Plateau athletes head to hockey finals

The Kent Valley Select U-18 hockey team, which includes a handful of skaters from the Plateau area, recently edged Spokane 2-1 to claim the U-18 state championship and earn a trip to Cleveland for the U-18 Nationals.

The national tournament began Tuesday and runs through Monday at Mentor Civic Arena.

Heading to the national championship series will be Jacob Becker of Bonney Lake, brothers Tyler and Eric Jennings of Black Diamond and Wyatt Duncan and Ryan Kaluza from Enumclaw.

Kaluza, a senior at Enumclaw High and one of four team captains, said he loves hockey because of the fast-paced action.

“You just never know what is going to happen,” he said. “We lost to Spokane a couple of times during the regular season, but we lit the lamp with about 14 seconds remaining in that state championship game, to finally beat them when it really counted.”

The Kent Valley squad, which participates in the Pacific Northwest Amateur Hockey Association, compiled a 36-15-6 mark during the 2010-11 campaign.