Wotta’s hot streak has Cardinals off to 5-0 start

GOAL: Big Rapids senior Drew Wotta is off to a hot start for Big Rapids’ hockey program. The Cardinals off to a 5-0 start to the season.(Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

GOAL: Big Rapids senior Drew Wotta is off to a hot start for Big Rapids’ hockey program. The Cardinals off to a 5-0 start to the season.(Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

BIG RAPIDS — Drew Wotta has gotten off to a hot start on the ice.

So has his Big Rapids hockey team.

Wotta, a senior, scored five goals in the team’s first two games and has continued that pace in being among many players helpful in a 5-0 start.

The Cardinals defeated Cadillac in the 131 Challenge Cup and took two one-goal wins, including an overtime title game effort, to grab their Thanksgiving tournament title.

Coming into this week, Wotta has had seven goals and several assists.

“He and Garrett Daum are our two most talented kids offensively,” Big Rapids coach Tim Blashill said. “They feed off each other. They also make the other kids good too.”

It’s Wotta’s fourth varsity hockey season. He played one season at Chelsea and then transferred to Big Rapids.

“Since I’ve been at Big Rapids, this year we’ve come off to a fast start and are trying to build off that,” Wotta said.

He’s the right forward on a line that includes his close friend, Daum, at center.

“We feed off each other very well,” Wotta said. “In the fall, we played on Team West Michigan together. That was an experience where we built some chemistry. We built that right into the high school season.”

His teammates have been feeding him the puck in ideal areas, Wotta said.

“We’ve capitalized when we’ve gotten our chances and we’ve gotten out to fast start at the start of periods,” Wotta said. “The quick start has been a key.”

This is obviously starting out as Wotta’s best varsity season.

“The team is having perhaps its best year since I’ve been here,” Wotta said. “Building off the experience the past couple of years for these seniors be a great experience. We’re going to have a good team.”

Wotta said he’s able to see the ice well and get to the area where his teammates can feed him the puck.

“If I can improve on my skating stride, that will be huge,” he said. “I’ve got a bit of a flip injury I’m trying to overcome here.”

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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