Manatee County Hockey Club rolling

The wins keep coming for the Manatee County Hockey Club. The club-level ice hockey squad made up of local high school players breezed past Wharton High 8-3 on Friday at the Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex. The team improved to 11-0 on the season.

Manatee County took an early 3-0 lead before Wharton charged back to tie the score at 3-all. And 90 seconds later, Paul Lochner had scored two goals, giving Manatee County a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

Lochner tallied four goals in the game, and Chase Anderson had a hat trick in the victory.

“We played a heck of a game against Wharton,” Manatee County coach Phil Atkinson said. “After they came back, we poured it on.”

Manatee County is the top team in the Central Division, ahead of Newsome High’s Blue Team (12-2). Anderson leads Manatee County with 19 goals, and Lochner has 16.

Manatee County hits the ice again Jan. 6 against Sarasota.

“They are all a bunch of great kids,” Atkinson said. “We put together a really nice team. They’ve been playing together, some of them for four years and some of them for 10. It’s a great bunch of talent all combined together.”

Skating for donations

All eight people have the upcoming Winter Olympics on their minds. Now they need the community’s support to have an opportunity to possibly represent the United States in the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada.

Caydee Denney and Jeremy Barrett, Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig, Tracy Tanovich and Michael Chau and Haven Denney and Daniel Raad need monetary help from Manatee County to fund their way to the Olympic Qualifying Events at the 2010 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Spokane, Wash., from Jan. 14-24.

The crew must raise more than $10,000 by Jan. 12 to finance a portion of their expenses.

To help themselves, the skaters will host a benefit show Dec. 30 at the Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex. The show starts at 1 p.m. and costs $3 a person.

The group was afforded the chance to compete in the U.S. championships with sterling performances at the 2009 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Cleveland, Ohio.

Caydee Denney and Barrett brought home the championship pairs silver medal; Evora and Ladwig were pewter medalists; Tanovich and Chau were the junior pair champions; and Haven Denney and Raad won the U.S. novice pairs silver medal.

For more information contact Bonnie Raad at 727-560-4507 or via e-mail at