George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Needing to finish in the top three at the divisional tournament to secure a spot in the Montana High School State Hockey Tournament, the Havre Ice Hawks did much more than that this past weekend in Butte. Havre swept through the competition at the Western Divisional Hockey Tournament, bringing the divisional championship back to the Havre Ice Dome, where the Ice Hawks will host the state tournament next weekend. Saturday night in Butte was key to the Ice Hawks’ march to the divisional championship. Havre rode 28 saves by Will DeVries to a 5-0 shutout of the top-seeded Great Falls Americans, setting up a rematch on Sunday for the divisional crown. And in Sunday’s championship tilt, Havre rose to the occasion, beating Great Falls 4-2. David Zentmire stopped 27 shots in the title game, and Tyler Boyce scored twice to lead Havre to victory. The Ice Hawks also got goals from Mason Sheppard and Todd Roe, and Sheppard added an assist. The two-game sweep of Great Falls, the defending divisional champs, not only earned Havre a berth in the state tourney that it will host, but it made the Ice Hawks one of the top seeds next weekend. Havre’s weekend started off strong as the Ice Hawks crushed the Butte Blues 6-1 on Friday morning. Roe scored two goals and had two assists against the Blues, and Boyce also found the net twice. Sheppard and Shane Kemmer each added a goal and an assist as well. Zentmire was spectacular in goal, stopping 19 Butte shots. Havre’s hot streak continued later on Friday with a 3-2 win over the Missoula Bruins. Zentmire saved 22 shots and Jarrett McLain, Sheppard and Kemmer scored for the Ice Hawks. Sheppard’s goal was unassisted while Beau Briese and Paul Turner added assists as well. The final hurdle to a berth in the state tournament came on Saturday morning when the Ice Hawks took on the Helena Bighorns. Once again, Zentmire was the story. He stopped 26 shots as Havre won 4-2. Roe scored two goals and Michael Erickson and Schilling chipped in with scores as well. Kemmer, Sheppard, Boyce and Ryan Armstrong had assists in the Ice Hawks’ win. Roe was Havre’s leading scorer over the weekend and Kemmer, Sheppard and Boyce were extremely active offensively as well. The win over Helena pushed Havre into the state tournament, but the Ice Hawks still went on to capture the divisional tournament. The Ice Hawks will now prepare to host the state high school hockey tournament March 16-18 at the Havre Ice Dome. Havre will face Bozeman at 12:15 p.m. on March 16 and the Ice Hawks will take on the Helena Bighorns at 8:15 that night.