Wild hockey wins title
High Sierra Wild Ice Hockey Team Wins Coyote Cup Holiday Festival
The High Sierra Wild ice hockey team captured the Bantam B Division Championship in the Coyote Cup Holiday Hockey Festival. The Coyote Cup was played in Phoenix, Arizona, between Dec. 29 and Jan. 1.
In the championship game on New Year’s Day, the Wild defeated the VOSHA Mustangs, 4-1.
Goalie Matt Scherer of Carson City played an outstanding game making 31 saves, including 13 in the decisive third period. With the help of the Wild defenders Angela Nelson, Brandon Rader, Zach Ward, Collin Brown, Andrew Lane and Connor Worthley that quickly cleared most of the rebounds from the front of the net, Scherer finished with a tournament high 97.87 save percentage. Reno’s Brian Grove set the tone early with aggressive checking, helping the Wild recover possession of the puck.
After a scoreless first period, the Mustangs scored on a breakaway to take a 1-0 lead. Shortly thereafter, South Lake Tahoe’s Cooper Stanley received a pass from Garderville’s Austin Hoyt and evened the score with a perfectly-placed shot into the top right corner of the net.
The score remained tied until early in the third period, when Hoyt received a pass from Stanley and skated with the puck into the offensive zone and up the left-hand side of the ice. Faking a slap-shot, he went around a Mustang’s defender and fired a shot into the opposite corner of the net.
Gardnerville’s Chris Rogusky followed with a shot from the left-corner that deflected off the leg of the Mustang’s goaltender and across the goal line. Reno’s Daylan Berry assisted Rogusky’s goal. A short time later, Reno’s Jimmy Thorngren made an acrobatic move to split two Mustang defenders and put the game out of reach. With an assist on Thorngren’s goal, Stanley was involved in three of the Wild’s four goals and was named the most valuable player of the tournament.
The Mustangs had a 5 on 3 advantage during a critical span of 1:23 in the third period, with the Wild ahead 2-1. The Wild defense killed off both penalties to preserve the lead.
The Wild went 4-0 in pool play, defeating the Phoenix Polar Bears 7-2. Goalie Nando Ramos made 21 saves and Wild goals were scored by Thorngren, Paul Amundson, Stanley, Hoyt, Jon Betts and Rogusky on assists from Daylan Berry, Lane, Betts, Worthley, Rader, and Ward. Hoyt had two goals and Berry had two assists.
The Wild then beat the Peoria Roadrunners 6-4. Goalie Chris Yarrow made 24 saves and goals were scored by Hoyt, Thorngren, Ward and Stanley on assists from Thorngren, Hoyt. and Grove. Thorngren had two goals and three assists and Stanley scored twice.
The Wild also beat the CAHA Junior Coyotes 2-0. Scherer had 15 saves in the shutout and goals were scored by Thorngren and Rogusky on an assist from Brown.
In addition, the Wild beat Flagstaff Northstars, 4-3. Ramos had 20 saves and goals were scored by Rogusky, Stanley and Scherer on assists from Worthley, Ward, Hoyt and Brown. Stanley scored twice and Ward had two assists.
The High Sierra Wild (www.highsierrahockey.com) is a competitive youth ice hockey program with players from Carson City, Carson Valley, Lake Tahoe Reno and Sparks. The Wild play in the Northern California Youth Hockey League.