By Lilly Gifford
Boys Varsity Hockey rallied its young roster to bring home the trophy in the school’s annual Holiday Showcase in December but has since struggled despite gaining “some key wins in the Independent School League [ISL],” Head Coach Terrence Butt ’91 said. The team’s record stands at 8–9 as of February 3.
Taking to the Nicholas Athletic Center ice rink for the traditional showcase tournament on December 30 and 31, the team beat out Pingree, Moses Brown, and Roxbury Latin to earn the top spot. More recent triumphs include 2–1 and 4–3 wins against Middlesex and Rivers, respectively, and a dominating 7–2 victory over Moses Brown on January 17.
Despite this string of successes, the team still holds a losing record that Coach Butt attributed to its relative inexperience after seven “top-level” seniors graduated last year. Filling their places is a cohort of new players including one eighth grader, seven freshmen, and three sophomores.
“It is extremely difficult to replace [the graduates],” he said, “especially when we are doing it with much younger guys.”
The team also suffered the setbacks of losing two defensemen to injuries, Co-Captain Mike Harris ’15 said. One, Alec Newell ’15, is back on the ice, but Mike Bibbey ’16 is out for the season.
Coach Butt said asking the younger players to fill the shoes of the departed seniors is “something that will benefit them and us in the long run but certainly is a tough task in the short term.”
“It’s hard for the young guys to adjust,” Mike Harris agreed. “Our schedule is pretty hard, and there’s a lot of good players in our league.”
Coach Butt said the four snow days at the end of January and beginning of February also mean the rest of the season will be jam-packed, as the team tries to squeeze in 10 more games.
“In light of the recent snowstorms that forced the rescheduling of three games, we have a lot of hockey to be played in a short period of time,” he said.
Mike Harris said he hopes the community comes out for the team’s final home game against Rivers on February 27.