Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Oxford to be part of Hockeytown Winter Festival

OXFORD, MI – The Oxford High School varsity hockey program continues to provide opportunities to its student-athletes.

After completing a successful 2011-12 season, the Wildcats will have at least one high-profile game during the 2012-13 campaign and it is shaping up to be an exciting event – outdoors.

On Tuesday, Dec. 18 as part of the Hockeytown Winter Festival, Oxford will battle long-standing rival Lake Orion at Comerica Park with puck drop slated for 2:30 p.m.

Other high school games will also be part of the event.

“We had the chance to play outdoors two years ago at Michigan Stadium (defeating Troy, 4-1, on Dec. 9, 2010) and it was a remarkable experience,” said Oxford head coach Dave Hague. “Playing outdoors in the heart of Hockeytown at a venue like Comerica Park will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our players. It will be great as well to have family, friends, fans and faculty all get a chance to be involved in such a unique event.”

“I’m very excited to play outdoors this year and I'm looking forward to that the most out of everything,” said senior defenseman Kyle Schnettler. “This will be my first outdoor game, but playing against our rival will bring a lot of intensity to the game, especially that it's an outdoor game playing in front of your friends and family.”

Senior forward Jimmy Wallington is equally as excited to get outside and play Lake Orion. Neither Schnettler nor Wallington played in the 2010 outdoor game for the Wildcats.

“I am very excited about the outdoor game,” added Wallington. “Having the privilege to play at Comerica Park is one thing, but playing our biggest rivals there is just unreal. It is going to be one of the most exciting games I have ever played in. The fact that we are playing Lake Orion and it is an outdoor game is pretty awesome. I think it will make it a lot more intense because of all the hype that is being built up now that we all know who we're playing there. It won't be a game to miss.”

The outdoor games are just another step in Michigan high school hockey gaining more and more exposure and publicity on a regional level.

At the NHL Entry Draft in June, three former high school stars were drafted – 2012 “Mr. Hockey” winner Mackenzie MacEachern (Brother Rice/St. Louis Blues), Connor Hellebuyck (Walled Lake Northern/Winnipeg Jets) and 2011 co-“Mr. Hockey” winner Ben Johnson (Calumet/New Jersey Devils).

MacEachern was drafted straight out of Brother Rice, while Hellebuyck (NAHL’s Odessa Jackalopes) and Johnson (OHL’s Windsor Spitfires) played junior hockey last year.

For more information on the Oxford High School varsity hockey team, visit www.OxfordHockey.com.

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