Mitchell High School hockey heads to Texas to compete for national championship

Mustangs last won nationals in 2016
Mitchell High School hockey goalie
Posted at 10:40 AM, Mar 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-22 17:39:57-04

TAMPA, Fla. — The Mitchell High School hockey team is headed to Dallas to compete in the USA Hockey National Tournament where the Mustangs will face top-tier competition from all over the country.

“I never thought of it happening at all,” Mitchell goalie Jax Fontana said. “Now we’re going to nationals in Texas.”

“They believe. Once they believe they can win, they’re world-beaters,” head coach Dave Beaudin told ABC Action News sports anchor Kyle Burger. “They can do anything they want. That’s the message we’ve had in the locker room. Just believe in yourself, believe in your coaches. Believe in the message.”

Mitchell finished the regular-season number one in the Lightning High School Hockey League. They won the state tournament for the fifth time and now move on to nationals for the first time since winning it all in 2016.

“Each one of our opponents is going to know Mitchell Hockey is here for a reason,” Beaudin said. “You better have your best game going because we’re going to come with our best game.”

Mitchell High School hockey players
Hockey players for Mitchell High School in Florida

The Mustangs were not a good hockey team last year. But just a year later, they’re playing for the national championship.

“Thinking back to last year we were a bad hockey team last year,” center Jeremy Henk said. “I think we won maybe six games. I was thinking ‘oh great, senior year is going to be ruined.’ Our defense and our goalie Jax Fontana, he’s a lights-out goalie. I got to give it to him. He’s really good.”

The team is made up of players from Mitchell, Sunlake High School, and virtual learning. No matter the background, the team has formed a close bond, but apparently not close enough for Henk.

“He wants the whole team to get mullets or bleach our hair,” Fontana said. “None of us want to do that, so I don’t think that’s going to happen. Why not? I’ve been thinking about a mullet maybe.”

Mitchell leaves for Dallas on March 23.