Newsome wins Lightning Cup


Haider Malik, Sports Editor

 On Feb. 12, Newsome Hockey won the Lightning Cup Championship after a 14-year championship drought. The young team beat Steinbrenner 4-1 in the championship after winning three playoff games in the Lightning High School Hockey League (LHSHL).  

  This win came after Newsome Hockey Head Coach Mark Rosengard took the lead during the 2021-2022 season. With Coach Rosengard along with Assistant Coach Matt Dykstra, the team was led to a title win in just two seasons. “I am grateful for Coach Rosengard and Coach Dykstra, they put so much effort into polishing up our game. They prepared us for the playoffs this year,” said sophomore and defense Austin Shuab. 

  To even get to the Lightning Cup Championship is an arduous task. To reach the championship, Newsome Hockey had to win three playoff games in a row. With each of these games ending remarkably close, the playoffs were riveting. Newsome’s first playoff game was on Jan. 31 against George Jenkins at the Amalie Arena. The game ended in overtime with sophomore defense Ethan Kitis clutching up and scoring the game-winner, sending Newsome to the second round of the playoffs. 

  The second playoff game was against Manatee on Feb.4 at the Tampa General Hospital (TGH) Ice Plex. This was the Modin Division Finals and Newsome played excellently with a final score of 3-1. Goals were scored by junior defense Ricky Bonebrake, sophomore forward Zackary Borukhin and sophomore goalie Lexander Santiago. “I mean Ricky Bonebrake man, like his hair man, jeez man,” said sophomore Santiago describing the prowess of his teammates.  

After winning the Modin Division Finals, the boys progressed to the Eastern Conference Finals against Durant on Feb. 6 at Amalie Arena. This was the battle of the Alafia, and the closest the boys had been to a championship in years. It had been years since Newsome had beat Durant, so the pressure was on. Sophomore Santiago and sophomore forward Mason Singleton both scored, sealing the deal with a 2-1 win, sending Newsome to the Lightning Cup Championship. 

The Lightning Cup Championship was held at Advent Health Center Ice where the Newsome Wolves would take on the Steinbrenner Warriors. Newsome played well in the first period, scoring two goals and allowing none. With a strong first period, Newsome continued to shine, as they scored another goal in the second period. After two periods, the score was 3-0 and the team was starting to turn up. Steinbrenner scored during the final period, but with a few minutes remaining, Newsome scored again to mark the final score of 4-1.  

Newsome was a wild-card team going into the playoffs, but their perseverance to make it as far as possible showed that they deserved to win. “It’s about drive, it’s about power, we stay hungry, we devour,” said sophomore Shaub.  

After winning the cup, Newsome had qualified for the Statewide Amateur Hockey of Florida (SAHOF) State Finals. This tournament took place in Orlando, with a series of round-robin games.  

Round round-robin tournaments differ from elimination tournaments because each contestant meets other participants, rather than participants being eliminated after a single round. 

“In states, it is harder because we played teams that we have not played all year, so we do not know what they are capable of. In the playoffs, we play three round-robin games and the top four teams after the round-robin make playoffs for states,” said sophomore Shaub.  

Newsome’s season ended after a tough loss to North Broward in the final’s tournament. Though it was not the outcome the team wanted, this season was still a major success. The team is still young, and their future success will be inevitable. Congratulations to the Lightning Cup Champions and go wolves.