Columbus Youth Hockey is celebrating two state championships held by one of the smallest communities in the state for field teams.
The Columbus Icemen won the Indiana State High School Hockey Association championship last weekend, and the Columbus Flames 14U team won the 14U Hoosier Division of the Indiana Youth Hockey State Championship.
Additionally, the Flames 10U-B team finished second in the Hoosier Division at the Indiana Youth Hockey State Championship tournament.
“It’s a great experience and a very special moment,” said Isaac Coy, Icemen’s head coach and coach to all Columbus Youth Hockey coaches. “With the Columbus facility and the community supporting us, and a great board and a great youth hockey program, it all just comes together. It’s amazing to me that so many ice hockey players have emerged from this community. “
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The Icemen beat the Central Indiana Knights 4-2 on Saturday to claim the title. Andrew Clark, John Ferguson, Joe Neal and Brayson Bennett scored goals for Columbus. Evan Federle had two templates and Ferguson added one template. Jake McMullen recorded 21 saves from 23 shots.
The state championship was the sixth for the Icemen. Previously, they had won a Class A state championship title in 1994, a 3A championship in 2008, and 2A titles in 1997, 2002 and 2018.
“Having two state championships in the last four years doesn’t happen very often,” said Coy. “We are very, very proud. It is truly a blessing to have the opportunity that we have had over the years. “
The Flames 14U team defeated Fort Wayne Force 4-1 on Friday morning and joined Indy Junior Fuel 0-0 in the pool game on Friday night. That brought them to the semifinals on Sunday, where they were number 3, beating Indy Junior Fuel with number 2 3-0.
In the title game, the Flames and the Fort Wayne PSM Force with the number 4 were played after regulation with 1: 1, with Jack Warble scoring the Flames goal. After neither team scored a goal in 4v4 overtime, Wyatt Warner and Warble scored a shootout and goalkeeper Zach Goggins stopped both Fort Wayne attempts to give the Flames the win.
“I think we topped them by a lot, but definitely some big ones when it comes down to it,” said assistant coach Geoff Hannen. “After about 500 and some ups and downs it was nice to see the kids get together and have a good moment. That was pretty great. “
Head coach Steve Nelson said he wasn’t expecting a national title after a difficult start to the season.
“It was a big surprise, especially because it was such crazy ups and downs that affected the children’s focus and discipline,” said Nelson. “We just got off to a terrible start to the year so I was a little nervous. But I tried to soften that because two years ago the core of this team were 12U champions.”
The Flames 10U-B team fought back after losing in the opening round to advance to the championship game of their tournament. The Flames took an early 2-0 lead but the Carmel All-Stars rallied for a 3-2 win.
Bentley Hampton and Cooper Ross each scored three goals and one assist over the weekend to lead the Flames. Nolan Sparkman scored three goals; Henry Jamerson, Eli Dykstra and Garrett Uy all had one goal, Logan Barringer had three assists and Luke Getchell added one.
“Columbus Youth Hockey was a great feeder for high school hockey in Columbus, and it’s gotten so much more talented and competitive in the state in recent years,” Coy said. “It just goes to show that we’re a real competitor in Indiana hockey.”