The Laramie Outlaws U18 hockey team placed second at the State Hockey Tournament earlier today in Sheridan.

The Sheridan Hawks won 4-3 against the Outlaws despite the teams’ best efforts.

18 players on the U18 team competed at state: Joe Kelley, Nick Schwindt, Alex Mavriplis, Evan Naughton, Zach Johnson, Emmie Wahlgren, Ryan Zaft, Will Yates, Tristan Fraley, Sam Miller, Erik Zaft, David Zhang, Quinn Wahlgren, Alex Burleigh, Carter Weis, Eli Jablin, Esai Jaime and Angela Jaime.  

The Outlaws were excited for the state tournament and felt ready after a lot of practice and many games. The U18 team played 6v6 hockey games in the division B bracket.

“I think that if we try hard, we could win division B at state,” Outlaw defenseman David Zhang said.

The Outlaw’s U18 team are ending their season with a record of 10 victories, 10 losses and two ties against other teams in the state. 

The team also played in tournaments against out of state teams this season. They played in a tournament last weekend in Denver, Colo. and they played in the semi-finals last Monday.  

Junior Graeme Ernest-Hoar broke his back a few weeks ago during a match and is now wearing a back brace for support and protection and senior Reece Shannon wasn’t able to play due to hip pains.  

“Injuries have been a problem for our team this year,” Zhang said. “We have several players who are not competing with us for the rest of this season because of injuries.”

The Outlaws practice on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays for two hour intervals. On Mondays and Thursdays, the team practices on the ice rink at the Laramie Community Ice and Event Center. On Tuesdays the team works on technical skills such as shooting and dribbling.  

The team is strengthened by its members who competed together at a young age.

 “Many of us have been playing together since second grade,” Zhang said. “We’ve gained and lost players through the years, but the core of us have been together for a while.” 

Ice hockey is played with one goalkeeper, two defensemen, one center and a wing on each side. The goalkeeper stays close to his own goal and blocks any shots made by the opposing team. An ice hockey game is made up of three 20-minute sections of playtime with brief breaks in between.