The H-F Vikings Peewee U12 team won the Northwest Hockey Summer League championship with a shootout. The team was 8-0 in the regular season. (Provided photo)
Sports

Peewee hockey Vikings win summer league championship

It came down to a shoot-out.

After playing in regulation time to a 2-2 tie, the fifth through seventh graders on the Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings youth hockey team won the Northwest Summer Hockey League championship June 12 by holding their opponent scoreless.

The H-F Vikings Peewee U12 team won the Northwest Hockey Summer League championship with a shootout. The team was 8-0 in the regular season. (Provided photo)
The H-F Vikings Peewee U12 team won the Northwest Hockey Summer League championship with a shootout. The team was 8-0 in the regular season. (Provided photo)

The Vikings had completed the winter league play and after several weeks of break reorganized as a Peewee U12 team of 14 skaters and a goalie. 

Coach Jason Irwin said the team had only practiced for about a week before taking to the ice in league play. He was surprised by how quickly they came together, since the team brought up five or six players from the younger Squirt U10 ranks to fill out the roster.

“It was a shorter season, but they worked really well with each other, and they complemented each other and just had a lot of fun,” Irwin said.

The Vikings won the first game of the regular season. Then the second and the third. In the end, the H-F Vikings finished with eight wins and no losses, moving them into finals play.

Irwin said the team had three consecutive wins in the playoffs. For the championship, their opposing team from Hoffman Estates forced the Vikings into a 2-2 tie game. Neither team scored in a five-on-five 5-minute overtime period which meant a shootout would decide the winner.

Daniel Irwin scored for the Vikings. The next two skaters missed.

Vikings goalie Josh Vandervelde stopped Hoffman Estates’ three shooters from scoring, giving the Vikings the victory.

Irwin called it “a great team win with every player contributing and working hard together.”

Team members were Bradley Armbruster, David Benjamin, Jordan Boese, Kai Burica, Liam Condon, Ronan Deiters, Matthew Ersfeldt, Benjamin Irwin, Daniel Irwin, Jaxson Petruszak, Matthew Roth, Trenton Stephens, Josh Vandervelde, Veer Zaveri, and Charles Zurek.

The coaching team working with Irwin were Dave Benjamin, Patrick Condon and Tim Ersfeld. Team manager was Amanda Irwin. 

The team was forced to move their practices to a rink in Kankakee due to the H-F Ice Arena shutdown after the icemaking equipment failed in November. Irwin said the drive “isn’t hard, but it’s far. I’m glad so many families decided to make the drive.”

The Homewood-Flossmoor Park District is working on making the necessary repairs to the rink and hopes to have it open this winter.

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