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Historic season celebrated by WJ hockey team [Video]

Jakhari Desphy, Gavin Gronowski

Nicholas Reimund, Staff Writer

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The WJ hockey team had an inspiring 2016-2017 campaign in which they surprised rival schools and even themselves, leading to the greatest season in the program’s history.

Senior and Alternate Captain Adam Romanski commented, “This season has been a roller coaster ride, and it came down to our belief in each other.” A few key wins highlighted the team’s historic record.

Head Coach Pat McKendry added, “A couple key games were when we tied Culver Military Academy 2-2, and going on the road and beating University School 4-3.” The team finished with a 14-11-6 regular season record, but when it came to playoff time, the Warriors proved hard to beat.

(David Reimund)
Logan Rossiter walks onto the ice for the 3rd period of play on senior night.

A first-round bye was followed by a 10-0 shutout of CVCA. The Warriors continued four days later with 4-2 victory over Lake Catholic. The team then found themselves in a familiar spot against a traditional opponent. Shaker Heights has constantly plagued WJ on the ice, knocking them out of the tournament 6 times in the past 12 seasons.

Tension and anxiety continued to rise during all three periods of that game. With 1:55 left in sudden death overtime, Steve Levasseur found the puck and ripped it at the Shaker goalie. The puck ricocheted off the goalie’s left shoulder and fell into the waiting stick of Max Miotke, who scored the game winning goal, making history and sending the boys to the District Final for the first time in program history.

The District Final was held on March 3 in a packed Kent State Ice Arena. The team suffered a heart-breaking 5-1 defeat by the skillful University School. Goalie Jakhari Desphy sadly admitted, “We were a little bit in shock. The tears were flowing. But on the other hand, we had made it to the Elite Eight for the first time ever, and it is all thanks to our hard work and senior leadership.”

Coach McKendry offered more praise for the captains, saying, “You won’t find three better leaders than Logan, Paul, and Adam.” He continued to note that the younger players stepped up throughout the season indicating that “when we return guys like Levasseur, Miotke, Kindall, Rossiter, Desphy, Morris, Gabriel, Coughlin, and Cook, the future looks bright because those guys can really play.”

(David Reimund)
Logan Rossiter and goalie Jakhari Desphy warm up for a game against Lake Catholic.

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Historic season celebrated by WJ hockey team [Video]