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Blue and White Hit the Ice

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The ice hockey team plays at the Kettler Ice Center

The ice hockey team plays at the Kettler Ice Center

Zanab Farooq

Zanab Farooq

The ice hockey team plays at the Kettler Ice Center

Caroline Boda, Sentry Staff Reporter

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The first game of the season is officially in the books for the varsity ice hockey team, and Columbia blue came out on top once again. After a long offseason, the Patriots hit the ice on November 4 at Kettler IcePlex to kick off possibly the most anticipated sports season yet. Yorktown was crowned victorious after holding a secure lead throughout the game, wrapping up a 5-4 victory against the Bulldogs of Westfield High School.

This thrilling first game demonstrates exactly what is in store for the Patriots this winter. The team continues to take on talented young players each year whilst improving the skills of returning players who will begin their third or even fourth season as a Patriot. The expanding popularity of ice hockey in the Northern Virginia area has lead to this increase of talent found on our own ice hockey team.

“We’re starting to become a better program, and this year I think we’re going to continue to have an even better season,” varsity head coach Jeremy Ferrara said.

Coming off a season in which the team finished 5-4-1, the varsity team is on fire. After a sensational spring of only one loss, the team ultimately made it to the playoffs, and for the second year in a row. Coaches and players alike have high hopes for the winter season that the Patriots expect to live up to.

“This upcoming season, I think we have a good chance to do very well, and I know our captains say we could definitely go undefeated,” sophomore ice hockey player Lily Harp said.

The loss of eight seniors and essentially the heart of their team has caused the hockey program to tighten its expectations and up its standards. Although the Patriots have already played one season since these critical players graduated last June, this transition has not been perfectly fluid.

“It’s definitely not easy. It’s definitely challenging and it’s something that we obviously have to work on as coaches to build the team into more than just about hockey, but also [the players] being friends with each other,” Ferrara said.

Even after the loss of many of these fundamental players, the upcoming winter season is looking good for the Patriots. The team has effortlessly integrated their returning players with the substantial number of new players in the past two months of practice. Despite their age, these experienced new players will be no strangers to the game.

“This year I think that our team is actually more talented than our team in previous years just because we have so much young talent coming in,” Ferrara said.

The ice hockey program continues to build its players as not just successful teammates, but also as a close-knit team that is able to prosper from one another’s strengths. This unique approach to coaching will undoubtedly benefit the program and will only set the Patriots up for success this winter season.

“I think we’ll probably make it to the playoffs. We’ve actually never won a playoff game, but I feel like this year might be that time,” sophomore ice hockey player Rhett Styles said.

Regardless if this winter season proves to be successful, support is always welcome from the Yorktown community. Whether its keeping up with the team on social media or coming out to Kettler IcePlex on Friday nights, let’s send only good vibes to the Patriots this season.

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Blue and White Hit the Ice