By Tiffany L. Rehbein
The Havre Ice Hawks mites hockey team welcomed the year 2000 in a spectacular way.
The mites captured the Western Division state title with a 7-3 victory over the Butte No. 2 team at the Havre Ice Dome on Sunday.
"I was really glad to see that the kids performed as well as they did," mites head coach Dave Armstrong said.
In the championship, Shane Kemmer score five goals to lead the Ice Hawks.
Adam Briese and Mason Sheppard combined for one assist, while Ryan Armstrong and Briese tallied one assist apiece in the effort.
Kemmer scored two of the goals unassisted.
Adam Briese scored on an assist by Kemmer and Cameron Schilling, while Beau Briese scored on an assist by Armstrong.
Dylan Ballard had 12 saves in the net for Havre.
Havre edged the Butte Blues No. 2 team 5-4 to open the tournament last Friday.
Mason Sheppard scored on an assist by Beau Briese and Kemmer.
Seth Anderson, Kemmer, and Armstrong both tallied unassisted goals in the effort.
Beau Briese scored on an assists by Sheppard and Kemmer.
Ballard had 20 saves in the net for the Ice Hawks.
Havre scorched the Whitefish Avalanche 11-3 during its second game of the tournament, held on Friday.
Sheppard and Armstrong scored three goals apiece in the contest.
Beau Briese assisted on all three Sheppard shots, while Armstrong notched all goals unassisted.
Beau Briese tallied two goals himself, assisted by Sheppard.
Kemmer notched two unassisted goals and Jesse Majeres scored an unassisted goal.
Alex Sinclair had 17 saves in goal.
The Ice Hawks defeated the Missoula Bruins 6-2 on Saturday.
Kemmer scored two unassisted goals, while Armstrong notched an assist on his other shot.
Armstrong scored one goal himself and assisted on a shot by Schilling.
Adam Briese smoked in one shot, assisted by Sheppard.
Ballard had 14 saves in the net for the Ice Hawks.
In the semifinal game, Havre downed the Butte Blues No. 1 team, 7-2.
Beau Briese scored three goals one unassisted and the other two aided by Will DeVries and a Sheppard/DeVries combo.
Sheppard tallied three goals himself. An Armstrong DeVries duo helped with one shot, while Beau Briese assisted on the other shot.
Armstrong scored one unassisted shot.
Sinclair played well in the goalie box, stopping 21 shots.
The mites, 7-9-year-olds, were sponsored by Northern Montana Hospital and Havre Laundry.
Nineteen kids participated on the team, with 12 advancing to the squirts next season.
"They were just a great bunch of kids who worked really hard in practice and improved greatly," Armstrong said.
Coaches Armstrong, Mark Majeres, and Marc Ballard were given plaques for their dedication to the team.
Michelle Burchard, of the Town House Inn, and Kathie Newell of Northern Montana Hospital, also accepted awards for their support of Havre Youth Hockey. Ron Brenna was not present to accept for Havre Laundry.
"I was very fortunate to have a great bunch of kids who were interested in learning the things we wanted to teach," Armstrong said. He was in his first year as the head coach.
Armstrong noted that the parents' dedication and availability of ice at the Ice Dome were instrumental in producing a successful season.