Warriors state champions season ends at Nationals

The 19-streak hockey team, the Waterloo Warriors ended their regular season in the quarterfinals at Nationals.

Sitting in the locker room at the Midwest High School Hockey League championship game, the Waterloo Warriors hockey team members were down a goal after the first period. “We all just sat there in silence and focused in on our main goal to go out there and win. We ended up scoring two goals in the second period,” third-year Waterloo Warrior hockey player Kole Latusick said. 

According to first-year player JT Metcalf, “The most pivotal moment in the game was when Ben Sinnott scored the winning goal in the second period and looking up at our parents and fans knowing that we have a very good chance of winning this game.”

The Warriors were on a 19-game winning streak during the MHSHL championship final and dominated the regular season. When the timer buzzed, the Waterloo Warriors claimed the title of the 2019 Midwest High School Hockey League Champions after defeating Cedar Rapids 2-1. 

“We were the best team in the league, and when we won, it was such a blur. It all went super fast,” Waterloo Warrior’s player Cobie Morrissey said. Morrissey, Latusick and Metcalf are all students at Cedar Falls High School and play on the Warriors with students from other high schools in the region.

“I was on the ice when the timer expired. This being my second title won, you still get those butterflies of what you really just accomplished. Pure joy hits right away to see all the hard work and dedication everyone put in every day pay off,” Latusick said. 

Since the beginning of the season, Warriors head coach Brian Cook could predict how far they would get competitively in the championship games.  

“This group of players works very hard on and off the ice to achieve their goals. They did have some very good talent, but without hard work, you can’t get very far. I knew we could have a pretty special season after seeing some of the other teams. I could see that we were going to be one of the top teams in the league and challenge the tournament title and go to Nationals,” Cook said. 

Going into the USA Hockey High School Championship tournament in Cleveland on March 28 through April 1, the Waterloo Warriors won all three preliminary games. The team went on to the quarterfinals and faced the Boulder/Monarch Coyotes from Colorado with a 3-2 loss. 

Waterloo Warriors head coach Brian Cook felt dissatisfied from the quarterfinal National Championship game because of the amount of penalties that led to the Boulder/Monarch Coyotes’ win. 

“I am somewhat disappointed with the national championship because I feel that we are more skilled than the team we were up against. It was a privilege to go to Nationals, and you can’t win every game, so it is motivation for us to get there again next year,” Cook said.  

Even with the Warriors’ win in the MHSHL and the quarterfinal loss in Cleveland, the team has eyes set on the next season.

“Our goal every year is to be able to compete for the state championship and have a chance to get to Nationals. Our team next year will be very talented, so I think we have a good shot at our goal. Our Cedar Falls players were great contributors to our success this year, and without them we would not have had the success that we had,” Cook said.

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