By Will Willems Sports Editor
Zionsville Times Sentinel
---- — The Class 3A state hockey championship didn't start the way the Zionsville Arctic Eagles wanted it to.
But, it certainly ended the way they were looking for. After giving up a goal just 2:08 into the game, Zionsville held Penn scoreless the rest of the game, beating the Kingsmen 4-1 to win the state championship on Saturday, March 8.
"It feels unbelievable," Zionsville head coach Aaron Wallace said. "I am just so happy for the guys. They have been through a lot this season as far as injuries go this year. A lot of people didn't think we could make it this far and the boys just pushed every single game."
Wallace said battling through that adversity earlier in the season made winning the state championship even more special.
"It absolutely does," Wallace said. "When we got healthy again, a couple of weeks after Christmas, we really started to get on a roll. The boys just came together at the right time. Coaches always say how they want to peak at the right time, and we did."
The two teams had met earlier this season on Dec. 14, with Penn winning 7-1.
After that loss, Zionsville went 14-5-4 to close the season.
"I really don't know," Wallace said when asked what the difference was. "I think being a state championship game and us finally being healthy helped us. Penn is a really good hockey team and they took it to us the first time we played. But we have been clicking and we played a great game."
Penn struck first just over two minutes into the game.
After the Eagles failed to clear their zone, Penn's CJ Banashak threw the puck toward the net. Goalie Jack Sigman appeared to have the stop made, but it trickled through his five-hole and into the net to give the Kingsmen a 1-0 lead.
For more of this story, read the March 12 edition of the Times Sentinel.