Unless you are a dedicated high school sports fan, or a diehard hockey fan, you probably didn’t know that the Valparaiso High School sponsors a boys High School ice hockey club. In fact, the Valparaiso (Valpo) Hockey Club has been around in its current form for over 10 years. The Club is made up of mostly VHS players but also rosters players from Chesterton, Griffith, and the South Bend area which houses the Club’s home rink – The Icebox. The team is coached by one of the original Valparaiso Hockey Club players Tim Crowley, a 50 goal scorer who led the team in the late 1970s. Tim has been a constant member of the coaching staff since the Club’s re-launch in 2002, and he took over the head coaching responsibilities this season.
And if all that is news to you, then hopefully the Valpo Hockey Club can make a little more noise this coming weekend by playing in the 2013 Indiana High School Hockey Class 1A State Championship Game next Saturday morning, March 9th at the new Compton Family Ice Center at Notre Dame in South Bend, IN.
The young men of the Valpo Hockey Club earned the berth in the State Championship Game by sweeping 3 tough opponents this past weekend at the 1A State Championship play-downs hosted in Ft Wayne, IN. Led by Senior Captains from Valparaiso High School Charlie Crowley & Nate Mika, the Valpo squad first dispatched the Indianapolis South Stars Red team 6-2 during the first game of the 2013 Indiana High School Hockey 1A State Tournament this past Saturday morning, March 2nd.
After a few hours off, the Valpo team was back on the ice again Saturday afternoon where they earned a little retribution by defeating the Bloomington High School team that knocked the Valpo Club out of qualifying for the 2012 1A State Championship Game last season, and that had also defeated Valpo in a game early this season. Final score – Valpo Hockey Club 7 Bloomington 2.
Finally, in the first game of the day on Sunday March 3rd in the final round of the 1A State playoffs, Valpo took on another foe undefeated in pool play Ft Wayne Snider. Snider was another team that had beaten Valpo earlier in the season and they were playing on their home rink, but the Valpo boys came out and dominated early in route to a solid 5-1 victory and a berth in the 2013 Indiana High School Hockey 1A State Championship Game.
This weekend represented the best offensive and defensive weekend of the season for the Valpo Club. Offensively, 8 of the Club’s 14 skaters put the puck in the back of the net over the 3 game weekend with Mika (5 goals) and Crowley (4 goals) leading the way. Other goal scorers included Brett Garber (3), Reid Schmidt (2), Jake Stauffer (2), Alec Slazas (1) and freshman Kyle Karpinski (1). Charlie Crowley earned the most points (goals & assists) this weekend with 7 total points followed by Mika & Schmidt (6 points each).
Defensively, the Valpo Club’s 4 defensemen Mac Blessing, AJ Garber, Jake Loomis, and Joel Timmons back stopped by starting freshman goalie Eric Leblanc of Valparaiso High School allowed no more than 2 goals in any single game of the tournament to date, and almost earned a shutout in the Semi-State game against Snider except for a late goal in the 3rd period after Valpo was comfortably leading 5-0. Back-up goalie Senior Matt Schwieger helped preserve the game 2 victory over Bloomington limiting Bloomington to 1 goal in the 3rd period.
All this success earned the Valpo Hockey Club and its 7 Senior players one last game for the 2012-2013 High School Hockey season – and one last shot at earning the Valpo Hockey Club’s 1st ever Indiana High School Hockey State Championship. To achieve this goal, the team will have to outperform its rival Riley High School of South Bend, a team that has beaten the Valpo Club twice this season. The stakes are set, and the emotions are high. And if this is the first you’re hearing about this team and its success, the Valpo Hockey Club invites you to come out and watch them play live this Saturday March 9th… The Valpo boys are looking to go out with a BANG!!
2013 Indiana High School Hockey 1A Sate Championship Game
Valparaiso HS Hockey Club vs Riley HS Hockey Club
Saturday, March 9th at the new Compton Family Ice Center on Notre Dame
Game time: TBD
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