Recent WEHL News
18U Janesville Jr. Jets Earn 2nd Place finish at CCM World Hockey Invite in Chicago, IL
The weekend of November 2-4, 2018, 526 teams representing 9 age classifications and 19 different divisions within those age classifications descended on the windy city. The 18U Janesville Jr. Jets (WEHL players) were placed in the AAA division which had 40 teams from 20 different States and 1 team from Ontario.
The team started the four game pool play by defeating Kensington Valley Raiders, MI, by a score of 6-2. Goal scorers for the Jr. Jets were: Garrett Wilderman (3), Jake Bailey, Ryan Gargaro and Gunnar Schiffman. Goaltender Patrick Kelly earned the victory.
Game 2 of pool play was against the Jr. Hurricanes, NC, which saw the Jr. Jets win 4-3. The Jets trailed 1-0 after the first period and then scored the next four goals in a span of just over 14 minutes. The Jr. Hurricanes scored twice in the third period in a span of 28 seconds to make the score 4-3, but the Jr. Jets were able to keep them off the scoreboard for the last 10 minutes. Goal scorers for the Jr. Jets: Tyler Bailey, Garrett Wilderman, Owen Engel and Travis Kernen. Jason Cooke was the winning goalie.
Pool play game 3 was versus the Huskies Hockey Club, IL. The Jr. Jets scored twice in the first and once in the second, before giving up two third period goals in a one minute 27 second span. Jr. Jets again held on for a hard fought 3-2 victory. Goal scorers: Owen Engel, Ryan Gargaro and Tommy Duren. Cooke got the W in net.
The final pool play game was to see if the Jr. Jets would be seeded first or second in their pool. Kelly got the start in net and earned a shutout as the Jr. Jets defeated Regis Jesuit HS Hockey Club, CO, 3-0. The Jr. Jets scoring one goal in each period. Scoring for the Jr. Jets: Dillon Fox, Laszlo Orosz and Tyler Nelson. This victory earned the Jr. Jets First Place in their pool.
Playoff round quarterfinals started Sunday morning with the Jr. Jets facing Falcons Hockey Association, IL. Tournament format changed to a two period game. TJ Fenton scored with 2:59 left in the second (last period). Falcons tied the score with 1:41 left in regulation. After playing 5 minute OT of 4 on 4 and then 5 minute 3 on 3, the game proceeded to a shootout. After an initial five round shootout, which saw each team score twice, it went to sudden death shootout. Each team had an additional four shots and Tyler Nelson ended the shootout on the 18th shot. Kelly was the winning goalie of record.
The semi-final game was against Big Boy Hockey Club, MI, and was also a two period game. The Jr. Jets jumped out to a 2-0 lead both goals by Benett Halbleib in the first period. Big Boy scored early in the second but Fenton answered 35 seconds after their goal. Travis Kernen added the final goal; Jr. Jets win 4-1. Cooke was the goaltender of record.
Jr. Jets then took on the North York Knights, ON team in the championship game. The Jr. Jets jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a goal by Halbleib, only to have the Knights score next. Owen Engel scored putting the Jr. Jets back ahead, only to have the Knights tie the score at 2. Tyler Nelson put the Jr. Jets up 3-2 in the third and the Knights tied it yet again. Game headed to OT. The Knights scored halfway through the first overtime, ending the tournament and giving the Jr. Jets their first lost, 4-3.
Garrett Wilderman was selected and honored as Team MVP for the tournament. Head Coach Eric Fenton Assistant Coach Alex Shuchuk.
“The Janesville Jets are proud to partner with WAHA, Team Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Elite Hockey League (WEHL) to provide high level exposure opportunities to 40 additional high school hockey players in Wisconsin. The partnership works! Both teams did well. But the 18U team getting to championship game of the AAA division of the CCM Chicago World Invite – losing in overtime – was the highlight. It proved what we already knew; that more Wisconsin kids can play at a higher level if they have the opportunity,” said Jets Founder and President Bill McCoshen.
This is the third year of the partnership with WEHL and the Janesville Jets and highest finish to date of any team that has participated at the U16 or U18 level.
Stats of note: The Jr. Jets penalty kill ended the tournament 100%. All skaters recorded at least one point, and 13 different players scored goals.
Aiken brothers both earn spots at Notre Dame and Harvard
Over the past years the WEHL is proud to have a number of our past players go on to play college hockey at Division I and III. However for the first time in our history we have brothers Joe and Thomas Aiken both playing Division I Hockey at two of the most recognizable and prestigious universities in our country; Notre Dame and Harvard. While each of them took their own unique path to playing Division I Hockey both brothers experienced playing 4 years of WIAA Hockey representing Whitefish Bay High School, playing in the WEHL while not playing junior hockey. Recently I contacted Joe and Thomas and asked them some questions about their paths to Division I Hockey along with what in my view many high school players and parents do not give enough focus to; academic excellence. Both Joe and Thomas were kind enough in taking time out of their hectic schedules to answer my questions in hopes of benefiting players still in the WEHL with aspirations of playing college hockey.
Joe Aiken responses
Senior Notre Dame University
1-While in high school how did you view the relationship of academics to sports? (Did one have a priority over the other; parents have rules, etc. etc.)
Academics always came first in our family. My parents always stressed how important it is to do well in school and how many opportunities that can be created for you down the road.
2-Was there a conscience effort of knowing academics could influence your school choice for college sports or was this never a consideration?
Although I always dreamed of playing hockey in college, I never got recruited by any schools so it wasn’t much of a consideration. I wanted to do well in school so I could get into a great university just based on academics. I ended up at Notre Dame and hockey eventually worked out for me a couple years down the road, which never could have happened if I hadn’t been able to get in.
3-In high school was playing hockey in college a goal? If yes was there a plan to reach the goal, what year did you formulate a plan, what were the goals, etc. etc.
College hockey was always my dream. It was about dedicating myself to becoming the best player I could be. My brother and I would spend lots of time figuring out what things we were going to do every day in the summer to do that, such as weightlifting, open ice times, shooting and stickhandling at home, etc.
4-Did either of your parents play NCAA sport(s) in college, if yes did they offer insights, guidance, required standards from you, etc. etc.
My father played goalie at Harvard. He always told me that if you were good enough, it would work out. So all you can really worry about is just getting better. He also always told us how important it was to do well in school and how many doors that would open for us in the future.
5-What advice would you offer a high school athlete who wants to participate in sports at the NCAA level?
As I’ve already mentioned, doing well in school will create a lot of opportunities for you. Athletically, all you can do is commit yourself to getting better every day and making the sacrifices to do that.
6-What benefits would you share about playing WIAA high school hockey?
High school hockey is still the most fun I’ve had playing hockey. The atmosphere and playing for your school is unlike anything else. Compared to AAA hockey, it is much less of a time and travel commitment which gives you more time to do things that are going to make you a better hockey player.
7-How do you view the WEHL in terms of helping you develop as high school player?
WEHL gave me the chance to play with and against some of the most skilled players in the state, which helped me improve as a player and that translated into success during the high school season.
8-What did you enjoy most about playing in the WEHL?
The part I liked most was getting to play with some really good players that you’re used to playing against during the high school season. It’s fun to get a chance to play with those guys and makes it even more competitive when you’re playing against them in high school.
9-What are the biggest academic and athletic challenges you face playing college hockey?
It is a huge time commitment so trying to stay on top of your schoolwork is a constant challenge. Learning to manage your time during high school makes it a lot easier.
10-If you were to give advice to a high school hockey player who has desire to play NCAA hockey what would it be?
My advice would be to sit down and figure out what things you’re going to do every day to get better. And then you have to stay disciplined to doing those things, whether it’s going to the gym, finding open ice to practice, shooting pucks, or eating right.
Thomas Aiken responses
Freshman at Harvard University
1-While in high school how did you view the relationship of academics to sports? (Did one have a priority over the other; parents have rules, etc. etc.)
For me academics always took priority over sports. This was something my parents instilled in me at an early age and something I personally believed in as well. Time management skills are key to balance the two, but to me being a “student athlete” always meant being a student first and an athlete second.
2-In high school was playing hockey in college a goal? If yes was there a plan to reach the goal, what year did you formulate a plan, what were the goals, etc. etc.
I have always had the dream of playing college hockey. In high school I think my goals were focused on helping WNS win games and have as successful of a career as I could during my years there. I tried to take it one day, one practice, one game, and one season at a time and see what opportunities I could create for myself after my years at WNS. I had watched my older brother Joe walk on to the Notre Dame Hockey team, which was a huge inspiration for me to continue pursuing my dream of college hockey. I took a gap year after high school to continue developing my game in hopes of walking on to the team at Harvard and reached that goal this fall when earning a roster spot on the team.
3-Did either of your parents play NCAA sport(s) in college, if yes did they offer insights, guidance, required standards from you, etc. etc.
My dad played hockey for Harvard during his college years. He has always stressed the importance of strong work ethic, desire to improve, and sound fundamentals as the keys to success for any anybody both on the ice and elsewhere in life. He has also stressed the value of academics and their priority over athletics. He always says that hockey only lasts so long and all players will eventually rely on their education once hockey is over.
4-What advice would you offer a high school athlete who wants to participate in sports at the NCAA level?
My advice would be to follow your dream. Playing NCAA sports may seem like an overwhelming goal to take on, but it can be accomplished just like anything else by taking one day at a time. Do your best every day to be a better player than you were yesterday and the improvements you will see over time will be tremendous. If I have learned anything from my experience with hockey it is that hard work is always rewarded.
5-What benefits would you share about playing WIAA high school hockey?
My years playing high school hockey are the greatest memories of my hockey career thus far. The atmosphere, the competition, and the lifelong friendships that are formed cannot be replaced by anything. It is such a privilege to play hockey with classmates and friends while representing your high school on the ice. The coaching at WNS along with the competition at the varsity level developed my game greatly while providing me with lifelong memories and friends on and off the ice.
6-How do you view the WEHL in terms of helping you develop as high school player?
WEHL was essential in continuing to develop my hockey game. With the relatively short high school season, WEHL provides the essential transition into the high school season. WEHL allowed me to skate with and against varsity competition to properly prepare myself for the beginning of the winter season. It was a great bridge that allowed to me to retain my summer gains and advance them further before the high school season began every year.
7-What did you enjoy most about playing in the WEHL?
I enjoyed playing WEHL because it provided high-level competition for varsity hockey players while operating on a schedule that was reasonable and flexible for players to keep a focus on academics and respect other commitments outside of hockey as well.
8-What other benefits did the WEHL provide you?
WEHL also provided me the opportunity to make many new teammates and friends from rivaling Milwaukee area high schools that made my experience during the high school season even more fun with familiar faces on many opposing teams we played throughout the course of every year.
9-What changes would help make the WEHL better in benefiting high school hockey players?
I think the only improvement that would enhance the WEHL experience in my mind would be to field more teams at each age level, if possible, to extend opportunities to more high school hockey players every year and broaden the reach of WEHL hockey.
10-What are the biggest academic and athletic challenges you face playing college hockey?
The largest challenge I have faced in my first semester here is balancing a full college course load with the commitments of playing on the hockey team. It is definitely a time management challenge, but I have found that being diligent with my work both in the classroom and at the rink makes it manageable to juggle both. I try to plan out each day with a detailed schedule so my time is not wasted, and I have found that this has helped my efficiency greatly allowing me time to meet expectations as a student and athlete here on campus.
11-If you were to give advice to a high school hockey player who has desire to play NCAA hockey what would it be?
My advice to a high school hockey player desiring to play NCAA hockey would be to believe in yourself. There is no limit to what a hockey player with a positive attitude and a strong work ethic can accomplish. Take your goals one day at a time and go to bed a better player than you woke up that day. Be willing to identify the weaknesses in your game and address them until they become strengths, as this is where true improvement happens. Break up the dream of playing college hockey into successive checkpoints along the way to that final destination. Take one step towards your goal every day and, once arriving at one checkpoint, start working towards the next one. Every college hockey player in the nation today started as a high school student with the dream of playing college just like so many other kids. Believe in yourself through the highs and lows and earn it by making the most of every day as an opportunity to get better!
I trust the responses of Joe and Thomas help you to stay on track to achieve your dreams.
John K Zea
|U16 WEHL All League 2013|
|Sheldon Oja||#6||NC||DEF||Wausau West|
|Luke Kreuser||#21||NC||FWD||Wis. Rapids|
|Cory Dennis||#5||Mad.Grey||DEF||Mad. Memorial|
|Andrew Emberson||#7||W||DEF||EC- Memorial|
|Jack Pavek||#10||NE||DEF||Notre Dame|
U18 WEHL All League 2013
Nick Martin - Cedarburg
Mike Schultz - Homestead
Mitch Hart - Oak Creek
Zach Peterson - Wausau West
Caleb Schroer - Wisconsin Rapids
Michael Moe - D C Everest
Griffen Epping - Madison West
Philippe Fromberger - Verona
Zach Johnston - Monona Grove
Matt DeNure - Oshkosh Lourdes
Krystof Kocanek - Howard - Suamico
William Reabe - DePere
Ian Earp - Onalaska
John Gargaro - Onalaska
Adam Marty - Somerset
The top Goalie tandem was from Milwaukee
Jacob Kupsky - Waukesha West
Bryan Botcher - University School
The players who are Juniors in High School this season and are nominated for participation in the Midwest Elite League/Shattuck Exposure Tournament in March are:
Nathan Anderson - Oregon William Sprink - Mosinee
Joe Witz - Onalaska Jon Carfagna - Oconomowoc
Casey Esselman - Lincoln Logan Froberg - Bayport
Mitchell Gerhartz - Hortonville Bennett Huston - Onalaska
Riley Karns - Madison Memorial Allen Moutvic - Oconomowoc
Kyle Paulson - Bayport Justin Persh - KMMO
Max Schauff - Madison Edgewood Anthony Schliep - Holmen
Matt Sprink - Mosinee