Watertown: The Journey To The Commissioner's Cup


Watertown: The Journey To The Commissioner's Cup

By Shawn Johnson
January 30, 2019

Winning it all was not expected, but hard work by the front office, head coach and the determination and perseverance of the players made it all possible. Not everyone can say that they have won a championship in professional sports, I am fortunate enough to say that I have. There is no feeling quite like holding a trophy and receiving a championship ring with your name engraved. I am so grateful to be a part of the Watertown Wolves organization. I had an amazing journey to the Commissioners Cup, now I want to share it with you

This incredible journey began in the Federal Hockey League playoffs during the 2017-2018 season. The Port Huron Prowlers had a record setting 2017-2018 regular season in the FHL with 41 wins, 7 losses, 3 overtime wins and 2 overtime losses for a total of 131 points and a .824 winning percentage. Watertown finished second in the regular season with 29 wins, 12 losses, 6 overtime wins and 5 overtime losses for a total of 104 points and a .667 winning percentage. Looking at the stats, one would think that Port Huron would beat Watertown easily.

After game one in Port Huron, this looked to be the case with a 5-0 shutout against Watertown. However, that would not stop the head coach of the Watertown Wolves, Trevor Karasiewicz. He knew the firepower he had on his team, and he knew he wanted to beat his former team in the finals.  Watertown players admitted that they were outplayed, and that it would not happen again. They kept their word. Game 2 was a different story. The wolves were victorious 3-2 to even out the series and headed back to New York for games 3 and 4.

 Watertown kept the momentum in game 3 with a 7-3 win. Wolves took a 2-1 series lead and only needed one more in the best of 5 series.  April 25th, 2018. Game 4. Do or die for the Port Huron Prowlers, who were expected to win the commissioners cup easily. It was a hard-fought battle for both teams, however, it was a final score of 4-3 that sealed the deal for the Wolves, besting the Port Huron Prowlers in game 4 to win their second commissioners cup, the only team in the league to do so.

The horn went off as the clock hit zero and there was laundry all over the ice. Coach Karasiewicz jumped for joy on the bench and ran over to hug me. I had to congratulate him on his third coaching championship in professional hockey. Nearly a thousand fans went wild as the players raced toward rookie goalie Cody Karpinski who was net minding to celebrate. Champagne was brought onto the ice, sprayed everywhere, hugs and handshakes were given between staff members, teammates and rivals. The underdogs had won. It was an unforgettable playoff run.