Three Powell sixth graders — Jack Beaudry, Kalin Hicswa and Andrew Walker — helped boost the Park County Ice Cat Peewee B hockey team to the Peewee B Championship in Sheridan Feb. 24-26.
Park County Ice Cats Peewee B team beat Gillette, Rock Springs and Sheridan, winning 11-1, 10-0 and 5-4, respectively.
The win against Sheridan, for the championship, was secured by a saved shot by goalie Beaudry right at the buzzer.
During the tournament Beaudry was awarded a shutout pin for the game against Rock Springs — and he also won offensive player of the game against Gillette with a hat trick (three goals).
Beaudry plays center when not in front of the net, but goalie is his favorite position.
“I like playing goalie cause with these guys (Hicswa and Walker), it’s all a physical game, and with me as a goalie, it’s a mental game; you have to keep your emotions straight,” said Beaudry.
Hicswa plays defensemen and Walker plays wing. All three teammates are 12 years old.
“I like playing defense because you don’t really have to care if you score the goals or anything like that. You can give other people the opportunities, but it’s more about keeping the puck off the goal, cause I’d rather keep shots off (Beaudry),” said Hicswa.
Walker said what he likes about his position “is that I get in there to find the puck when it’s in their zone.”
Beaudry has been playing hockey since age 3, Hicswa has been playing hockey since age 4 and Walker has been playing since he was 9.
On winning the championship, the three boys said that at first they were in disbelief.
“I didn’t know what to think about it at first, then I started to realize that we were champions,” said Walker.
“Every year that I’ve played, we’ve always got second,” Beaudry said. “Almost every year we’ve lost to Rock Springs.”
Next year will be a new challenge, as all three boys will make the leap from Peewee to Bantam.
“Peewee to Bantam is a huge jump,” said Beaudry.
Some changes include overtimes and shootouts during the regular season, players will be able to check and the implementation of other NHL rules.
The Powell players said they’re excited for the new rules and the increased physicality of the game.
Besides the physical demands from the game of hockey, the players also said they like the adrenaline and the family bond created on the team this year.
“I like the teamwork,” said Walker.
“I like how our team gelled this year,” added Hicswa. “We came together as a team and got to know each other.”
Beaudry said the team this year had a family bond; he said there wasn’t selfishness and there was passing.
“We win more games that way,” chimed in Hicswa.
Outside of hockey, the three players enjoy playing other sports.
Beaudry enjoys snowmobiling, dirt biking, racing remote control cars, hunting, tennis and soccer.
“Almost any sport I end up liking,” said Beaudry.
He said he likes the exercise that soccer offers — “I get my stamina up for hockey season.”
“I like soccer because it’s just so similar to hockey,” added Hicswa.
The two explained that the only real differences are that soccer features a ball instead of puck and ground instead of ice. The rules are similar.
As well as playing soccer, Hicswa enjoys the outdoors: hiking, backpacking, kayaking, paddle boarding and hunting.
Of the outdoors, Hicswa said he likes, “the tranquility of everything and I also like that it’s really unpredictable because it can be sunny and 60 one day and snowing the next.”
Walker enjoys playing baseball, hunting, spending time with family and wants to be join the army out of high school.
In school, Walker enjoys physical education, because it “helps build muscle; helps you stay in shape.”
Both Beaudry and Hicswa enjoy math and science and want to pursue a career in engineering — Beaudry in mechanical engineering and Hicswa either civil or mechanical.
Beaudry’s interest in engineering was sparked by playing with Legos and having an uncle in engineering; he said he liked the mindset that if something breaks, you can fix it.
Hicswa said he first thought the word engineering sounded cool and “once I started to process it and figure it out, I got really good at math, and algebra and science and stuff and I thought it would kind of be a good job for me and my mindset.”
Both Beaudry and Hicswa enjoy playing with Legos, in particular the sets with gears.
“There’s these Legos sets that you put gears and stuff together and you can make stuff and things that drive,” said Hicswa.
“And if you don’t put a gear in they don’t drive,” chimed in Beaudry.
“And that’s a voice of experience,” Walker added.
“I just think it’s cool to figure it out, how everything goes together and once you build it you figure out how everything works,” Hicswa said.
“And make it stronger,” added Beaudry.
The players also have future goals for the game of hockey.
Beaudry wants to go “as far as I can make it.”
As for Hicswa, “I think if I can just make it I’ll just make it through high school,” he said, “But if I get a hockey scholarship or something, I’ll play in college. Otherwise I’ll just focus in academics.”
Added Walker, “I’ll have to see when I am in high school.”
With this season concluded, the three players wanted to thank their coaches, Jay Nielson and Steve Juergens, their teammates — especially team captain Anna Brenner and alternate captain Jack Schroeder — and their parents.
“Yeah, they sit through the freezing cold in the stands,” said Beaudry.