Players on this year’s boys varsity hockey team have their sights set high, hoping to return to the playoffs after punching their ticket two years ago.
Doing so will require a great deal of work to rebuild and instill team culture, as only co-captains Nate Brockington ’22, Luke Johnson ’22, and Charlie Kerrigan ’22 were on that 2019-2020 squad.
“Coming into this year, multiple hockey writers have doubted us because we lack experience,” said Brockington. “Despite their doubts, there’s a lot of confidence within the group.”
Head coach Mike Traggio said that players and coaches are trying to emphasize the need to support each other and the importance of a team game.
“Hopefully, those three can help instill a belief that a team approach can produce positive results,” he said.
Thus far, one of the bright spots for the team has been special teams, said Brockington, who noted that the team scored three power play goals in its two exhibition games and season opener, while limiting other teams on the power play.
Playing sound, fundamental hockey will be important to the team’s success, said Traggio. “We have been focusing on trying to simplify things, concentrating on small plays that contribute to bigger plays,” he said. “As always, we’re looking to minimize our mistakes so we don’t beat ourselves.”
Kerrigan added that the team should be able to bring a physical presence to its games this year, with several larger players on the roster. “We want to be a tough team to play against,” he said.
Players on the team worked with Director of Athletic Performance and Fitness Brodie Quinn in the off-season in a series of workouts to help build their strength and toughness.
Through these efforts and other team bonding activities, Kerrigan said he and the other captains are hoping to build a cohesive unit.
“Our goal is to have everyone buy into the systems that made us successful in the past, and to stay grounded and disciplined through the highs and lows of the season,” he said.