January Read Focuses on Building Culture

This past January, the boy’s hockey program was tasked with reading The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle. The reading of this book culminated with a presentation to the whole school. As a hockey player at Northwood, I felt I could give a firsthand perspective of how much this book can teach the Northwood community.

The book breaks creating a good culture into three areas: Safety, Vulnerability, and Purpose. These three things can be applied to a school or team setting. Safety is essential to creating a healthy environment. Everyone needs to know that others in the group back them. Trying to improve how safe everyone feels dives right into the ability to show vulnerability. Vulnerability is hard to implement because it’s not natural for us to let down our walls to those around us voluntarily. Typically, you think of a vulnerability as a weakness, opening yourself up to an attack. The book changes this stigma by showing how vulnerability can be a team’s greatest strength. It starts with the leaders of the community or team. It won’t seem as difficult for those not in leadership if leaders are role models and open up about their weaknesses. It is important to embrace the discomfort of being vulnerable, and if everyone does this, it won’t seem unnatural for the group. Purpose is the last characteristic of culture and perhaps the most fundamental of the three. If a community doesn’t share a common purpose, it will be made up of individuals, not teammates. Striving for a common purpose is much easier when the previous two characteristics are met. Implementing these simple disciplines can help a team or community become more tight-knit and more like a family.

The 2022-23 Prep hockey team during September action at the Olympic Center (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge).

The boy’s hockey presentation demonstrated what the book taught us. It consisted of a standard PowerPoint that allowed us to tell the school what we had learned. The real greatness of the presentation came in the form of a brief speech by Jack Kent ‘23 and a fun performance to end it. Jack Kent is a boys’ prep team member, and this is his second year at Northwood. What he shared was nothing short of impressive. For those of you who don’t know him, he has struggled with building his confidence. As his teammate, I am happy to say he has taken considerable strides in building it. He demonstrated what being vulnerable means; he doesn’t like speaking in front of huge groups and spoke in front of the whole school. He opened up about his insecurities and showed what it means to embrace the discomfort of vulnerability. It was a great sight to see, and knowing him, I and many others are proud of him for taking this on. The presentation ended with a song about vulnerability led by Hudson Dinapoli ‘23, singing with more of the team on instruments and singing for support. It went great, and seeing the program come together for this presentation was fantastic.

This book and presentation show how implementing three things into a community or team can bring it closer than ever. The boy’s hockey program came together for this presentation and had students like Jack Kent embrace vulnerability in order to make it more meaningful. Adding purpose, safety, and vulnerability to our school could allow us to become a closer-knit community. I look forward to seeing how the Northwood community uses these tips, and I hope the rest of the community can also learn from what the boy’s hockey program read about this past January.

Huskies Fall Short at PHC Championship

The Prep Team in action at the Olympic Center in February 2023. Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge.

The Prep Team traveled to Minnesota at the end of February to compete in their league playoffs. This was the culmination of their season, and after this, the team only has four remaining games left in the season, two against St. Andrews College and two against Stanstead. More on those games later; here is how the playoff weekend went.

The Boys traveled to Minnesota on Thursday, and shortly after arriving, they bused to Shattuck St. Mary’s to complete a final practice before the fight for a championship began. The top two teams in the league, Shattuck and Mount Saint Charles, received a first-round bye. That meant that the remaining four teams would have to win to have a chance at playing one of those teams. Northwood was one of those remaining four teams, and the boys were scheduled to play Culver on Friday. This was a must-win game for the Huskies, and they had previously beaten Culver, so they knew they could win. Reportedly Coach Morris would always say “that he couldn’t want it for us.” That meant that the boys were ultimately capable of going as far as they wanted to this weekend. Sadly, Culver got the lead early on, making it a 1-0 game. At the end of the three periods the boys were trying to fight back into the game, but they couldn’t prevent Culver from making it 3-0. In the blink of an eye, Northwood’s chance of winning the championship were diminished. Although this was heartbreaking, every game presents an opportunity to learn from mistakes, and the most important thing was that the boys stepped up their game so they could at least get a win in the next two games.

Going into Saturday, the boys were scheduled to play South Kent. The boys knew they had to perform much better in this game, even without a championship. The game was a back-and-forth match between the two teams, with both teams scoring in the first period. The boys were looking a lot livelier in this game and clearly were dominating South Kent. The Second period came, and South Kent scored two goals, followed by one from Northwood, making the score 3-2 for South Kent going into the third period. Again, Northwood was dominating but the boys couldn’t seem to get one in the net. The game ended with another loss, even though Northwood outshot South Kent by about twenty. This was heartbreaking for the boys, but they still had an opportunity to win from the weekend. The third game would be against St. Andrews College. It was the most back-and-forth game of the weekend. The Huskies went into the game and were able to get an early two-goal lead. This early excitement was quickly suppressed when SAC was able to make it 2-2 before intermission. SAC came out the second period with a ferocity to score and the boys were caught running around, allowing SAC to score three compared to Northwood’s one in the second period. Going into the third period, it was clear the boys needed to settle down and return to how they needed to play. Towards the end of the third, the boys were able to tie up the game at 5-5, sparking hope on the Huskies bench. Heartbreakingly SAC was able to score with just under a minute remaining. The boys didn’t have time to get back that one. This loss made the record 0-3 on the weekend.

Although the weekend didn’t go how the Prep team wanted, they wanted to thank everyone for supporting them throughout the season and tuning in for the playoffs. The good news is that the boys will have a chance to redeem themselves against SAC in a week, so they will show them what Northwood hockey actually is. As usual, go Huskies, and I look forward to seeing how they match up in these last few games of the season.

Prep Team Hits Forty Wins Leading into Playoffs

The team celebrates a goal at a recent game at the Olympic Center (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge).

This past weekend the Prep Hockey Team went on a short road trip to Clifton Park to take on CP Dynamo. Although the team had a successful 2-0 run, that isn’t the best part of what happened during the trip. With the second victory, the boys cemented 40 wins on the season. Not only was this a huge accomplishment for the team, but it was also a great achievement for Coach Morris’s last season before retiring from coaching.

This was an especially significant milestone for Coach Morris because back in 2006, Coach Morris coached Northwood Hockey to the first 40-win season in the program’s history, a record of 40-8. Not only was that the first 40-win season for Northwood, but Coach Mallaro was the captain of the squad as well. It’s pretty extraordinary that coaching brought them together for another two seasons of 40 wins, this season and last season. Before Coach Morris returned to Northwood, Coach Cassidy was also able to notch two 40-win seasons, one being an impressive 45-5 record and the other 40-8-2.

Coach Mark Morris ’77 is retiring at the end of the season.

Mr. Stephen “Reno” Reed, the unofficial historian of Northwood’s hockey program, helped with recalling these records. Since the 40-win milestone has only been achieved a few times in the school’s history, this season’s accomplishment is even more special.

Reaching 40 wins will continue to be a goal for Northwood Hockey in the future, and it will be great to see the next teams try to reach this milestone. With Coach Morris retiring this year, it will also be great to see if Coach Mallaro can lead his teams to achieve this goal.

The Prep boys were able to celebrate the milestone this past weekend, but this upcoming weekend marks an even more important part of the season—the PHC playoffs. The boys will travel to Minnesota to compete in the playoffs for the second season of the Prep hockey conference. Coming down the homestretch always produces a mix of emotions for the players: it’s the culmination of all the training that has been done and it is the end of many of the seniors’ Northwood careers. The Mirror wishes the boys continued luck for the playoffs in hopes of a strong finish to end the season. As always, go Huskies!

Wall Street Veteran Teaches New Financial Markets Class

Mr. Jeff Miller (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge)

A new class this semester has been a hit with many students. It is called “Introduction to Financial Markets” and is taught by varsity hockey Coach Jeff Miller. Many parents and students were asking for a class like this, and many are excited to see such a class in the Northwood course offerings. This is how the class came to be and how it went in its first few weeks.

Coach Miller, or “Millsy,” is known for more than coaching hockey at Northwood. Previously he taught statistics, and he also plays a vital role in the admissions office. Many Huskies don’t know that before Northwood, Coach Miller had an outstanding career working for investment firms on Wall Street and in Boston for 20+ years. With this resume, there is no better person to teach Northwood Students about Finance.

“Given my experience in financial markets, I figured it may be a natural fit for me to teach a course that would give Northwood students a head start into the world of finance,” Miller said. Soon after gaining approval for his new class idea, he began designing the class over the summer.

The class aims to provide students with a general understanding of financial markets. “I hope to give the students a financial foundation they can use the rest of their life, especially when it comes time to make their own investment decisions,” Miller said. The class has already started learning about Banking, Bonds, The Federal Reserve, Stocks, and Commodities.

Miller likes to make classes exciting rather than just spewing information. Just a couple of weeks ago, the class had a mock Federal Open Markets Committee meeting before the Washington meeting. This allowed students to understand what goes into these real-life decisions.

“Down the road, we will take a deep dive into the stock market and learn about mutual funds, short selling, and Warren Buffet.” Miller has the class watch clips of the CNBC financial news network and use Yahoo Finance to gain information relevant to the class. This teaches the students how they can access this information when they start making their own decisions regarding finance.

Miller is off to a good start with the class, he said. “I enjoy sharing my passion and experiences with them, and the students have been very engaged and curious in class, which is great.” Being in this class, I can attest to the fact that I enjoy it a lot. Coach Miller makes class fun, and his course always provides a nice break from the hardcore information I may be getting in some of my other classes.

I look forward to seeing how this course continues, and it’s great to hear that Coach Miller has been loving teaching this course. “It’s been a wonderful experience,” he said. If you have any questions regarding this course, feel free to reach out to Coach Miller. He would love to tell you more about the class.

Humans of Northwood: Daniel Buchbinder ‘23

I came to Northwood to grow as a person and challenge myself academically and athletically. I hope to leave here closer to the goals I have set out to achieve. Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to learn from Coach Cassidy, Coach Morris, and Coach Mallaro. The lessons they have taught me will expand beyond the ice, and I am grateful to have had those opportunities. I am still undecided about what I want to study in college, but I am leaning toward business. I will also be playing junior hockey next year before going to college. I will forever cherish the bonds I have created and memories that will last a lifetime, and the boys will be one of the things I miss the most.

As told to Aidan Lasky ’23. Photo by Mr. Michael Aldridge.

The Northwood Invitational is Here!

It is an exciting week here at Northwood School because this weekend marks the 43rd Annual Northwood Invitational hockey tournament. The tourney was pushed back this year due to the FISU Games use of the Olympic Center, but it is happening. All three hockey teams will be competing this weekend, and don’t worry, the schedule is posted below.

In the tournament, athletes will compete Friday through Sunday to have a chance to hoist the trophies. Teams from all over come to see if they can come out on top. Besides exciting hockey, alumni, friends, and student’s families come to watch and visit beautiful Lake Placid. An important side note is that the Prep Team will have their senior night on Friday, so show the graduating players support in that matchup.

This tournament would not be happening if it wasn’t for the fantastic work of Coach and Athletic Director Trevor Gilligan. He works extremely hard each week to put out the school co-curricular schedule, and he has done the same for this tournament. Coach Gilligan said, “The Northwood tournament is always marked on the calendar as an exciting weekend. Not only do all three teams have the opportunity to compete at home for a trophy, but the weekend provides a great getaway for families and alumni to enjoy Lake Placid in the heart of winter!”

As you can see, the school takes a lot of pride in being able to host this amazing tournament. It means a great deal to the players and the school that people come to support the teams, so if you are free, you will not be disappointed in the competition this weekend. We wish the Huskies luck in ending the weekend with their respective trophies. We can’t wait to see you all there. Go Huskies!

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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.

Prep Team Comes Out on Top in USHL American Cup

The Prep Team after the championship win at the USHL American Cup (photo provided).

After a few disappointing weekends before Thanksgiving break, the Prep team was finally able to catch a break. The boys fought hard against the New Jersey Rockets, Long Island Gulls, and BK Selects to mark the American Cup as their second tournament/showcase win. Here is how the memorable weekend played out.

The weekend started with an intense game against the New Jersey Rockets, which Northwood beat earlier in the season. The Rockets were a talented offensive team, but they did not want to play the gritty style that the Huskies play. The game was intense for all three periods, where regulation ended at 2-2, forcing overtime. The boys came out strong in OT, and Nikita Mescheryakov ’23 buried a great goal, giving the team the weekend’s first win.

The next game against the Gulls would not bear the same success. The boys had played the Gulls before and lost to them, but when the Huskies play to their potential, they have a great chance of beating them. Sadly, the team could not pull through in the second game, and the Gulls won 2-0.

Luckily this wasn’t just an elimination tournament, so the boys had a do-or-die game against Bishop Kearney Selects later that same day. This was perhaps one of the team’s best games of the weekend. They came out strong, the boys were yelling on the bench for each other, and the team fought back with ferocity despite giving up an early goal. This spirit gave the Huskies the lead and allowed them to close the game 4-2.

With another win under their belt, it was time for the semifinal rematch against the Rockets. The boys slaughtered them with ease and were able to advance to an exciting championship game against the Gulls.

The team could not lose again, especially tournament championship was on the line. The game had a fantastic atmosphere. You could feel the competitiveness in the air. The game went back and forth in a nail-biting fashion until it was 2-2 going into the last minute of play. With a stunning 19 seconds remaining, Cole Bauman ‘23 was able to send one home, giving the Huskies a 3-2 lead. In a heart-stopping few seconds, the boys were able to win the championship, beating the Gulls when it mattered.

The Huskies performed great this past weekend, and it will be fantastic to see if the team can make this a turning point in their season. From this point on, all the teams faced will be great opponents, and coming up this weekend is a league game against Mount St. Charles and the Overspeed Tournament.

We look forward to seeing how the boys perform this weekend, and we hope they can keep up the great work in making Northwood proud.

The boys wanted me to give a special Shoutout to Jeremiah’s Tavern in Rochester for a great pre-game meal on Sunday. As always, go Huskies!

College Office Helps Seniors with Early Applications

Director of College Counseling Mr. David McCauley and Registrar/College Counseling Assistant Ms. Sandy Baker (photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge).

Northwood takes great pride in where its students attend college, so it is no surprise that the faculty does all they can to ensure every student is prepared to take on the journey. I interviewed David McCauley, the head of the college counseling office, and Turner Jackson, a student who has applied early action, to share more about the process at Northwood.

Mr. McCauley is the head of the college office here at Northwood, and he is one of the reasons the school is so prepared to help its students with applications. Mr. McCauley shared that a huge challenge for the office has been working with a senior class with so many new seniors. Thirty-two members of the class of 2023, half of the class, are new to the school, and that has been tough for the office to organize. Despite this challenge, McCauley said, “the students have done a great job being prepared, and we have 29 students applying early.” That’s quite an achievement for the office.

Mr. McCaulley also mentioned that he was glad that they could offer in-person and virtual sessions for schools such as Notre Dame, Cornell, and Stanford. The college office goes to great lengths to provide the students with such fantastic opportunities. The students here are fortunate to have faculty so excited to help them advance to higher education.

Turner Jackson ’23 (photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge).

Jackson is a 3rd year senior from Hong Kong, and he is an excellent example of being prepared for the college journey. As I mentioned earlier, Turner has already applied early action to Northeastern University. Although he has only applied to one school now, he shared that he expects to apply to a few more later in the year, depending on soccer and his academics.

As a senior myself, I know how stressful it is to work on an application, and I was curious to see how Turner was feeling. “The college office has done a great job helping prepare me for the submission process, and Reno [Mr. Steve Reed] was great in helping me develop my essay.”

Jackson also gave a lot of credit to starting early in the summer. An early start helped take some of the stress off his shoulders. It was also encouraging to hear how much Turner liked having the help of Northwood teachers. He said, “All the faculty have been willing to help in the process,” which is a testament to how involved the school is.

Christie-Ann Nelson ’23 smiles after submitting an early application in October 2023 (photo: Mr. David McCauley).

As we get later and later into the school year, more and more students will be applying to colleges. It’s exciting to watch this process unfold, and we hope the students get the success they are looking for.

Thank you to the college office and Turner for sharing their perspectives, and we wish him, along with all the other seniors applying, the best of luck in their journey to and through college.

Catching Up with the Prep Team

The 2022-23 Prep hockey team during September action at the Olympic Center (Photo: Mr. Michael Aldridge).

Before a well-needed Thanksgiving Break, the boy went to Stanstead College in Quebec. There they play opponents Upper Canada College, Kimball Union Academy, and Ridley College. Within a day of coming off the break, the team also traveled to Berkshire School for a quick two games against Kent and Berkshire. Here’s how the games went down.

The boys started the weekend in Stanstead against Upper Canada College, a team they had not played against before. The game started slowly for the Huskies, and it was clear to see that they had more to give. In the second half of the game, the boys were able to pull together several goals allowing them to take the game 4-1. The next game against KUA had more weight on it because the team knew KUA would be a better opponent. The Huskies were able to come out much more organized in this game and dominated most of the game. KUA could muster up three goals, but the Huskies would not be stopped and scored a remarkable five goals, making it another win on the weekend, 5-3. The final game against Ridley College was perhaps the most important because the Huskies previously lost to Ridley in a contest that Northwood underperformed. The Huskies played a better game than the first time they played Ridley, but they could not pull out a victory. The Stanstead weekend sadly ended with a loss against Ridley, but still 2-1.

After a relaxing break, the boys had to bounce back quickly at the Berkshire Jamboree. They started with a practice Sunday night to work out some kinks before the two games on Monday. The team played Kent School first, and it seemed like a repeat of what happened after thanksgiving break last year. The boys were slow to react, and neither team could produce any goals. The game ended 0-0, a disappointing tie. After a short turnaround, the Huskies had to face hosts Berkshire School. They had to perform better since Coach Morris wasn’t happy with the earlier tie. The boys drove the net hard and pounded Berkshire. The team scored a stunning six goals and gave Jozef Zilinec ’24 a 6-0 shutout. It was an outstanding performance to get back into stride for the upcoming USHL classic next weekend.

The boys have had bumps in the road, but they hope to change for the better in this half of the season. As usual, we wish them the best of luck in reaching their goals and hope they post an excellent performance in Rochester this weekend. Go Huskies!

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