Unfinished business

Unfinished business

Hockey strives toward continued success

As a cold chill sets the air, Boys’ Hockey has kicked off one of their most anticipated seasons yet. Coming off an appearance in the Scholastic Hockey League (SHL) finals and a 37-11-6 record last season, the varsity team has stacked up some impressive wins against both New Trier and Carmel Catholic as the team has a current record of 15-4 as of Nov. 14, varsity Head Coach Jimmy Philbin said.

As varsity had a slow start offensively to the season, Philbin explained that the offense has improved immensely averaging about six goals per game and scoring six or more goals in four out of six of their SHL conference matchup games. Philbin explained that var- sity started out the season with a 5 to 2 win against Buffalo Grove, Hershey, Wheeling Hockey Club (BGHW). As the team’s offense has picked up early on in the season, Philbin explained that they need to play more consis- tently on both ends of the ice.

“We need to be more consistent in the offensive and defensive zones,” Philbin said.

Along with the need to play more consistent, junior Aiden Weller, varsity defense- man, said that the team hopes to play up to their high standards in order to reach their end goal.

“I expect us to come out and give it everything we have every night,” Weller explained. “By the end of the season, our hard work [should] bring us to a lot of wins [and] our goal: winning the state championship.”

The constant motivation of wanting to improve is a reflection of the positive team environment, Philbin explained.

“[We have a] great group of players that play for each other and work hard in practices and games,” Philbin said. “We are a fam- ily on and off the ice. [By] working hard for each other, we will have success.”

Along with the high team morale on varsity, South hockey has an a second varsity team, Varsity Blue, which was added to the program last year and competed within the same league as varsity, the SHL, Jimmy Phil- bin Jr., Varsity Blue Head Coach, explained. However this year, the SHL created a new league exclusively for varsity two hockey teams called the Academic Hockey League (AHL), Philbin explained.

“The SHL board of coaches created the AHL which gives us a league of varsity [two] teams,” Philbin Jr. explained. “Every game is competitive in our league, [and] we are a top team in the AHL [because] we can compete with a lot of varsity one teams.”

Philbin Jr. explained that the competitive nature of the Varsity Blue team comes from the team environment instilled by captains, seniors Will Higgins and Trevor Leitel, in addition to the other seniors on the team.

“Trevor and Will are phenomenal leaders and have bought into the Titan Hockey program since they were freshmen,” Philbin said. “We have a great leadership group that are hungry to compete and lead by example.”

The strong team dynamic Varsity Blue has built has enabled their team chemistry to flourish, Higgins explained.

“My favorite part about this team is the dynamic we have built,” Higgins said. “Everyone gets along very well, and there is an obvious difference in team morale compared to last year. This year, everyone is bought in and wants to give it their all when they are on the ice.”

As both varsity teams hope to skate to a successful start this season, Philbin Jr. explained that they both hope to shock the competition.

“We want to shock the state and make statements in every game we play,” Philbin Jr. said.

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