SHERIDAN — The Sheridan Hawks (8-4-0) high school hockey team will take to their home ice this weekend, for the last time this season.
Heading into this weekend’s matchup with the Cheyenne Capitals (4-6-2), the Hawks are ranked third in the division, the highest ranking the team has seen in quite a while.
“As I said earlier in the season this is probably the deepest the team has been in years,” head coach Zane Garstad said. “We have skilled players on every line. That has not happened before.”
The high ranking puts them ahead of Gillette, currently fourth, and behind first-place Riverton Rats and second-place Casper Oilers A.
“One thing about it, we have four games remaining,” Garstad said. “This year there have been more weekends where teams split wins so at any given day any team can win this division.”
A split weekend with the Laramie Outlaws gave the boys their only loss in the last five games, a 4-8 fall on Jan. 11.
Both the first- and second-place teams are 5-0 over the last five matches.
The final two games of the regular season will be played at the Park County Ice Cats (3-8-1) next weekend and the boys are optimistic they’ll make the most of their last four games to head into the playoffs in good standing.
“The outcome is to be determined but by the looks of it we will probably be playing the A,” Garstad said, “which will be hard but really good for the boys.”
In the meantime, practice is business as usual with Garstad pushing the boys on the few key points still needing improvement.
“We try to concentrate on our power play,” he said. “That’s where we have the most work to do. Our penalty kill is great. We have three lines that can power play so we’re very happy with that. The power play is just tough because there’s a lot of pressure on the team to score and teams overreact, so we try to stay calm.”
This weekend offers two opportunities for the community to come cheer on the Hawks at Sheridan Ice with a game Saturday at 5 p.m. and Sunday at 9:45 a.m.