The hockey team opened up their season with a convincing 5-4 win against King School on Saturday, Dec. 1.
Sophomore center Kiefer Jaffe, senior center Jack Gao, junior forward Shane Dawson all scored goals. Senior captain forward Garth Swanson also had two goals including a game winning shot in overtime.
In this game, there were multiple missed opportunities according to Head Coach John Hissick, but the team was able to battle through adversity and get a hard fought win. Junior goalie John McLaughlin had a tremendous game, fighting off multiple power plays, and making a total of 41 saves. Even though McLaughlin had a great game, Coach Hissick still said that the amount of penalties the team had really hurt their chances to win.
Despite multiple missed opportunities and lots of time spent in the penalty box, there were many positives in the Wyverns’ first game. “We did a good job with puck possession and created opportunities,” Coach Hissick said.
Gao also said that the team played very hard, which helped them win. The biggest positive from their first game, of course, was the fact that they got a game in the win column, and in spectacular fashion. “Garth had a backhanded goal off the crossbar,” sophomore wing Will Elliot said. “I have no idea how it went in.”
On Saturday, Dec. 8, the Wyverns hosted Wooster Academy where Kingswood Oxford was able to come out with a victory, and improve to 2-0 on the season.
The Wyverns are hoping to keep winning. “We have a better mindset this year because we are in a league where we can succeed,” Dawson said.
Due to the league change, many people on the hockey team are very optimistic going into this season, as some are even expecting playoffs and potentially more. “Our goals for this season are to have a winning record and go far in the playoffs,” Dawson said.
Even though the first game was a bright spot, everyone is aware that there are places that the team could improve. “We need to become more confident and comfortable as a team,” Coach Hissick said.
He also said that a major goal for this season is to develop the younger players. He’s expecting his seniors to help his younger players get used to the high school level, and once that happens ,he has high hopes for his team.
Gao said that the team is close this year. “This is a very united and a pretty good team,” he said.
Elliot said that the hockey team has really come into their own this season on and off the ice. “The team has really improved since last season, and we’ve created a culture where we help each other and want each other to improve,” sophomore defender Kyle Frankel said.
In recent years, the KO hockey team has faced many tough opponents, and as a result they have not been able to get a lot of wins. The team is looking to change that this year as they moved down a league. Their first win was a step in the right direction in bringing the hockey program back to a more competitive level.