New Castle News

Sports

July 18, 2013

Mohawk student takes part in prestigious hockey tournament

(Continued)

NEW CASTLE — GROWING PAINS

Being the new kids on the block provided some growing pains for Team Pennsylvania in Edmonton. In the squad’s opening game, it lost to the BC Jr. Canucks, 3-0. It ended day one with a loss to the Chicago Jr. Blackhawks, 4-0.

The second day of games brought improvement, but another two losses. Pennsylvania lost in a shootout, 2-1, against the Saskatchewan Jr. Pats before taking the eventual champions and perennial juggernauts, the Toronto Bulldogs, to the limit in a 3-2 loss.

“The Toronto Bulldogs won it all —they usually win it. From the time they start at age 5 or 6, they get the best of them together every spring to play,” the older Patrick said. “They do that year after year and they get their team. They’re used to playing together the whole time.”

The Team Pennsylvania squad formed in May and had only five or six practices with each other to work out the kinks before the big tournament.  

“Recchi said if he would have had more time with these kids, he thought they would go undefeated.”

Team Pennsylvania closed out its tournament play with a 3-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings youth team and a 5-4 overtime loss to Team Minnesota.

Despite not logging a point in six games, Silhanek impressed with his defensive play.

“Mr. Morehouse was there, and he told us out of the six defensemen, two were Pens Elite players, Patrick and his partner, Carter Schade, were the strongest pair,” Patrick Sr. said. “They were on the ice for only four of the 20 goals against.”

HAVING FUN

Throughout the team’s stay in Edmonton, the coaches, the Penguins organization and organizers of the event made sure the time spent would be an experience to remember. The West Edmonton Mall itself is an epicenter for a good time. Along with the ice hockey rink, it features putt-putt, a bowling alley, casino, 18 sporting goods stores and a water park. It’s rumored that 25 percent of Edmonton’s city population (more than a million) can be found at the mall on a typical Saturday.

“Each coach divided the team up on two days and took them out for a couple of hours,” Patrick Sr. said. “Again, the Penguins paid for all of that, the food, the putt-putt and bowling.”

“I had fun. I enjoyed the games the most and then maybe the water park,” Patrick Jr. said. “There were two slides, a yellow and a blue one. They both go straight down.  The blue one, you can’t see out of it, and the yellow one you can see the people in the wave pool.”

Team Pennsylvania also earned fourth place in a team competition organized by the tournament comprised skills challenges like basketball shooting, football tosses and bowling.

“Every team got a prize, and the prizes were spectacular,” Patrick Sr. said. “Sherwood just came out with a stick, and each kid got a $150 stick just for being in fourth position. Some got gloves.”

“A knee hockey set,” Patrick Jr. added.

“A knee hockey set, too,” his father agreed. “Every kid got something. It was nice.”

Hockey continues to grow in the western Pennsylvania area. Though an expansion into the Brick Invitational yielded no wins, Patrick Sr. couldn’t be more impressed with what his son has accomplished.

“I was proud. I was proud of the kid, he’s worked hard,” he said. “He spends four hours a week in the car to and from practice (at Robert Morris University), then the weekend, then all the travel. He missed out on a lot of school stuff, so this was a nice moment the he earned and worked hard for.”

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