Two Union High School members of the Waterloo Warriors hockey team fulfill a promise the team made to a lost teammate last year, helping the Warriors win the Midwest High School Hockey League championship on March 5.
Senior Dylan Stech and junior Kyle Cowell have each been playing hockey for more than ten years. Last summer, the Warriors lost teammate Kurt Reidy, after he collapsed and died at his family’s cabin on the Mississippi River, making the team’s league championship even sweeter.
Waterloo, seeded third after posting a 21-7 record during the regular season, opened tournament play by defeating the Kansas City Jets, 8-3. Stech collected two assists in the game, one each in the first and third periods.
The win earned the Warriors a semi-final matchup against the second seeded Omaha Lancers, and they avenged two regular season losses with a 2-1 victory. Staked to a two goal lead going into the third period, Goaltender Dawson Sturch stopped every shot after Omaha’s lone score midway through the final period. Sturch finished the game with 29 saves on 30 shots.
In the championship game against Sioux City, Stech recorded an assist on Waterloo’s first goal of the game, which came in the second period. The game went into the third period tied 1-1. With just over a minute remaining in the game, Waterloo’s Cade Saeugling was awarded a penalty shot, which the senior from Independence put into the back of the net. Once again, the Warriors received stellar play from goalie Sturch, who stopped 38 shots to preserve the 2-1 victory.