Men’s Hockey fights to overcome team inexperience

Ice, Ice Baby:  Focusing on the puck, junior Luke Pagano keeps an eye on the puck in order to score against GBN on Nov. 25. Pagano hopes to finish the season with a conference win.

Sean Dolan

Ice, Ice Baby: Focusing on the puck, junior Luke Pagano keeps an eye on the puck in order to score against GBN on Nov. 25. Pagano hopes to finish the season with a conference win.

Georgia Arvanitis, co-sports editor

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The men’s varsity hockey team took a fall to Glenbrook North on Nov. 25, making their record 14-9.

According to Matt Grinde, Senior Captain and goalie, it’s been a struggle for the team to transition this season due to the loss of 13 seniors.

“We’re young, so we’ve got a lot of maturing [to do] as hockey players…when it comes to being mentally prepared for games,” Grinde said. “Sometimes we’re more ready than others; we have to learn to be constantly ready.”

Junior captain Joey Emme adds that team inexperience is holding the team back from season success.

“As a team we’re all there together, we’re focused but…we just don’t really have the skills that GBN does,” Emme said. “We’re a younger team…so I mean it’s harder when we’re physically not as good. We’re mentally there but physically we’re not as good.”

With that said, the men lost to New Trier early in the season, but Grinde thought that the team played well. Also, Grinde believes the game shows team has improved.

“Although we didn’t win, we had a good showing against New Trier,” Grinde said. “We’ve lost 10-2 to New Trier [in the past] and [now] we lost 1-2, so there’s a difference in the mental focus within the team on that certain day.”

In addition to the New Trier game, the team played well against Glenbrook North on Nov. 25, according to senior defenseman Luke Howland. Although they were shutout with an ending  score of 3-0, the team started the game with positive energy.

“Before the game, all the alumni from previous years [talked] to us in the locker room which [helped] get us focused and energized,” Howland said. “During the game, after the first couple of shifts, the nerves started to go away and we started to focus on playing the game a lot more by working hard and scoring goals.”

Emme points out the positive influence the GBN big turnout provided for the team at the game.

“The second period was definitely the best because we were near their net [so] our fans are right there next to us,” Emme said. “Whenever we had shots on net the fans are right there to back us up even if we didn’t score. It’s always exhilarating to play in that game because everyone’s there and hockey games don’t get as many fans usually, so [in] that game especially everyone wants to show off everything they have.”

Looking into upcoming conference, Emme attests that the team needs to improve in order stand a chance in the second round of conference and points out their difficult schedule.

“I hope we go all the way of course but our team is just younger and I think next year will be a better year for us,” Emme said. “The top teams are typically New Trier, GBN, and Loyola and in the past years we have beaten all of them. It’s very capable. We just really need to pull together as a team.”

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