The Kingswood Oxford ice hockey team finished the year strong with a 7-6-1 winning record led by senior Captain forward Garth Swanson and Head Coach John Hissick. In the past, the boys team had won only one game but this year the team pulled together and won seven.
The Wyverns prepped for all their games this year, as not a particular one stood out. The annual Hockey Night is the biggest game they have since everyone comes to support the team.
“Hockey Night was a highlight for everyone on the team this year since everyone had fun playing in it,” Swanson said.
They had many inspiring wins this year and even a tie. On Jan. 30, the team played Saint Luke’s School who they had previously lost to 4-1.
After playing a hard and intense game, the team came out with a well earned tie, 2-2. The team showed a hard work ethic, battling through all three periods of the game.
Another big game was on Feb. 13. The Wyverns lost against Harvey School, 6-3, which unfortunately prevented them from make the playoffs. The game was well fought. They fell behind early in the game but freshman forward Sean Gilland scored the first goal for the Wyverns off a shot that found the top of the goal. Despite the strong push towards the end of the game, the Wyverns still fell to a crushing defeat. Their last game on Feb. 15, was a 9-2 victory over South Kent School where, collectively, the team put on one final show together.
In the past, the boys team has not been that strong, and this year they, battled against tough teams. These battles started with clear, accomplishable goals set for the whole team. As a team, they had two goals: make the playoffs and do their best each and every game. Even though they missed the playoffs by half a game, it was important that each player gave it their all. “We did not end up making the playoffs this year, but more importantly, I believe that we did leave everything on the ice every game, and tried our best to win each game, no matter the opponent,” Swanson said.
Practices helped the team prepare for every game that came its way. This year, they focused on many things through the season: puck support, shooting for rebounds, and creating more scoring opportunities.
They also worked on their power plays and penalty kills which increased their ability in converting power plays into scoring opportunities. “What didn’t we work on in practice?” Coach Hissick said.
The Wyverns possessed great team chemistry which helped the new kids fit in with older players.
“Even though we had some new kids this year, they have really fit in well with some of the veterans on the team, who have been playing with each other for multiple years, and who have great chemistry together.” Swanson said. Another strength they possess is their work-ethic. They worked and gave their full effort every game and every practice.
The only thing the team lacked this year was a skill gap since they were one of the weaker teams in the league. They compensated for this in their work ethic when facing other teams.
“We are able to use our ability to work hard to our advantage in order to offset the skill gaps that we may face when playing other teams,” Swanson said.