Warriors split series with top rated team

The Warriors split the series with the top team in the Midwest High School Hockey League, the Des Moines Capitals, last weekend.

On Saturday, Jan. 7, the Warriors fell short to the Capitals, as Jake Beal had the only goal of the day for the Warriors, and Kole Latusick added the only assist.

The Warriors fought hard, but not hard enough as they fell 1-2.

On Sunday, Jan. 8, the Warriors found their groove and lit up the rink with a 4-3 victory against the highest ranked team.

The Warriors are now ranked fifth in the Midwest High School Hockey League with a record of 10-7.

After a nine-game win streak with big wins against Cedar Rapids twice (6-2) and (5-1) as well as big wins against Dubuque twice (7-1) and (4-0), the Warriors win streak came to an end with shutouts against Lincoln on Dec. 30 and 31.

One key to those losses may have been because their star senior Kyle Schott was injured.

But now the team is right back in the thick of it, and team member Kole Latusick digs into the importance of the playing style of the game and looks into the future of the Warriors. “Well it was a tough one on Saturday, but we bounced back hard on Sunday,” Latusick said. “As they were tired playing their third game in three days, but it’s an important two points in the standings to pick up. This sets the tone for us at State as we most likely will be seeing those guys if we go far enough.”

Waterloo came in and owned the rink with 5 total assists for the weekend, 10 total points and 5 goals. Also, the Sunday game proved the skills of Chase Pabst, a Warrior goalie. Pabst was the shining of the game as he had a career high of 80 saves.

Pabst said, “It felt great because it was a career high, and my team really needed it. We needed to get back on the winning side, and that’s what we did.”

The tournament was flushed with penalties, but the Warriors still topped the Capitals.

Although the Warriors have lost their best scorer, they still managed to show Des Moines what they are made of. After Schott was injured to a broken collarbone, he still has the best stats of anyone on the Warriors. Schott has 36 points (2.57 ppg), 20 assists, 16 goals and 4 gwg.

Teammates feel deep sorrow for the injury but do not let that get in their way. Teammate Ben Sinnott said, “I feel very good because we beat the No. 1 team in the league and snapped their win streak, and I feel even better with the victory knowing we did not have our best player.”

Warriors coach Brian Cook is also impressed and proud with the victory, as he said he is “very confident going into the back half of our season. A great job by the players to bounce back against the top team in the league.”

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