George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor firstname.lastname@example.org
The Havre Ice Hawks Squirt's hockey team has affectionately become known as the 'Great Eight." That's because with just eight players on the team, the Ice Hawks have gone up against full teams of between 12-15 players all season long. And this year, during the regular season, the Ice hawks won just four league games. However, that didn't stop them from pulling off a stunning state championship run at the Montana State Squirt B Hockey Tournament this past weekend in Miles City. Not only did the Ice Hawks have just eight players heading into the tournament, but they were also one of the youngest of the six teams in the field. The Squirt's are made up of players ages 8-10. So all odds were against the Ice Hawks as they began pool play on Friday. Still, Havre beat the Butte Blues 7-3 to open the tournament. Blake Hanson and Dane Warp scored hat tricks for the Ice Hawks, while Isaac Warp also chipped in with a goal. In the net, the Ice Hawks got nine saves by Carson Haynes. On Saturday morning, the Ice Hawks took on the Great Falls Americans, and again they were victorious, beating the Americans by a whopping score of 13-0. In the game against Great Falls, Havre's defense was the story as the Americans only got six shots on goal, with Haynes saving them all. Defensemen Kole Hulett, Hailli Hulett and Alex Cole were also crucial in the shutout. On offense, the Ice Hawks got six goals by Dane Warp, three by Blake Hanson, three by Blake Preeshl and one by Isaac Warp. Havre rolled on by beating Salmon, Idaho 8-2 to reach the championship game. Against Salmon, Dane Warp, scored four goals, while Isaac Warp, Blake Hanson, Blake Preeshl and Kole Hulett also scored, and Carson Haynes stopped 12 shots on goal. Finally, the Ice Hawks capped off their amazing tournament by beating the Missoula Bruins, the tournament favorite, 5-2 in the championship game on Sunday. In the championship game, Dane Warp scored three times, while Isaac Warp, Alex Cole and Dane Warp also found the net. Carson Haynes was also magnificent in goal, stopping 20-of-22 Missoula shots. The Ice Hawks run tot he state championship was spurned by the play of all eight players. The team is composed of Captain Dane Warp, Assistant Captain Kole Hulett, Alex Cole, Blake Hanson, Carson Haynes, Hailli Hulett, Blake Preeshl and Isaac Warp. The team is coached by Pat and Wendi Hulett and assisted by Doug Warp. The Ice Hawk's season isn't over as they will host the "Havre Ice Jam" March 14-16 at the Havre Ice Dome.