Men’s hockey aims high heading to the playoffs

Men’s hockey aims high heading to the playoffs

Getting the puck to his teammates, senior forward Eric Davis passes it along the boards. South's hockey team has steadily improved over the course of this year and will play Mt. Carmel at Solider Field Feb. 9.

Hanna Mason, Staff Reporter

The men’s varsity hockey team currently holds a record of 4-10-2 and eigth place in its conference. Senior captain Greg Abbott believes that the whole season revolved around working up to the playoffs.

According to Abbott, the team started out well in the beginning of the season, but in December they had a slight fall with many players out sick or with injuries.

“Hopefully coming back from [a break in our season], we can get back up to where we were earlier in the season,” Abbott said.

According to sophomore Ryan Buckingham, the team isn’t doing very well, but they are improving.

“We’re a really young team,” Ryan said. “We are getting better, and since we’re young we’ll get better over the next couple of years.”

According to junior Trey Buckingham, because they have added eight sophomores to the team, including his brother Ryan, the older members of the team have been helping them with the transition to varsity hockey.

“You can’t make as many moves,” Trey said. “This isn’t Stars, [Glenview’s local travel hockey team], it’s high school hockey. It’s a bigger, tougher [and] faster game.”

With the mixed ages on the team, they bonded when they traveled to New York in November, according to Trey.

Though the team only accomplished one win; they’ve become closer friends, according to Abbott.

“It contributed a lot to helping to build our team chemistry,” Abbott said. “We went out for lunches, dinners, we saw other games at the rink, and went out around the town. It was just being together.”

On Jan. 20, South played rival team GBN, losing 3-2. According to Ryan, South didn’t make any drastic changes to the way they played, but they did practice that morning before the game.

Abbott said, “Of course any time we play GBN they’re a big rival. Everyone wants to be ready to play. Overall, I’d say for every game we try to prepare the same amount of time.”

According to Ryan, he felt the team’s greatest victory was against Rockford, 3-2, who is one of the best teams in the conference.

“We [all] wanted to win pretty bad because we need to move up in our division,” Ryan said. “We were all working hard that game.”

According to Abbott, the team still needs to improve on the quality of scoring opportunities.

“We have to have the mindset to try and get the puck in order to score goals,” Abbott said.

According to Ryan, another problem that has been recurring is the number of penalties the team has averaged per game.

“We are still getting a lot of penalties,” Ryan said. “We are trying to play with more discipline.”

While the team is working to fix the penalty problem, it is also working on a new power play in order to throw off the other teams at playoffs, according to Trey.

“Usually we perform well in the playoffs,” Trey said.“We’re hoping to upset a lot of teams in playoff season.”

On Feb. 9, the team will be playing against MT. Carmel at Soldier Field. According to sophomore Johnny Savino, this is the first time South has ever had the chance to play there.

“It’s a great opportunity because not a lot of teams are fortunate enough to be able to play at Soldier Field during this time,” Savino said.

According to Savino, the team  has had very little practice playing outdoors except for a game versus Loyola.

“The only negative is that it is going to be pretty cold out there,” Savino said. “It’s going to be a big game for all of us though, and we want to get a win out there.”

According to Trey, because Mt. Carmel isn’t in their top nine league, which consists of the best nine teams in Illinois, they are expecting an easy win against them.

When playing at Soldier field, Trey expects the team to have a different attitude with the location.

“We are going to go out harder, because there are going to be a lot of people coming out to see the high school teams play,” Trey said. “All the high schools want to check out all the other teams.”

With all the hype for this game, according to Trey, he is just looking forward to the experience.

“It’s a once in a lifetime thing; to be able to skate and play on Soldier Field,” Trey said.