2023 Division 4 Peewee A State Champions
Just getting to the state tournament was not enough for the 2022-2023 Stoughton Vikings Peewee A team. Going into the weekend with the number 2 seed expectations were high to bring home the First State Championship since 2009.
In their first game of the weekend against the Barron/Chetek Grizzles the PWA team took a 3-0 lead into the second period and a 6-2 lead into the third before ending the game with the 7-4 victory. Silas Sawicki lead the team in scoring in the game with four goals. Jack Dedie contributed 2 goals including the game winner with 2:03 left in the second. Cyril Inderrieden had a goal and an assist. Mason Marabelli contributed an assist as well. AJ Esser only faced 18 shots in the game stopping 14 of them.
The state semi-final match up against the Altoona Railroaders end up in a 7-1 rout. After spotting the Railroaders the first goal of the game the defensive core of Kaydence Henke, Oliver Shambeau, Henry Behl and Karson Steffel tightened up and AJ Esser only face 14 shots the whole game. The offense feed off this and was led by 4 goals from Jack Dedie. Silas Sawicki added 2 goals, Cyril Inderrieden ended up with 2 assists, Mason Marabelli with a goal and an assist, Wyatt Klein and Avren Aures also contributed assists in the game.
The State Championship game against defending State Champions Burnett County Blizzards proved to be a major test for the nerves. Stoughton struck first in the game thanks to Silas Sawicki taking the faceoff from right outside the offensive zone and weaving around the Blizzards defenders and beating the goalie glove side. The next 4 goals would go the way of the Blizzards. After going down 4-1 just 20 seconds into the third period, the Peewee A team dug deep and started to fight back into the game. A beautifully executed break out pass from the defensive zone by Kaydence Henke sprung Cyril Inderrieden down the board to the goalies left entering the offensive zone. A perfectly timed pass by Inderrieden to Dedie to score back door cut the deficit to 2-4. A few minutes later thanks to a Avren Aures goal during a scrum in front of the Blizzards net, Burnetts lead was down to 1. The game would stay that way until there was 40 seconds left when a rebound off a Henry Behl shot was scooped up by Sawicki and deposited in the back of the net.
The first overtime saw the Vikings take 2 penalties and have to defend a 5-3 going into the second overtime. After getting back to full strength the Vikings went on the offensive and drew a penalty on the Blizzards. An Inderrieden goal assisted by Sawicki and Dedie with 3:26 left in the sudden death second overtime sent the players and fans into a hysteria.
Aj Esser was exceptional in net all weekend and the championship game was his best effort stopping 35 of the 39 Burnett County shots. From the defense to the forwards the 2023 State Champion Stoughton Vikings Peewee A team attacked and defended as a team all weekend.