Yorktown Hockey Looks to Jump Start the Season

Yorktown Hockey Looks to Jump Start the Season

Excitement fills the air as students stream into Medstar Capitals Iceplex. The Yorktown Ice Hockey Club takes the ice, ready for the next forty five minutes of action. It’s time for hockey.

The first games of the season are always important, and the players are looking to start off the season right.

“[Winning early season games sets] the whole mentality for the rest of the season. You have to win some of your first games or else the whole season just goes downhill,” sophomore defensemen Benson Kluger said.

Unfortunately, the team was unable to secure a win in a scrimmage versus Archbishop Spalding High School on Friday, October 27. The team is looking to shake off the rust and get the official season underway versus Fauquier/Patriot hockey on Friday, November 17 at Medstar Capitals Iceplex.

However, this matchup will not come without its own difficulties. Previous rosters featured large senior classes packed with experience and talent. This season, the team only has three seniors on the roster. Large adjustments have to be made to fill the talent gap whenever a large senior class departs.

“It’s really just depth and trying to get everyone involved and able to contribute in some way. [Last year], we could build full rosters with skill players who all play travel, but we don’t have that luxury this year, so the focus is really getting everyone in a position where they can contribute,” senior Alternate Captain and defenseman James Gan said.

Although many factors contribute to the Hockey club’s success, motivation and will to win are amongst the most paramount factors. Much of this is attributable to the pride that comes with representing our school on the ice.

“I love representing my teachers, my friends and everybody on the ice,” junior centerman and Alternate Captain Roger Allenbaugh said.

The team has also found success in bonding and building trust in each other both on and off the ice.

“Talking to people and getting to know them in between drills, getting water— little things like that where you can encourage underclassmen [are crucial]. In the hallway at school, just saying ‘hi’ or offering rides to teammates for practice or games. It’s the little things that will increase our chemistry in the long run,” Gan said.

Bonding could be the difference maker down the stretch, leading into the largest games of the year: the playoffs and The Yorktown vs. Washington-Liberty (W-L) “Battle of Arlington”. The W-L game will happen on March 8, 2024 and will be senior night for both teams. Beating W-L and making a run in the playoffs are top of mind for many on the team.

“We want to beat W-L this year. Last year did not go our way. It sucks when they have to take the trophy away from you. We made it to the state semi-finals last year, and the big goal this year is getting past that little hump and making it to the state finals game and trying to win,” Allenbaugh said.

Many factors will contribute to the team’s success, but support from students is paramount to the team’s success.

“Especially because my freshman year was the COVID year, I didn’t experience student sections until my sophomore year and it really does make an impact. It makes you feel more motivated. When you hear [students] cheering and calling your name it really does motivate players,” Gan said.

The Yorktown Ice Hockey club is packed with talent and passion. The team faces many uphill battles this year, yet the players remain ready for anything coming their way.

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About the Contributors
Matthew Wagner
Matthew Wagner, Sports Editor
Matthew Wagner is a senior and Sports Editor for The Yorktown Sentry. This is Wagner's third year on staff and first year as an editor. Outside the classroom, Wagner can typically be found lifting, golfing or doing homework. He is an avid sports fan and is looking forward to a fantastic final year on staff.
Sydney Pons
Sydney Pons, Reporter
Sydney Pons is a sophomore reporter entering her first year on The Yorktown Sentry. She is a passionate writer inspired by her love for creativity. Outside of school, Sydney enjoys playing guitar and listening to a variety of music. Currently, her free time is spent playing on our school's JV volleyball team.

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