Three of Wenatchee’s four development teams wrapped up their 2020-21 seasons at the ECEL Tournament of Champions event in Connecticut. Each Wenatchee team performed respectably but it was the U18AAA Wenatchee Wolves who brought home the hardware with a thrilling overtime win in the final.
U18AAA Wolves (5-0-0)
A single game on Fri at 4p local time in CT saw the Wolves fall behind after a slow start. Connor Schuckmann knotted the score in the second, then Rylan Marcum and Kai Belliveau led the way to a 3-1 win vs Elite Gold.
A pair of games on Saturday opened with a 4-3 shootout win vs Tomorrow’s Ice. Wenatchee goals came from Kai Belliveau, Ian Williams, and Rylan Marcum in regulation to shake off an early 3-0 deficit. Kai Belliveau potted the game winner in a shootout, where Braeden Bovey was a perfect 4-for-4 in net to secure the victory. Returning to the ice later that afternoon, the Wolves closed out the perfect round robin with a 5-0 win against the Mercer Chiefs. Wolves goals were collected by Andrew Alonzo (x2), Rylan Marcum, Tyson Shaw, and Kolby Hennessy. Braeden Bovey notched the shutout.
As the top seed into the semifinal round Sunday morning, Wenatchee was bracketed into a rematch with Elite Gold. A hard fought game from both sides but Wenatchee a goal from Andrew Alonzo and a late one from Rivers Ball coupled with another strong showing from Braeden Bovey propelled the Wolves in to the Championship Game.
Later that morning, Wenatchee faced Tomorrow’s Ice (from Abingdon, MD) for all the marbles. Connor Schuckmann scored but it was sandwiched between three goals from Tomorrow’s Ice and Wenatchee was in a hole, despite controlling much of the play. With a Wenatchee 5-on-3 power play in effect, Jacob Measel buried a one-timer, followed by a Tyson Shaw point shot on the ensuing 5-on-4 advantage that evened the score at 3 apiece. Playing in his final Development Teams game, it was Measel who pounced on a net front rebound to lift the Wolves to the Tournament Championship at a perfect 5-0-0.
The Wolves finished their year strong posting a 13-1-4 record over the last 18 games.
U16AAA Wilderness (2-2-0)
Like the Wolves, the U16AAA Wilderness had a single game on the slate Friday afternoon and skated away with a 4-1 win vs Tomorrow’s Ice, with goals by Grig Kaagan, Loghan Weber, Connor Jensen, and Bobby Anselmo. Luke Neilson picked up the win in net.
Bright and early Saturday the Wilderness faced Elite Hockey and nabbed a 4-0 win with goals by Roman Templeton, Loghan Weber, Bobby Anselmo, and Spencer Stenholm. Xaus Landry earned the shutout. Later that afternoon, the Wilderness ran into the eventual champion Mercer Chiefs and were stonewalled in a 6-0 loss.
The 2-1-0 record was enough to place the Wilderness into the semifinal round, and an 8:00a Sunday faceoff with the Seattle SnoKIng Jr. Thunderbirds ended in a 2-1 defeat for Wenatchee, ending what proved to be a very successful season.
U16AA Warriors (1-3-1)
The U16AA Warriors had a tough slate with four games in a 24-hour span. The first game saw the Mercer Chiefs race to an 8-0 win, but the Warriors fought back with a hard-fought 4-2 loss to the eventual champion Anteaters Hockey Club. An early faceoff with the Sharks on Saturday morning had the Warriors post a 3-2 win with goals by Eli Bailey, Ashton Reagan, and Andre Cho. Goalie Sam Brasch posted the win. After skating to a 2-2 tie in regulation later that morning, the Warriors fell 3-2 to the Hudson Valley Eagles and Sunday morning saw a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to the Mercer Chiefs to wrap up the Warriors season.
The U14AAA Wolverines season concluded the week prior, and now all four Wenatchee Development Teams have seen the successful completion of their seasons after navigating a mountain of unprecedented obstacles. Together with the BCHL’s Wenatchee Wild, the focus shifts to a projected full and complete 2021-22 season.
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