It takes a village so they say, but in the sport of ice hockey sometimes it takes four towns as it did to create the WMRP Eagles. Following the 2016 high school hockey season the Wethersfield-Middletown-Rocky Hill co-op team had finished 4-14-2 and was looking for a jump start to turn the program around.
Along came Plainville a school with a hand full of players looking for a place to play. The four-town co-op blended well together compiling a 17-3 record reaching the Div. III semifinals at Ingalls Rink on the Yale campus.
Over the next three seasons WMRP has made it a regular visit in the state tournament reaching the quarterfinals at 12-7-1 in 2018 and last season compiled a 15-5 mark reaching the semifinals for the second time in three seasons.
“It has been four years with four towns,” said Eagles head coach Dennis Tulimieri. “And five years with three towns. Just the fact that the players from four different towns made the commitment to play as one team was a major undertaking to begin with. They all came together as one and played as brothers having each others back.”
The Eagles went 20-3 overall this year winning the CCC regular season title with an 11-2 mark and going on to win its first ever CCC tournament title. Plainville junior Josh Fontaine along with sophomores Brody and Owen Davidson played key roles in helping the Eagles to their best season to date.
“All three of the Plainville players were contributors to the success of the team,” said Tulimieri. “I want to congratulate the players from Plainville. I think this experience will treat those players well in life. They learned a lot about overcoming adversity and coming together for a common goal.”
“The Plainville athletic director was a great person to work with and the parents were so supportive over the past couple of seasons. One of the objectives for any team is to win their final game and they did that. So they should hold their heads high and look forward to the next challenge in life.”
Fontaine a two year player scored one goal, added an assists and had four steals on the season. Brody Davidson scored seven goals with three assists and 17 steals. Owen Davidson was a key player on the defense adding two goals with five assists and 9 steals.
“The three student athletes in our hockey co-op as well as our past student athletes have made us proud,” said Plainville athletic director Chris Farrell. “They have represented Plainville with great dignity and pride. We couldn’t be any happier for their personal and team accomplishments this year and in previous years.”
“The dedication our Plainville student hockey players have shown has been unparalleled. Going to practice before school starts, late hockey games and travel hasn’t affected their dedication to the program and speaks volumes that they are all in.”
Going into this season the Eagles knew that this would be the final season for this four town venture as Wethersfield planned on having its own team next season. That leaves Middletown, Rocky Hill and Plainville looking to figure out where to go from here.
“I have nothing official to report at this time,” added Farrell. “I will say that I have worked to assure that students in Plainville will have an opportunity to play hockey next season. I will do everything in my power to make sure our students have the opportunity to play.”
“In order for this to happen we would have to join another hockey program because we just don’t have the numbers or financial resources to sustain our own hockey program. I have assured our hockey players and their families that I will do whatever it takes to make sure they take the ice next year for a Connecticut high school hockey program.”
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