Local athletes shine on national hockey team
St. Louis athletes played a huge role in helping the United States National Junior Team earn a bronze medal at the recent International Ice Hockey Federation World Under-20 Championship.
The U.S. team earned its third consecutive medal at the championship. Trent Frederic, a Chesterfield native and sophomore at the University of Wisconsin, scored four goals to lead the United States in its 9-3 defeat of the Czech Republic.
The victory gave the United States three-straight medals at the World Junior Championship for the first time in U.S. history and its sixth medal in the last nine tournaments [gold in 2010, 2013 and2017; bronze in 2011, 2016 and 2018].
Brady Tkachuk, who plays at Boston University, followed in his family’s footsteps at the championship. He had nine points on three goals and six assists in seven games. Two years ago, his brother Matthew, now with the Calgary Flames, tied for the U.S. team-lead with 11 points in seven games while their father, Keith, followed a nine-point performance in 1991 with a seven-point effort in 1992. Both Matthew and Keith also earned WJC bronze medals.
Goalie Joseph Woll, who attended Westminster Christian Academy and now plays at Boston College, also had a good tournament. Playing in five games, Woll allowed 2.71 goals a game and had a save percentage of 88.60.
Also playing for the U.S. was Logan Brown, son of former Blue Jeff Brown. Logan is playing in the Ontario Hockey League for the Windsor Spitfires.
MICDS girls win tourney
The MICDS Rams girls basketball team reached its third tournament championship game and captured its second title of the season.
MICDS defeated Ladue 66-57 to win the recent Lindbergh Tournament. Sophomore forward Jessica Brooks led the Rams with 24 points. Senior forward Lindsey Parks added 23 points.
Both Brooks and Parks were named to the all-tournament team. This was MICDS’ second year playing in the tournament. The Rams lost in the championship game to Jackson last season.
Earlier this season, the Rams fell 61-60 to Lutheran North in the Lutheran St. Charles Tournament. In December, the Rams won their own MICDS Holiday Tournament.
Principia girls win tourney
The short-handed Principia Panthers won their second basketball tournament of the season with a 58-49 decision over Brentwood in the eighth annual Affton Winter Classic.
“I laugh a little at this because in some ways we were just trying to survive. Due to school trips, players not feeling their best or physically able to play, we played this entire tournament with six varsity players the first game, and five the last two games,” Principia coach Shad Nichols said. “For the last game, we only had six players total, including one up from the JV.
“It concluded a stretch of four games in five days with only five players. It was tough but the team showed up each day excited to play with what they had, and persevered through four quarters with minimal to zero substitutions.”
Senior Kate Hinds had career-high 26 points in the title game over Brentwood. Hinds and teammate Jordan Fredrickson were named all-tournament team.
Whitfield girls win tourney
For a second consecutive year, the Whitfield girls basketball team scored a 59-51 win over Metro in the 38th annual Queen of Hearts Tournament at Villa Duchesne.
Junior forward Aijha Blackwell scored a game-high 31 points. Junior guard Nia Griffin added 11 points for the Warriors. Senior Taylor Lawson-Hicks and junior forward Tajah Foster-Walker each contributed nine points each.
High school girls swimming
Incarnate Word sophomore Ellie Wehrmann won two events for the Red Knights in the Metro Women’s Athletic Association (MWAA) Championships.
Wehrmann won the in the 100 backstroke with a time of 58.25 seconds. She also won the 200 freestyle in 1 minute, 52.30 seconds.
St. Joseph’s Academy finished third in the MWAA Championships with 349 points. Cor Jesu won the seven-team league meet with a point total of 367.5, just enough to nip Nerinx Hall’s 367 points. Incarnate Word was seventh with 187 points.
St. Joseph’s won the 200-free relay in 1:42.80.
High school hockey
It was a record-breaking season for the Priory Rebels hockey team.
The Rebels finished with a sparkling 20-1 record in the regular season. That was good enough to get Priory back to playing in the Challenge Cup, the top postseason tournament in the Mid-States Club Hockey Association.
Coach Jeff Smith is happy with how his team played this season.
“The team has exceeded all expectations,” Smith said. “The boys led Mid-States in total goals and goal differential for the first time in team history. Given our youth, we can’t ask for much more.”
The 20-1 regular-season record is the best in team history.
“Two current assistant coaches are Priory alums who played on the Wickenheiser Cup championship teams roughly a decade ago . Both say the talent on this team exceeds the talent back then. We’re incredibly proud,” Smith said.
The only blemish on the Rebels’ record came Jan. 1 to MICDS. The Rams scored a 3-1 victory. Earlier in the season, Priory had beaten MICDS 6-1.
Senior Scott Berni sparked the offense. He scored 41 goals in the regular season, leading the league for the most goals scored.
“Scott is a terrific leader. His impact is beyond words,” Smith said. “He’s highly skilled and patient with the puck. He led Mid-States in goals and overall scoring this season, so that tells you a lot. That’s not where it ends with him though. He makes everyone on the ice with him better due to his selflessness. He’s also a 4.0 student and a mentor to junior schoolers at Priory. Not sure there’s a more well-rounded young man at the school.”
But the Rebels were not a one-man band. Smith noted that everyone plays a role in the success of the team.
“Sean McAtee and Jesse Au have been rocks on our blue line,” Smith said. “Both goalies finished in the top 10 in goals against with save percentages over .900. Logan Boatright and Sawyer Lownsdale are both sophomores who finished in the top 20 in overall scoring.
“Those are the numbers guys, but we’ve gotten great leadership from juniors Chris Friemel, Sean Dolan, Mike O’Keefe and Patrick Carr who never miss a team event and work incredibly hard to get better every day. They lead the young guys by example.”
High school wrestling
The defending Class 1 state champs Whitfield Warriors won the Kyle Thrasher Tournament at Francis Howell.
Whitfield captured the two-day, 36-team event with 201 points. Defending Class 4 champion Staley of Kansas City was second with 190.5 points. Lafayette finished third with 172.5 and Eureka was fourth with 136.
Warriors senior Mike McAteer, a three-time state champion who signed with Army last November, won at 126 points. McAteer earned a 6-2 decision over Eureka’s Ryan Lester. It was his second Thrasher championship.
Other Whitfield matmen also did well. Coming in second were Logan Ferrero at 106, JR Ditter at 132, Noah Elmore at 182 and William Boldt at 220. Finishing fourth at the meet were Connor McAteer at 113, Ethan Hovis at 160 and Zac Russell at 170. Wade Raeman wound up fifth at 120.
Defending state champion Danny Conley, a Chaminade senior, won at heavyweight. Conley pinned Cortez Woods, of Lafayette, in 2 minutes, 43 seconds. Conley has signed to wrestle in college at Columbia University.
Parkway South’s Garret Kloeppel won at 132 when he got past Whitfield’s Ditter. Kloeppel finished second at state last winter at 126.
Lafayette had two first-place winners. The Lancers’ Jayden Carson, a junior, won in overtime at 113. He defeated Khyler Brewer, of Staley, to score a 4-2 win. Senior Cameron Wegener won the championship at 145 with a 4-0 decision over Austin Landow, of Fort Zumwalt West.
Whitfield junior Melanie Green competed in the Junior National Finals Rodeo recently in Las Vegas, Nevada. Green and her horse Rascal finished in 16th place out of 65 competitors. Green has been barrel racing since she was 4 years old.