Oakville hockey heads to Enterprise

OHS+Boys+Hockey+poses+in+the+locker+room+after+winning+against+Westminster+4-1%2C+advancing+to+play+at+Enterprise+Center+on+March+11.

Davin Smith

OHS Boys Hockey poses in the locker room after winning against Westminster 4-1, advancing to play at Enterprise Center on March 11.

We’re going to Enterprise Center! 

That’s what the Oakville hockey players were shouting as they won the biggest game of their high school career. With time winding down and the Oakville players and fans on their feet, the Tigers knew they would be playing for the Wickenheiser Cup.

“It meant everything to me and the team,” said captain Joe Pybas (12). “We were all so excited, we were hugging and celebrating because we knew we had it. There’s not a better feeling.” 

OHS sent Westminster home on Feb. 28 after an exhilarating 4-1 win at the Centene Community Ice Center, sweeping the two-game series and earning a spot in the Wickenheiser Cup final. 

OHS beat Westminster 6-4 on Feb. 21 to take a 1-0 series lead. Thanks to their most-recent win, the Tigers will now play their final game of the season as they go for the Cup at Enterprise Center against Duchesne on March 11 at 5:30 p.m. 

Pybas scored what proved to be the game-winning goal early in the third period as the team brought home its seventh straight win in the playoffs. After a 4-15-2 regular season record, the Tigers are now 11-15-2. 

“That was probably the biggest goal of my life” said Pybas. “I’ve dreamt of that goal. It was awesome.”

The first period was a match of “tug-o-war” between both teams, but remained scoreless heading into the first intermission, despite shots on goal being 8-4 in favor of Westminster. However, alternate captain Jack Huffman (12) did alleviate the anxiety for OHS fans when he started the scoring late in the second. But, for him, that goal meant a little more than just a 1-0 lead for Oakville.

“I did it for my dad,” said Huffman. “He passed away (before the start of the season). I’m playing the season for him, so it meant a lot.”

  Huffman’s goal sent the Tigers into the third with a 1-0 lead. Pybas recorded his goal with 13:06 left in the last frame to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead.  Westminster did score with 4:56 left in the third, but OHS did not let the one goal difference scare them. That’s when Adam Herrick (10) and Oliver Right (12) both scored into an empty net, giving the Tigers a 4-1 win and sending them to Enterprise. 

After “standing on his head” and only allowing one goal on 21 shots, starting goalie Chase Christopher (12) says this game is one for the books.

“It feels amazing,” said Christopher. “I’ve dreamt of this my whole life.” 

Head Coach Phil Jacquot says the boys deserve the win.

“It feels great,” said Jacquot. “We had a rough (regular) season, so it’s good to finally get a couple of wins.”

Oakville will make its first appearance in the Wickenheiser Cup final since the 2010 team beat Eureka in the final. The boys hope to hoist the cup again on March 11 and end the ten-year drought.

“We get a little break,” said Jacqout. “So we’ll go to practice like normal, keep it business as usual and stay focused. We have to stay calm and stick to the process; if we stick to the process, things will go our way.”