Trevor Begley saw his chance to put Duchesne High’s Hockey Club in the winner’s circle and took it.
Begley scored a power-play goal with 1:40 left in the third period to break a 1-1 tie and then added an empty-net goal with 10 seconds left to collect his first hat trick of the season. That goal lifted the Pioneers to a 3-1 victory over Oakville in the Mid-States Club Hockey Association Wickenheiser Cup championship game held March 11 at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis.
It was a magical finish to the season for Begley and Duchesne, who lost their third trip to the Wickenheiser Cup final to Lafayette last season. The championship win was the first for Duchesne in four appearances.
“I’ve been coming [to games] here since I was eight to watch the Wick and the Challenge Cups, and it really means a lot to me to be able to play in one last and one this year,” Begley said. “For me and my guys, that was our ultimate goal to come here and win the cup, so it meant the world to us.”
Begley’s big third-period shot came from down low near the bottom of the right circle from the goal.
His shot top shelved into the net to break the 1-1 stalemate between the teams.
“I think Meers had missed the net, ” Begley said. “I got it and I was looking and I saw the goalie and he was cheating a little of his post, so I shot the puck and [it went in].”
Begley put Duchesne [19-7-3] on top 1-0 with a goal with 5:55 left in the opening period.
“Trevor played a big role for us during the year as was on our power play and penalty kill, so he got a lot of touches,” Duchesne Coach Joe Rupp said. “He was a player we could count on snd he responded to the task.”
While Begley was coming up with timely goals, Duchesne senior goalie Jack Boschert stood tall in the goal. Especially in the first period when Oakville had an extended 5-on-3 man advantage. However, the Pioneers’ netminder came up with several big saves during that stretch.
Boschert turned away 23 shots to claim his sixth win in the playoffs. He finished the year with a combined save percentage of .917.
“Jack Boschert is the backbone of our team,” Rupp said. “He stood on his head all playoffs and did everything we asked of him and we couldn’t be happier. He’s a very good goalie.”
Justin Skaggs brought Oakville even with the Pioneers at 1-1 with a goal at the 4:32 mark of the third period.
Both Boschert and Oakville goalie Chase Christopher locked down the goals for the next eight minutes of the third period.
That set the stage for Begley to finish off the game for the Pioneers with his two clutch goals. His empty-net goal with 10 seconds left capped off his first and only hat trick of the season.
Begley’s hat trick also earned him the Wickenheiser Cup Most Valuable Player Award.
“I wasn’t expecting that, but I’m glad it went out that way,” Begley said. “It means a lot to me and that was good.”
For Duchesne, winning the Wickenheiser Cup finally gave the Pioneers the respect they felt had eluded them as a small but mighty hockey program that is now a serious force not only in St. Charles County but in Mid-States Club Hockey circles as well.
“Nobody was expecting us to make it [to the Wickenheiser Cup] back to back,” Begley said. “No one expected us to make it last year or this year since we’re such a small school, we worked hard in the offseason and we came back.”
“We’ve worked hard the last two years to get where we are now,” Rupp said. “I think it only helps the program to show everyone that we mean business and to take us as a serious hockey club.”