Rugby PeeWee Hockey goes undefeated, advances to state tournament
The Rugby PeeWee Hockey team ended their outstanding regular season play with an overall record of 35 wins, four losses and two ties. This includes a league record of 10 wins and zero losses.
The team plays in the Northeast District PeeWee league which also includes two teams from Grand Forks and teams from Langdon, Minot and Northwood.
Rugby outscored all opponents with 191 total goals as opposed to 66 total goals allowed. They averaged 4.7 goals per game versus a 1.6 average goals allowed per game. In league games, Rugby outscored opponents by 52 to 11.
They also played four games against teams from Minnesota and four games against teams from Manitoba, with the balance of games played against teams within the state.
“It was a tremendous accomplishment to go undefeated in hockey because that’s difficult to do,” coach Jay McClintock said. “Goal tending and team defense were both the key to our success this season. It was a total team effort, of course, with all players contributing.”
According to McClintock, the Rugby Amateur Hockey Association made ice available in October, which allowed the team to start practicing earlier than in previous years, helping to start off a successful season.
This season’s Rugby PeeWee team had eight second year players and seven first year players and practiced four nights per week.
“It was an epic season for us,” McClintock said. “These kids are the product of a lot of hard working coaches. [The players] are all really nice kids who we enjoy coaching very much.”
Rugby has been placed in the PeeWee “Gold” State Tournament, which will be held on March 3, 4 and 5 and is hosted by Bottineau. Rugby is rated as the #1 seeded team from the Northeast League and will be playing the #2 seeded teams from the Western PeeWee League, Bismarck Red, on Friday.
The other team from the Northeast that will be in the “Gold” division is Langdon, whose only two league losses came at the hands of Rugby.
Team members are Alec Wolf, Austin Dibble, Cole Vietz-Reile, Cooper Bonebrake, Dalton Vietz-Reile, Dylan Bartsch, Andrew Lemar, Jerick Ziegler, Macen Heisler, Noah Wright, Riley Tuerge, Robert Dibble (Goalie), Tucker Schoneberg, Tyle Oppen and Levi Saxton.
Coaches are Jay McClintock, Keith Dibble, Justin Wright and Tim Bartsch. Team Managers are Vicky Reile and Michelle Schoneberg.
All team members are members of Rugby Amateur Hockey Association, North Dakota Amateur Hockey Association and USA Hockey.
Jay McClintock is the Rugby PeeWee Hockey Team’s head coach. Tribune Reporter Carissa Mavec contributed to this report.