Varsity hockey team wins national tournament

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Michael Musciano, Staff Writer

The boys varsity hockey team was welcomed home in grand style with a parade of police cars and firetrucks and the entire school standing outside to welcome them. They were returning home from Omaha, Nebraska after winning the national championship tournament.

On Wednesday, Mar. 26, the boys had their first game against a team from Cherry Creek, CO. They proved to be no match for Bethel– an easy 9-2 win for Bethel that raised morale for the team.

The boys’ next game was against a team that was a bit tougher from Medina, Ohio. The Hawks pulled out the win 4-2 and proceeded to the next round.

In the third round of the tournament, the Hawks experienced their first and final loss of the tournament, it was a super close game, but the Hawks unfortunately lost 4-5 against the Ice Lions, a team from Jserra high school. The boys would not accept defeat and focused on winning their next game.

The Hawks’ next game was against a team from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The Hawks’ integrity and hard work ended up pulling them through another game with a 3-0 shutout. But the Hawks still had another game that day that would decide if they went to the championships or not.

The Hawk’s semi-final match was against the Des Moines Oak Leafs, who are a minor league team that won their sectional championship. Although the Oak leafs were a worthy opponent, they proved to be no match for Bethel with the final score being 3-1.

The Hawks then went on to play in the championship game against the Providence Catholic Celtics. The game started off shaky for Bethel with the Celtics scoring the first goal of the game. Bethel then came back to win the game with Chris Siak stirring up momentum for Bethel by tying the game up. Jake Salak would later come in and score the game winning goal that would end the game and seal Bethel Park as national champions.

The Hawks quest for victory was not as smooth as one might think. Losing in their regional playoffs and losing a coach over the course of the season only seemed to make the team even more driven to redeem themselves in the national championship.

The team knew it would be a tough tournament, especially after losing to the Indians in the Penguins Cup. The Hawks were supposed to be easy to beat– one team was even outlandish enough to call them “a bunch of cupcakes.” Mcvay said in a previous interview with The Almanac, “We were motivated by their comments. There was a lot of inspiration there. It felt great to beat that team.”

Winning the National tournament was a big deal to the team. Jake Salak said, “It meant a lot to all of us to win this tournament, especially to the seniors. It’s just a great feeling to know that we won after all the hard work we put in to this season.”

This season for the Hawks has been extremely successful and will go down as one of the greatest seasons in Bethel Park Black Hawk history.

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