Paxton Wildes had two goals and one assist and goalie Dawson Hickok stopped just about every item his opponents could launch in his direction as the Juneau Squirts hockey team, representing the Juneau Douglas Ice Association Capitals, captured the Whitehorse Minor Hockey Association Atom Year End Tournament last weekend, 4-2 over the Whitehorse atoMc Blacks.
“It feels good,” Juneau coach Steve Baseden said in an interview to the Whitehorse Daily Star. “Winning is fun, but in losing, you’ve got to find your inner strength. They have been on the other side of having tears so they are both good life lessons. We picked up a lot of our coaching tips from the people here in Canada.”
Wilde scored the game’s first goal at the 3:30 mark of the first period unassisted, skating end to end after Hickok saved a shot and kicked it out.
Evan Fabrello made it 2-0 at the 11:29 mark with an assist by Colm Conneen.
Whitehorse’s Joey Schultz tallied in the second period on an assist by Kaelen Lewis but Wildes scored his second goal (assist by Tezah Haddock) to push the lead back to two.
Dylan Murdoch iced the game for the Capitals Squirts with a goal at the 13:11 mark of the final period unassisted and Whitehorse’s Lewis scored unassisted at the 8:54 mark to make the final 4-2.
The win avenges the Squirts’ loss in a seventh round shootout at the Yukon Championships in Haines Junction in February.
In the Whitehorse tourney the Squirts opened with a 5-5 regulation and overtime tie against the Black Atoms as Haddock scored three goals, Fabrello and Conneen one apiece.
Juneau then won three games against tourney opponents, as did the Atoms, to set up the championship rematch. Juneau beat the Whitehorse Yellow Jackets 6-0 (Wildes 5 goals, Conneen 1), the Whitehorse Red Rebels 5-4 (Haddock 4 goals, Gage Coney 1), and the Whitehorse Sharks 4-2 (Haddock 2 goals, Murdoch 1, Conneen 1).
Coach Mark Daniels told the Whitehorse Star, “These were two evenly-matched teams. We have been looking forward to this game. We have a young team with the fewest players of any team in the league and we went almost without a loss all year. It has been a dream team.”
The Juneau Capitals Squirts team were: Taylor Bentley, Gage Cooney, Cody Kesselring, Willem Neyhart, Cory Martin, Tezah Haddock, Paxton Wildes, Fin Shibler, Colter Polley, Scott Baseden, Evan Fabrello, Gabe Miller, Colm Conneen, Dylan Murdoch and Dawson Hickok; and coaches Steve Baseden, Dan Fabrello, Steve Quinn and Bill Wildes.