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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.
New this year and continuing for years to come, each February, the Age Level Directors give nominations of an individual or family to the President and Director of Hockey for consideration for the Val Browning Brieanna Shaffer award.
This award will be given annually to the family or adult individual within Stoughton Youth Hockey Association that has displayed exemplary sportsmanship, encouraging and positive attitude, and exceptional volunteerism. It is for families or individuals that consistently display these attributes that help make youth sports and Stoughton Youth Hockey a positive and successful environment.
The nominations for the 2022-2023 Season are Joel and Kelsey Brown, Shannon Salter, Josh and Sarah Ihlenfeld, and Dan and Andrea Klein.
The Joel and Kelsey Brown family stepped up many times and came early to help with Learn to Skate things without ever being asked. They took some of the new families under their wing to help them for the first couple of weeks. Kelsey has helped outfit learn to skate kids and is always willing to help. Joel and Kelsey go above and beyond to make sure that the parents have someone to ask questions and be additional support. All this help for the Learn to Skate is in addition to Joel helping coach U6 which most times is running at the exact same time as Learn to Skate.
Shannon Salter is always willing to help out anyone. She helps kids get ready if needed, she volunteers to run the clock for games and scrimmages. She volunteered to put together the raffle baskets this year and last year for the Little Vikes tournament. She always completes her volunteer and concession hours. This season she took on the challenge of scheduling the refs. She’s someone the club can count on to reach out to if I need help with anything.
Over the past few years even during COVID the Josh and Sarah Ihlenfeld family's commitment to Stoughton Hockey has only increased. Josh has coached for multiple seasons and now at multiple age levels. This family is always willing to lend a hand when asked, and even helps when no help is asked. Sarah over the years has helped coordinate activities and team dinners at away tournaments. She has also taken the role to schedule games at the beginning of the season and became team manager. They are extremely positive about everything Stoughton Hockey. I don't think I have ever seen anyone from this family without a smile at the rink.
Time and time again the Dan and Andrea Klein family has demonstrated what it means to be an active & positive member of an association. From running weekly off ice training sessions, to coordinating gift bags for the girl’s jamboree, and multiple year tenure as a team manager, Andrea and Dan's dedication to SHYA is of selfless devotion. They are consistently the 1st people to offer to help at the Mandt center or pitch in for game day activities all while maintaining a positive upbeat attitude.
The Board would like to thank all the families for all the work the have put in this season both at the rink and away from the rink to make this season a success.
The 2022-2023 Val Browning and Brieanna Shaffer Award recipient will be announced in April.