Patch High School Hockey Roundup: Local Teams Looking To Heat Up As Holiday Break Approaches
Mid-States Central Division rivals MICDS, Ladue, and John Burroughs are nearing the midway point of the season, and need to get pick up more wins if they're going to earn a spot in either the Challenge or Wickenheiser Cup playoffs.
With games just about every Friday and Saturday night, (and sometimes late at night), the high school hockey season has just about reached its midway point, with the three local teams enjoying varying amounts of success.
Regardless of the start, it's how teams finish that will determine which of the three levels of playoffs they might qualify for when the time comes in February.
And though getting invited and winning any postseason tournament is always an honor, every player on the MICDS, Ladue, and John Burroughs squads this year is hoping their team will earn a berth in either the Challenge Cup or Wickenheiser Cup playoffs.
Last year, Ladue won the third-level playoff tournament (called the Founder's Cup), but was on a pace to make the Wick Cup this year, until a recent dry spell saw the Rams win just once in its last seven games.
The low point probably came last Friday night, when Ladue lost a spirited contest 4-3 to neighborhood rival John Burroughs on a disputed goal at the final buzzer.
The Rams (2-5-2) were certain the goal shouldn't have counted, and the game should've ended in a tie. But the officials ruled the score good, and Ladue was left with another loss.
Fortunately, a deft scheduling plan has left the Rams with more games left this season than most teams. So Ladue has plenty of time to make up the ground it needs to, to make the Wick Cup playoffs this year.
The Rams also have the talent on the ice to do it as well, with senior Charlie Jonas (seven goals and eight assists this season), junior Matthew Gould (nine goals and three assists), and junior Colton Schalk (three goals and eight assists) leading the way.
Ladue also has a pair of talented young goaltenders in sophomore Elliott Shevitz (last week's Patch MVP Athlete of the Week) and freshman Graham Gausnell.
The Rams will be back on the ice Friday night, when they'll take on Northwest (Cedar Hill) in a 7:15 p.m. game at the Fenton Forum.
The MICDS Rams have the best record of any local team, with a 4-4-2 mark through 10 games.
The Rams have been really good lately, with a 3-1-2 record in their last six games, including a victory over Webster Groves last Saturday night.
Sophomore Charles Combs has been every bit of spectacular this season, with 16 goals and three assists heading into that game against Webster.
And if Combs scored at all against the Statesmen, he would rank as the area's leading goal scorer, despite an MICDS schedule that has included games against some of the best defensive teams in the area.
Teammate Brandon Klar, a senior forward, has 13 assists this year, which ranks second best of all the players in the area.
Junior Matthew Myer is right behind with 12 assists, while fellow junior Cameron Gornet is having a dynamite season in goal for the Rams.
MICDS' next game is also Friday, when the Rams will take on DeSmet, in a 9 p.m. game at the Affton Ice Rink.
John Burroughs, which won just three games last year, already has two wins this year -- including the aforementioned controversial victory over Ladue last week.
But after an 0-5 start, things are looking up for the Bombers, whose two wins this year came against last year's Wick Cup champion Whitfield and the defending Founder's Cup champion Ladue.
Alex Jasiek and Alec Cornwell both have six goals this year to lead JBS, which also plays next, late Friday night, with a 9:30 p.m. matchup against Parkway South at the Queeny Park Ice Rink in West County.
UPCOMING MID-STATES HOCKEY GAMES
December 21 vs. Northwest at Fenton Forum ............. 7:15 p.m.
December 22 vs. Ft. Zumwalt South at Affton Ice Rink ... 9:15 p.m.
December 27 vs. MICDS at Queeny Park Ice Rink .......... 6:30 p.m.
December 29 vs. St. Mary's at Affton Ice Rink ................. 7:30 p.m.
December 21 vs. De Smet at Affton Ice Rink ............. 9 p.m.
December 27 vs. Ladue at Queeny Park Ice Rink .... 6:30 p.m.
December 29 vs. Eureka at Affton Ice Rink ............... 9:15 p.m.
JOHN BURROUGHS BOMBERS
December 21 vs. Parkway South at Queeny Park Ice Rink ... 9:30 p.m.
December 27 vs. Mehlville at South County (Kennedy) ....... 7 p.m.
December 28 vs. St. Mary's at Affton Ice Rink ...................... 9:45 p.m.