Last week at the WAHA State tournament, eight levels competed for the opportunity to advance to Central Districts in St. Peters, MO.
When all the games had been played, an octet of teams stood victorious on the ice, knowing that they would live to fight another day.
Team Wisconsin squads had the best success, advancing four teams to the St. Louis suburbs. The Junior Admirals followed with two, while the Madison Capitols and the Wisconsin Selects had one team each.
The tournament begins on March 15 and runs for three days at the Rec-Plex in St. Peters, 30 miles northwest of the Gateway Arch.
One Tier II squad qualified (Girls 16U), while seven Tier I teams made the cut. The Tier II WI Selects girls' 19U team got an automatic bid as they were the only team in Wisconsin at that level.
Team Wisconsin 19U coaches Dave Witting and Breanna Seibel had a few comments about the weekend and the coming tournament.
“It’s been a few years since we won," said Witting. "The last two years, the Caps have won. This weekend we played well enough to win, especially on Sunday, when we were the better team in all aspects of the game.
"On Saturday we had a great finish to score two goals in the last six minutes. One to tie it and one to win with 30 seconds left. It shows our focus and that the kids wanted to spend the weekend winning a state title.
“We had an up and down fall season. We won some big games but also had some moments where we feel we could’ve won 5-7 more games that we didn’t. The kids came to the weekend focused. Sunday was one of our top 2-3 games we’ve played all year. We were good in all areas of the rink.
“Our best chance to get to Nationals is to win districts. If Central District were to be given an at-large team, then TW may be able to get a nod since we won state. At Tier 1, a lot of the placement follows the same format as the collegiate teams do. We weren’t ranked in the top 12. Mission is ranked #3. Part of it for getting an at-large bid depends on what we do this weekend and how we play. We played them back in November to a 3-2 game and had a lot of good scoring opportunities.
“Coming into spring, we are full strength. We lost one of our key players in the fall when she broke her wrist. We’ve got (Hadley) Malcolmson back. We had four lines that played well over the course of the weekend and our goaltending and our defenseman played extremely on Sunday versus the Jr. Ads.”
“I thought we had a solid weekend. TW has an interesting dynamic because most of these kids compete against each other all year and come together for state at the end," noted Seibel. "The girls came ready to play and all four lines skated hard and were successful. I’m especially proud of our team for two reasons: 1) we were able to come back from behind and win the game with 30 seconds left in the third period on Saturday vs. the Caps and 2) we were able to maintain a two goal lead for the entire third period (until we scored an empty net goal) on Sunday vs. the Jr. Ads.
"The girls did what we asked them to do and I’m very proud of that. There are many good players out there but kids that are coachable can be pretty rare.
"On Saturday, when we were down, they continually got pucks to the net and saw positive results.
"On Sunday, when we had a lead, they did the little things: made smart plays, got the puck deep, kept a third forward high and had success. On paper, the Mission [the team we play this weekend] has a better record than we do and they’re ranked 3rd in the nation. They’ve got several Division 1 commits and a national team player but our girls play extremely hard, they come focused and never back down from a challenge.
"We played them in a 3-2 game earlier this season and we’re looking to bring our success from last weekend into these games. There is no doubt in my mind that we can compete with them when we play TW hockey. As a side note: this team beat this same Mission team a couple years back in a shoot out to send TW to Nationals."
Coach Dave Witting, Captain Ava Kison, Coach Breanna Seibel
|Fri, 3/15||3:00pm||Team WI 1||Mission 5|
|Sat, 3/16||4:30pm||Mission 5||Team WI 1|
|Sat, 3/16||12:30pm||Mission 6||Jr. Ads 1|
|Su, 3/17||10:00am||Jr. Ads 1||Team MO 3|
|Sat, 3/16||1:15pm||Mission 2||Caps 1|
|Sun, 3/17||12:15pm||Caps 1||Team MO 0|
|Fri, 3/15||3:30pm||Jr. Ads 2||Fury 3|
|Sat, 3/16||3:30pm||Team MO 2||Jr. Ads 0|
|Sun, 3/17||12:00pm||Team Midwest 5||Jr. Ads 2|
|Fri, 3/15||11:00am||Team WI 0||Mission 5|
|Sat, 3/16||11:00am||Team MO 3||Team WI 4|
|Sun, 3/17||8:00am||Team Midwest 0||Team WI 1 (ot)|
|Fri, 3/15||5:15pm||Team WI 2||Mission 11|
|Sat, 3/16||5:15pm||Team MO 2||Team WI 5|
|Sun, 3/17||2:15pm||Team Midwest 1||Team WI 10|
|Fri, 3/15||11:15am||Team WI 1||Fury 4|
|Sat, 3/16||11:15am||Team MO 6||Team WI 2|
|Sun, 3/17||8:15am||Team Midwest 2||Team WI 4|
|Fri, 3/15||5:00pm||WI Selects 5||Sabres 1|
|Sat, 3/16||6:30pm||Team MO 1||WI Selects 5|
|Sun, 3/17||12:00pm||Team Midwest 1||WI Selects 2|
|Sat, 3/16||6:00pm||Bruins 1||WI Selects 2|
|Sun, 3/17||8:00am||WI Selects 14||Team MO 0|