Two Virden products helped the Charlotte (N.C.) Rush capture a national championship.
Hunter Andrew and Dexter Whittle were part of the Rush squad that downed the Florida Eels, 2-0, on Monday to win the United States Premier Hockey League’s Premier Division championship. Both of Charlotte’s goals came in the third period. Another Rush team also won the USPHL’s Elite Division title that day.
Andrew, the son of Brock and Andrea, and Whittle, the son of Alana George Whittle and Clifford Whittle, each played in four of Charlotte’s five games at the championship tournament, which ran March 18-22 in Chesapeake, Va. Andrew joined the team towards the end of the regular season after playing for his hometown Virden Oil Capitals until the Manitoba Junior Hockey League paused and eventually cancelled its season. Whittle came on board with the Rush for the playoffs. He had played for the Southwest Cougars U18 AAA team before its season was halted.
The Rush went 2-0-1 in round robin play at the championship tournament. In the semifinals, they rolled past the Northern Cyclones of Hudson, New Hampshire, 10-1.
Oil Caps goaltender Kyle Kozma helped his Utah Outliers team make it to the tournament. The West Valley City team had a 1-2 record at nationals.
Read more about Andrew and Whittle in a future issue of the Empire-Advance.