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Riverton teen traveled with state hockey team to several tournaments

May 26, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

John Werbelow has used his hockey talents to take him all over the United States.

The Riverton 16-year-old competed this winter and spring on Team Wyoming, composed of players from across the state.

The squad had a range of high school-aged hockey players on the roster.

Werbelow is a defender for Team Wyoming.

"John has good size," Team Wyoming coach Boyd Byelich said. "He has real good skills. He is real solid for us."

Team Wyoming was made up of 18 players but played some tournaments with fewer.

"John had a regular shift just like everybody else," Byelich said. "He is one of the more solid guys on the team. He never hesitated to use his body as needed to make a play."

Team Wyoming played 27 games in Colorado, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, South Dakota and Montana.

"You are pretty much seeing competition from everywhere," Byelich said. "We were holding our own against them."

Team Wyoming had a balanced number of players in different ages.

The squad had a tryout in Casper before the season begin.

"John gave it his all every shift," Byelich said. "That is all you can ask for."

This was Werbelow's fifth straight season playing for Team Wyoming.

"I'm very thankful that I got to play on Team Wyoming this year," Werbelow said.

Werbelow likes the idea of Team Wyoming because it gives him an opportunity to make friends across the state and a chance to play for different top-level coaches.

Connecticut experience

Team Wyoming competed in an elite tournament last month in Hartford, Conn.

Team Wyoming only took 10 players.

"It was a fantastic experience anytime that you get to go represent your state at a national level," Byelich said. "We had a very solid team. We were very competitive all year long."

One of the highlights in the top tournament was in a battle on the rink against Providence, R.I.

Team Wyoming was trailing 3-1 and came back to tie it at 3-3 to force overtime.

"We gave it our all," Werbelow said.

The game went to a shootout where Team Wyoming was on the short end of the stick.

"We didn't get very deep in the roster in the shutouts," Byelich said.

Team Wyoming fell to teams from Allen, Texas, and one from Maine.

"It was good competition," Byelich said.

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