Alpena JV icers begin tournament play today

The Alpena JV hockey team has every reason to feel confident this weekend headed into the JV state playoffs in Jackson.

The Wildcats have gone undefeated in their last 16 games and they’ll try to make it 17 at 9 a.m. today when they play Grand Blanc.

Alpena will also play Lakeland at 5:30 p.m. today and will play Plymouth Salem at 12:30 on Saturday. The semifinals and finals of the tournament will be played on Sunday.

Despite more than 20 wins last year, Alpena didn’t qualify for the tournament. Now as one of eight teams competing this weekend, the Wildcats are hoping put together a strong team effort to bring home the title.

“We work harder than any team and we’re in better condition,” Alpena coach John Fisher said. “We don’t have any Pavel Datsyuks, but we’ve got a lot of hard working kids that know how to win.”

Alpena won a Wooden Nickel tournament in January at Northern Lights Arena, going 5-0 for the tournament and getting solid performances from several players including Nick Skaluba, who took MVP honors.

More recently, the Wildcats picked up two wins over Muskegon Mona Shores and single wins over Sault Ste. Marie and Cadillac, a game which went to double overtime.