ROBERT ESCHE YOUTH HOCKEY TOURNAMENT ROLLS ON IN WHITESTOWN-WRAPS UP TODAY
Rome Grizzlies and Center State Stampede Battle it out Friday.
Jeff Pexton-MHTS/PGI Photo
The 8th annual Rob Esche Youth Hockey Tournament is in full swing at the Whitestown Community Center this weekend.
Fourteen teams in the “Squirt” age level (9-10 yr olds) are doing battle for tournament titles in the “House” and “Travel” team divisions.
Teams from Utica, Clinton, Rome, Center State (Morrisville) and host Whitestown represent the local hockey hot beds.
Oswego, Schenectady, Canandaigua, Syracuse, Saratoga and Watertown made the trek into Central New York from outside the area.
Rob Esche, a longtime sponsor of the tournament, played his youth hockey in Whitestown.
From there the star goaltender went on to rise through the ranks of Junior Hockey and then found himself a member of the Phoenix Coyotes and Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League.
He later went on to play for Team USA in both Olympic and World Cup play.
Esche now plays professionally in Switzerland and continues to lend his support to numerous organizations in Central New York.
So far this weekend the Whitestown House team is undefeated at (3-0) and has earned a spot in the tournament final Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m..
The “Wolfpack” team will face either Mohawk Valley Little Pioneers or the Oswego Buccaneers for the crown.
The Rome Grizzlies went (1-2) in the Travel Division, including a huge win over Watertown on Saturday.
The Romans will play a consolation game on Sunday morning.
The Center State Stampede (3-0) in pool play will also faceoff Sunday morning in a Semi-Final game for a shot at the Travel Division title.
The Clinton Comets ((1-2) will also have a consolation matchup on Sunday against Saratoga (1-2) in the Travel Division.
The Whitestown Wolfpack Travel team (1-2) missed the championship round with a tough loss to Canandaigua this afternoon.
They will take on the Syracuse Blazers on Sunday for third pace honors.
Once again, Whitestown Tournament Director Lisa Emery and her stronger than ever group of volunteers are putting on a first class event for every player and family involved.
Hat’s off to the Whitestown Wolfpack Youth Hockey Association and Rob Esche for yet another wonderful hockey experience!