Prep Team Logs Many Miles – and Wins – in January

Billy Batten ’23 (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge)

With the FISU games occupying Northwood, the Prep Hockey team stayed on the road to get the scheduled competition in. The boys traveled from Salem, NH, to Merrimack College and Detroit and made a few stops in Buffalo. Here is what happened in January.

The boys came off winter break eager to participate in the True Prep Cup at Merrimack College, a tournament where the team came in second place the previous year. The Huskies had gotten a bit too comfortable on break because the first game back was difficult to watch. Despite the disappointing performance of the first game, the team achieved a notable victory against Mount Saint Charles. The Huskies had yet to come close to beating them this season. That win marked a highlight of the weekend, but an honorable mention must go to the excellent college hockey the group witnessed while attending a Yale vs. Merrimack game. The boys were grateful for these opportunities and made the most of the weekends.

The team also took this time off to catch up on their college applications and participate in a team reading of The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle. This read allowed the team to learn about the importance of culture in the environments of winning teams, such as the U.S. Navy Seals and the Quinnipiac Men’s Ice Hockey team. The book focused on how culture is ever so important for sports teams and all teams. A group of boys will soon present what they learned from the book, and we will get more insight into how helpful the book can be.

Next on the schedule was spending a week in Buffalo to prepare for the Detroit Prep Hockey Conference Event. During this week, the boys got great skating opportunities at Niagara and Canisius while meeting key members of both programs’ coaching staff. Along with the practices, they also witnessed both college teams practice to see what it looks like at the next level. After the preparation, the team traveled to Detroit to play at the Detroit Red Wings practice facility before the PHC event. The weekend started with a heartbreaking loss against St. Andrews College. The second game went a little better for the first two periods, where the Huskies were up 3-0 on the #1 team in the country, Shattuck St. Mary’s. That changed in the third period when sadly, Shattuck was able to complete the comeback. In the third game, the boys were fired-up by the previous losses and were able to knock off Culver, marking a 1-2 record on the weekend.

To wrap up the month of January, the boys had the annual Macpherson Tournament at St. Andrews College in Canada. This was by far the team’s best performance of the month. The Huskies beat Culver and St. Andrews, both PHC rivals. It showed how the Huskies could perform when they were giving their all. The boys won a stunning four games straight, earning them a spot in the championship game against the GOJHL All-Stars. Sadly, the game resulted in a Northwood loss, but it should not undermine the boys’ performance over the weekend.

It was a hectic month in January, and I wanted to get a player’s opinion on what it felt like to play all this hockey without worrying about being in school. “It was an awesome experience to spend all that time with the team and take advantage of the places we traveled to,” James Schneid ’19 said, “but I am happy to be back at Northwood to finish the season.”

As Schneid mentioned, the team had a blast being on the road, but it was also great to see them doing other things, such as watching college games and reading a book for the team’s benefit. If you see any of the team around, feel free to ask them about their experience. As always, I wish the team good luck as they move toward the season’s final games.


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