a late night at the water park, a 7 a.m. start against the Maine Gladiators for the second game of round robin play would seem to be cause for concern for the adults, but not the players. The Wolves gutted out a thrilling 2-1 victory with defenseman Teddy Braiewa scoring both goals, including the game winner with 10.2 seconds to play off of a dish from Shane Bradley. Braiewa earned player of the game honors for his late-game heroics.
With the championship game within sight, a packed house of rabid Wolves fans witnessed another nail-biter against the Burlington (MA) Devils to close out round robin play. Burlington got on the board first, but the Wolves answered right back courtesy of Shane Bradley converting the Aiden Emery offering to tie the game. A scoreless second period had the Wolves well-positioned to advance even with a tie. The defensive unit was outstanding. Charles Croce, Teddy Braiewa and Chris Russo played flawlessly and intelligently, keeping Burlington out of the dangerous areas, making netminder Aeden Mallett’s job easier. Gavin McGowan and Ben “Nacho” Margolis were both outstanding at holding the zone and creating chances. One such chance gave the Wolves the 2-1 lead. Pressure in deep around the Burlington net allowed Owen Miller’s rebound to find Sweet Willie McCann on the doorstep. McCann buried it, earning the post-game slice of banana bread courtesy of Coach Kevin Miller. With a 2-1 lead, the Wolves played a physical and intelligent game, but the referees didn’t seem to agree – at least with the physicality. With 1:05 to play, Aiden Emery made a perfect defensive play to break up the Burlington rush. A-E had position on the forward, and the collision in the slot draw the referee’s ire. A poor call gave Burlington new life with a late power play. Curiously, Burlington, needing the win, did not pull their goaltender for the extra skater. Still, things got a little hairier 14 seconds later when Nacho was whistled for interference giving the Devils a 5 on 3 with 51 seconds to play. Chris Russo, Emory Sirman and Gavin McGowan were able to stem the tide, however, preventing Burlington from getting a shot on goal. The Good Sir chipped the puck up and out of the zone as the buzzer sounded. The Wolves punched their ticket to the finals for a rematch with Acton-Boxboro. Mallzie took home player of the game honors with a top-notch display of goaltending.
A clear, azure sky hung over Jay Peak on Championship Sunday for a rematch with unbeaten Acton-Boxboro. It was a seesaw affair through the better part of two periods until Acton-Boxboro’s top forward sniped one inside the post with 25 seconds to go in the second period, breaking the 0-0 deadlock. Acton-Boxboro struck again early in the third, winning a draw deep in the Wolves zone and beating Aeden Mallett five-hole through a screen just 35 seconds into the period. The Wolves would shuffle lines looking to generate offense, but it was just not in the cards. A-B added a goal with 4:03 to play to ice the 3-0 victory. Gavin McGowan took player of the game honors for his outstanding effort.
The silence in the locker room following the game said it all. The loss stung, and the reaction showed this team has finally galvanized. The games were intense and challenging, and the boys rose to the occasion. Overall, an outstanding effort that will pay dividends as the Pee Wees return to CHC play.