Merrill Youth Hockey Squirt A’s are headed to State

The Merrill Youth Hockey Squirt A Team, from left to right: Front row: Sam Smith, Myles Taylor, Rosie Brooks, Brantley Weber-King, and Parker Eisner. Middle row: Roger Brooks, Logan Koehler, Lucas Hagenbucher, Conner Gibson, Aaron Swanson, Elijah Fenske, Garik Peterson, and Owen Smith. Back row: Coaches Shawn Hagenbucher, Chris Peterson, Bryan Weckworth, and Chad Koehler, Marie Walkowski photo.


Merrill’s Youth Hockey Squirt A’s are headed to the Squirt 3A State Tournament to be held this coming weekend in Waupun. “The team will be escorted through town to the highway, departing from the MARC at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, March 1, as they head to Waupun,” Merrill Youth Hockey Coach Shawn Hagenbucher said. “We are hoping that family, friends, or anyone wishing to send the kids off can come and stand on the sidewalks along Grand Ave., First St., or Main St.” Parents will be driving their players to the tournament in their own vehicles, but the police, sheriff, and fire vehicles escorting them to the highway will be a clear sign of which vehicles are in the mini parade bound for Waupun
For those who want to watch the kids play, “The state tournament will be broadcasted on YouTube this weekend via Jeff’s Livestreams at Please see the Merrill Youth Hockey Facebook page for updated game times,” Hagenbucher said.
“This team has worked hard the entire season,” he said. “They started out the season strong, at one point winning 12 games in a row. They hit a rough patch about midway through, but battled back and are going to end the season on a high note with a trip to the Squirt 3A State Tournament in Waupun.”
“To get to the State Tournament, the kids played a real thrilling game against the Tomahawk Squirt A’s at playdowns,” Hagenbucher said. “The game was back and forth for the entire time and ended in a 3-3 tie in regulation. We went into overtime and about three minutes in, we managed to put the game winning goal in the net.”
“It was the first time I have ever seen or been a part of a playdown game go into overtime with a trip to State on the line, and I have been doing this for the better part of 10 years,” he said. “All of the kids are looking forward to this trip to the State Tournament, and it will be a good experience for them, one they can talk about for years to come as they continue on their hockey journey.”
The Merrill Youth Hockey Squirt A’s have a 28-11-1 record, including tournaments with goal differential of 92, shots on goal 834, and shots allowed 564, not including tournaments, according to Hagenbucher.

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