Northview clinched its second Northwest Hockey Conference Red Division title in three years last weekend due in large part to the strong play of a talented senior class.
Northview (25-3-1) posted an 8-2-0 record in the Red Division sparked by senior goalie Craig Trego and senior forwards Carter Bourland and Brandon Snead.
We won the league title because we have excellent hockey players that have heart, passion and skill, Northview coach Jim Cooper said. The seniors have come through. But the seniors have wrapped their arms around the younger kids, too.
It took a 6-3 win Saturday over Southview and a tight 3-2 triumph Sunday in overtime against Bowling Green to secure the title. The Bobcats tied the game with nine seconds left in regulation. But Northview won on its first shift in OT.
The Wildcats lost twice to St. Francis which had posted a 9-0-1 league record. But the Knights were forced to forfeit two league games due to the use of an ineligible player, making their official record 7-2-1.
We are the champs today because we play in a league where there is integrity, Cooper said. We did all we could to win it.
Northview, which won the Red title in 2006 and made a run to the state final, was picked to finish second behind defending state and league champ St. John s. But the Wildcats swept the Titans in two games.
Northview plays Start next Thursday in the opening round of the district. The top-seeded Knights take on Springfield on Wednesday. The teams could meet again in the district final on March 1, but the Wildcats would likely have to defeat St. John s.
This will be a big challenge, Cooper said. We have as tough a road to a state title as I ve seen.