Huskies to head north of border for championship tournament

January 14, 1996|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

The Howard County Huskies, a 10-11-year-old Squirt "A" level hockey travel team, will play in the International Silver Stick Championships beginning Friday in Sarnia, Ontario.

This will be the second time in three years that coach Dave Henn and eight of his players will participate in the Silver Stick Championships, which is comparable to baseball's Little League World Series. Two years ago, Henn and his Mite team (8-9) traveled to St. Clair Shores in Michigan where it went 1-2-1.

"I think we have a better team then we had two years ago," said Henn, who has coached several of his players for four years. "I think we'll do OK. Remember, we're playing some top hockey teams from up north. I just want to stay in each game."

While Henn admits the competition will be challenging, he doesn't expect his team to back down.

"I think they [the opponents] will know we were there," said Dunn, who played club hockey at the University of Maryland and later in the Chesapeake Hockey League. "The kids are pumped up for this. I don't think they will back down a bit."

Certainly, the Huskies haven't backed down this season, going 21-1-1, including 8-0 in the Capital Beltway Hockey League. The team has scored 167 goals and allowed 31.

The Huskies advanced to the Silver Stick Championship by winning the U.S. Eastern Regional Championships over the Thanksgiving weekend presented by the Howard County Youth Hockey Club. Games were played at the Columbia Ice Rink, Piney Orchard and Benfield Pines.

The Huskies finished 2-0-1 in the tournament and advanced with five points. Last year, in their first season as a Squirt team, the Huskies finished second in the regional tournament.

The Huskies, who play teams from the Delaware Valley Hockey League and the New Jersey Youth Hockey League outside of their 16-game league schedule, plan to leave early Thursday morning for the 12-hour bus ride.

The team is one of 14 competing in its age division. The Huskies will play twice Friday and once Saturday. Should they advance, the semifinals and finals are scheduled for next Sunday.

The 16-player team includes forwards Zach Brennan, Anthony Dinoto, Jimmy Doherty, Michael Down, Chuck Henn, Dominick Lignelli, Josh Merson, Dominic Uccellini, Josh Wesley and defenders Danny Buswell, Jayson Cash, Doug DesRoches, Scott Hasselberger, Jonathan Martinez and Matt Pinto. Eric Jackson is the goalie.

PD "This trip should be a nice experience for the kids," said Dunn.

County track championships

Atholton's boys and Howard's girls will defend their county indoor track titles Thursday at the Fifth Regiment Armory. The meet begins at 4 p.m.

"I think its going to be extremely close. I think the difference will be around six to eight points between us and Oakland Mills," said Atholton boys coach Pat Saunderson, who added that Centennial, Glenelg and Wilde Lake also will be tough. "I think our guys will be ready and do well. But I have a great respect for [coach] Sam [Singleton] and the Oakland Mills program."

"It's going to be real close," said Singleton, whose team won indoor county titles in 1991, 1993 and 1994. "I think our kids will run well."

Howard's girls will be favored because of their experience and strong sprinters.

"I'm hoping for the best," said Howard girls coach Tony Holland. "With the long layoff it's hard to say, but everyone in the county has the same problem. We have a good group of girls, and I'm sure they've been doing something on their own."

After Thursday's county championships, top county athletes and their teams will return to the armory Saturday for the Maryland National Guard Games beginning at 9 a.m.

=1 Oakland Mills is the defending boys champion.

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