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The Student News Site of Cypress Creek High School

Howler

Cypress Hockey Team Making History

The Finals will Take Place in Orlando Tonight
Our+Coyotes+cheering+after+making+a+score.+
Addison Green
Our Coyotes cheering after making a score.

In the first year of Cypress Creek Coyote Hockey, the team set a high standard showing other teams they are a force to be reckoned with. Not just because of the players, but the phenomenal coaching by head coach JC Powers.

The Cypress Creek Coyotes hockey team was a great opportunity to create a program with the ideals to foster a culture of excellence on and off the ice,” said Powers.

The team was formed by the Tampa Bay Lightning High School Hockey League, combing Cypress Creek, Sunlake, and Pasco together based off student enrollment. In the last season before the program was created, or formed, Coach Powers was with River Ridge high school which later merged with Mitchell.

I was one of the coaches with River Ridge last season and was asked if I would continue on and help with the Cypress Creek Coyotes hockey, and the rest is history,” said Powers. 

 The Coyote varsity erupted putting up high scoring games winning four out of their first five having lost in their second game by one goal. JV team won eight out of nine games with their seventh game against Newsome being a draw. They continued with a steady winning pace having only lost one game against Steinbrenner making their way into the championship. After the varsity team’s last win, which was against Newsome, the team’s ability to score and maintain consistency came into question because they lost the next seven games.

“Players were excited and got a little ahead of themselves as the first few games were ‘easier’ than they had expected,” said Powers.

The team had become outcasts in their respective division sitting at the bottom of the division, but they changed that narrative. Their coaches didn’t stop believing in them knowing that they have such a talented group of players who want to win. Coach Powers added, “I truly believe that yelling and screaming isn’t the way to approach it, so I told the players that assistant coach Kroeten and I would keep showing up and that we wouldn’t give up on them as long as they didn’t feel ‘sorry’ for the position we got ourselves in.” After the Nov. 3, 2023, win against Tampa Catholic broke the seven-game losing streak. The team had reignited taking the division by surprise not losing a single game and outscoring opponents 85 to 30 becoming the best offense in all of Tampa rocketing towards the championship against Steinbrenner. “We were not supposed to go as far as we did, and we did something that nobody would have expected us to do, especially in our first season,” Jonathan Motta added (#4 Left Defenseman).  

Cypress Creek went on to play against Steinbrenner in the Tampa Championship winning five – three. Last game’s MVP against Wiregrass Ranch in the playoffs Jonathan Motta, handed the MVP award to Cypress Creek goalie Carter Linquist for his phenomenal performance keeping their chances of winning the game alive.

“I mean, it was just a great feeling. You can’t really explain it. All the guys that you’ve just worked so hard with all season, it’s all coming together for one big game,” said Carter Linquist.

Linquist saved 37 out 40 shots, posting a save percentage of .925, only allowing one goal each period. With the added help of the two highest ranked forwards in Tampa, Hayden Hutner (#9) and David Greene (#34), helped the Coyotes to score three goals in the second period, and two goals in the third. Both Hutner and Greene each had one assist respectively.  Coach Powers added

“We Always break down every part of the process because that’s how every journey begins, with the first step not the last. So, with a ‘1-0’ mentality, we focus on each battle, each shift, and repeat that until the period is over.” 

With the Tampa championship win, the team will advance to the semi-finals to compete for a shot at the State Championship. The finals will take place in Orlando, the first round on Friday Feb. 23 against Pine Crest starting at 4: 45p.m, and the second and third rounds on Saturday Feb. 24 the first game being held at 11: 00a.m in the PRO rink against Spanish River and the second being played in the OLY rink at 5: 00p.m against Westside. 

 

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    Tracie LindquistMar 23, 2024 at 10:30 am

    So proud of this team and of course super proud of my fav goalie! Go ‘YOTES!!!

    Reply