The West Hills roller hockey team clinched the 2013 Kiwanis Cup championship title last week in a 6-5 overtime win against Rancho Bernardo, the first East County team to win the title in CIF history.
The game went into sudden death overtime and the Wolf Pack scored first, taking the win. Coach Steve Baldwin said they won mostly because they were able to stay out of the penalty box.
"The key to winning the final game against Rancho Bernardo was simply keep our cool and use our speed to move the puck down court as fast as possible," said Baldwin.
"We only lost three games and in all three of those games my boys lost their tempers and received too many penalties."
The stars of the team were Brad Majeski (D), Cody Boyer (F), David Baldwin (F), Zach Peters (F), Ryan Vanoni (F), Ryden Kerr (D) and Miguel San Martin (goalie), according to Baldwin. The team only had seven skaters and a goalie, which is why the Union Tribune nicked named them the “Great Eight.”
The Pack's final record for the season was 12 wins, three losses and one tie. David Baldwin led the team in both assists and goals with 70 points total. He was named All-League and All-CIF. Zack Peters and Ryan Vanoni were both named All-League.
The good news for East County roller hockey fans keeps on rolling- Baldwin said a new rollerskating rink off the El Cajon side of Magnolia Avenue will be their home rink next year. Skate San Diego will be located at the site of the old Valley Bowl (165 Denny Way).
"We hope the new rink will lead to a resurgence in roller hockey in East County," said Baldwin.
The West Hills roller hockey team was the only one left in East County, and Baldwin said he hope to see Santana, El Capitan, Grossmont and other high school teams return with this new rink.
"Six years ago we had three roller hockey rinks in East County, including 'Roller Skateland' on Mission Gorge Road. When all those rinks closed, roller hockey just about died out," he said.
Baldwin said the new rink should be open by mid April. He hopes it will become the center of roller hockey in San Diego County, but it will also be home to two semi-pro roller derby teams and feature public skating sessions on Friday nights.