Hockey Season Review

Charging+forward+to+take+the+puck%2C+junior+Nick+Balestra+leads+his+team+through+an+aggressive+offense.+

Dave Condit

Charging forward to take the puck, junior Nick Balestra leads his team through an aggressive offense.

Last season, the hockey team completed the season as finalists in the Founder Cup, the first time since 2009.

This year, with only four games left, they have 11 wins, 5 ties and 1 loss with a third place ranking in the conference heading into playoffs.

Shawn Egan is the head coach, and started his coaching career at Parkway Central in 1988.

“In 1993-94 I transitioned to West as an alumni and coached that team to the state championship as runner-up,” Egan said.

Egan focused his efforts on increasing numbers for the team, by starting a middle school developmental team.

“This season  has doubled the size of our program and provided great opportunity for younger skaters to join and gain additional ice time,” Egan said.

Junior Jordan Wojtak has been a varsity goalie since freshman year and plans on pursuing hockey after high school.

“I’m going to see if I can get on a showcase team this summer and see if I can get looked at by a few colleges,” Wojtak said.

Wojtak was a member of the team last season that made it to the finals of the Founder Cup, and the team has since gained four new freshman as well as five seniors.

“We have a lot of leaders on the team and a lot of upperclassmen so that really helps with the leadership,” Wojtak said. “Also, I think we’re a really tight knit group.”

In addition to augmenting the team, a major goal is to make it farther than in years past, when the team lost during playoffs.

“Obviously the goal at the end of the season is to win state and that’s always been our goal. Last two years we fell just a little bit short but again with our leadership I think we’ll be able to do it this year,” Wojtak said.

Another focus for the team is giving back to the community in order to branch out beyond the sports aspect of being a team.

“We continue to work on many of these goals and some have already been obtained,” Egan said. “We held two community service projects and we hope to advance to the next highest level for the playoffs which start in February.”

The team looks to future games to give them a higher ranking by the time playoffs begin in a few weeks.

“I am hopeful that all players will attend for the playoff games, and we should advance as long as we continue to place shots on net and make body contact,” Egan said.

The varsity team plays Friday, Jan. 23 vs. Lutheran South at the FSI Shark Tank, and Saturday Jan. 24 vs. Ladue at the Webster Groves Ice Arena.