Wenatchee Wild Stories – #32 Andy Vlaha
The Wenatchee Wild is a Junior A hockey team who play in the British Columbia Hockey League.
The BCHL is a great league to earn a full ride scholarship at Universities across North America.
The Wild play in the 4,300 seat Town Toyota Center.
“The Wolves Den” has provided loud support during their play in the NAHL (North American Hockey League) from 2008 - 2015 and recently in the BCHL (from 2015 to present).
The Wenatchee Wild are led by Head Coach Chris Clark.
Our fifth edition of this season's Wenatchee Wild Stories - Features goaltender, #32 - Andy Vlaha
Andy Vlaha is a 19 year old goalie - playing his second full season in Wenatchee. Andy first played for Wenatchee as a 16 year old, arriving from the Seattle Thunderbirds U16 program. He then spent time with the Utica Jr. Comets in the National Collegiate Development League. Last year, Andy stated this goal for WenatcheeWild.com:
I hope to grow on and off the ice as a person and to help out the younger goalies in the youth programs.” Thinking longer term, “My long-term goal is to play NCAA D1 hockey and study to become a forester or a job that helps with the environment.
Connor: Andy, thanks for allowing us time out of your busy schedule. Where did you grow up?
Andy Vlaha: I am from Snohomish, Washington, near Seattle.
C: What is your favorite NHL team?
AV: The Seattle Kraken – they’re a new team, and I really like it. We never had an NHL team growing up near Seattle, and I’ve been cheering them on recently as they’ve been getting better.
C: Who is your favorite NHL player and why?
AV: Petr Mrazek (Chicago Blackhawks goalie) – he’s been struggling recently, but I still love him. I had a camp with him when I was a kid in the Czech Republic, and I’ve looked up to him ever since.
C: What is your earliest memory of hockey?
AV: Probably playing pond hockey near North Bend, Washington. It’s the first time I played pond hockey and I was so young, that’s probably my first memory of hockey.
C: Who inspired you to want to play hockey at a higher level?
AV: I’d say my brother – he was always a top goalie growing up, and he was drafted pretty high in the USHL draft. He was really good, but he had an injury when he was about 16 or 17 so he had to quit. I really try to compete and make him proud.
C: What do you like about Wenatchee?
AV: I love the scenery here. Ever since I was little I wanted to play here. I love the rink, and the mountains nearby. It’s a great view.
C: What are your favorite places to eat in Wenatchee and what do you order?
AV: Smitty’s - I love the eggs benedict, with extra hashbrowns and seasoned potatoes.
C: What is your favorite opposing arena to play at and why?
AV: I’d say Cranbrook – they have great fans and they pack the building. The lighting’s insane – you can see every puck clearly. I love playing there.
C: What is something Coach Clarky has taught you since you joined the Wenatchee Wild?
AV: To always compete, even if you think the puck is going in, to dive and try to make the save. You never know, you might make it.