Yorktown Hockey: A Slapshot to Success

Matthew Wagner, Staff Reporter

The Yorktown Ice Hockey Club is on the longest winning streak in team history and can be seen dominating opponents on select Fridays at MedStar Capitals Iceplex. The Hockey Club’s recent triumph is attributable to their immense depth in skill. 

Senior Captain Dillon Segal has been on the team since he was in eighth grade, but believes the difference maker this year has been the extensive expertise which each of the players has. 

“We roll all four lines every game. That’s big. It gives people time to rest…. We don’t have to rely on any two [star players],” Segal said. 

Another key part of the team’s success is the chemistry in the locker room. 

“Everybody on the team is really good friends off the ice, so having that team camaraderie … I think that’s good for just team building and translates to the on ice performance,” senior goaltender Jake Levy said. 

When winter sports in Arlington Public Schools paused because of a spike in COVID-19 cases, the hockey team was unaffected because they are a club team, not a school recognized sport. 

“We were able to continue playing games and practicing. Last year when there weren’t any sports happening we could still play and have a season. We’re pretty lucky,” Levy said.

This is also advantageous for the team because fans are still permitted to show out for games. The crowd provides vital energy for the players and has proven to be enormously beneficial to their performance. 

“We were losing to McLean at one point and just the fact that everyone was there made it so much better. We were all so happy. We tried to play well for the people there and we ended up winning it,” Segal said. 

The energy the crowd provides could be the difference maker in the next home game which is the upcoming Yorktown vs. Washington-Liberty (W-L) game. Set to happen on March 11, 2022 at 7 p.m., the rivalry game is a staple of the hockey season and is the last game our seniors will play as Patriots. 

“[The W-L game is] obviously the most important game of the year. We won pretty big last year, and with the fans in attendance this time around packing the stands, it should be a really good game. It’s our senior night, so it’s going to be really special for everyone,” Levy said. 

After fans were forced to leave a recent game because a Yorktown spectator was blowing a whistle and a hat was thrown onto the ice, the team’s energy level plummeted, nearly costing our squad the game and their undefeated season. 

The energy level is also a concern in the upcoming playoffs which happen in mid-February. 

“Because the playoffs are in Ashburn and in Reston it’s uncertain if fans will make the trek. Hopefully we can convince them to make the drive because it does make a difference,” Head Coach Jeremy Ferrara said. 

With or without fans in attendance, the team hopes to focus on keeping up the energy as the game progresses. 

“I just think we need to stay fast and come out strong. That’s a big part of hockey: momentum. As long as we can keep momentum and get the first goal or first shot. As long as we keep our momentum going, we should have no problem,” Segal said. 

Whether the team is scoring goals or blocking shots, Friday night hockey has quickly become a staple of our school’s sports spectacle. 

“Friday night hockey is now a thing to do where kids just come. This year it just seems like that’s the thing to do. The kids are really proud of what they’ve helped build over the course of the four years that this senior group has been here, at least,” Ferrara said.