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Your World. Your Stories. Everyday.


Combined Metea and Waubonsie hockey team captures state title

Photo courtesy of Finn O’Tool
The Warriors Hockey Club celebrate their win on the ice

The Warriors Hockey Club won the Amateur Hockey Association Illinois (AHAI) Combined Division State Championship, defeating top-seed Chicago North 2-1 in a dramatic overtime contest on March 13.

In front of a packed United Center crowd, the team featuring players from both Metea and Waubonsie Valley got out to a fast start.

Early in the game, senior Even Zeigler did it all on the power play, winning the faceoff and letting a shot rip from the slot. Sliding down the ice celebrating by using his stick as a fake selfie stick, the two-seeded Warriors led 1-0. 

The teams traded opportunities throughout the next two periods, with both goaltenders making tough saves to hold the score at 1-0 going into the final minutes.

From 5:30 till the game ended the energy was electric. The intensity that filled the United Center arena was real. The feeling of being State Champions rested on the shoulders of the player. Mistakes couldn’t be made; they have to skate, score, and play perfectly. 

While senior goalie Andrew Fichtel was able to hold strong for a long time, a Chicago North shot bounced high into the air, where it was redirected in with just over a minute to go. 

Able to regain their composure, the two teams failed to score again in regulation, sending the game to overtime. The Metea Valley and Waubonsie Valley white out student section did their best to help out, cheering as loud as possible as the teams stepped out for overtime. 

In on a 2-v-1 rush, junior James Naffziger snapped off a wrist shot past the Chicago North goalie’s blocker, dramatically bringing the combined Metea and Waubonsie team another State Championship. 

Sophomore Finn O’Tool found his hard work rewarded once the clock hit 0 and the Warriors were AHAI State Champions once again. 

“It was a great experience, the whole day was the greatest day of my hockey career,” O’Tool said. “From the morning practice to finally winning it, we couldn’t have done it without each other and it was the best day of my life.”

Not only was the team overcome with excitement, but the entire student section that went to cheer on the team. Sophomore Emma Peterson, who made the trip to watch the game spoke out about her experience during the match.

“It was so much fun,” Peterson said. “I had such a good time watching and it was very exciting when they won.”

It was definitely an experience to witness. The Warriors Hockey Club has made history and are the 2024 AHAI State Champions. 

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About the Contributor
This is Alanna’s first year on staff and her first year writing. She is 15 and a sophomore. She has been on the Metea Valley Varsity Coed Cheerleading team for two years. In her free time, she likes to read, hang out with friends, and spend time with family. She also loves to travel and see new things.

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