After earning a spot in the semi-finals last year, the KO hockey team looks forward to another successful season. During the few pre-season days, players were evaluated on their ability to skate, skill level, and hockey IQ.
Head Coach John Hissick is looking forward to working with a mix of new and returning players this season.“It is important for me to look at the new skaters, along with our returning players, to see how they play the game together,” he said. “This gives me a starting point for where I need to start preparing the team for the first game.”
As practices started up, the team focused on certain aspects of their game: forechecks, neutral zone, and D zone coverages. In addition, the face-off structure was also an area of focus. Their practices will definitely be a key to their success this season, as it will allow them to improve as a team.
While it is still early in the season, Coach Hissick still has some overall goals that he would like the team to work towards. “Working hard in practice is important, as how you practice is how you will play,” he said. “Being coachable, most players will be using systems and strategies they have not seen before. Paying attention, asking questions, and being willing to do your part to help make the team successful. Also, having fun. The game is demanding but is fun; find fun in the game.”
The main goal for the upperclassmen is to work towards uniting the group and strengthening their chemistry as a team. “We have returning players and some new players this year, so we can play well together, but having better team chemistry would help us a lot,” senior goalie Matt Cote said.
These goals will be important for the team as they have a tough schedule of games this season. In the Fairchester Athletic Association League, the toughest competitors are The King School and Rye Country Day School. “Last year we lost to those two teams, so we are looking forward to playing against them again in the hopes of winning,” Cote said.
However, this year games have been scheduled against teams in the Holt Conference, a league with highly skilled and very tough competitors. “Playing against these teams will give us an idea of what we can expect with high-level opponents,” Coach Hissick said.
“It will give us a benchmark and let us know what we need to do to compete successfully at that level.”
The KO hockey team is excited about this season and for their first game
against the Hamden Hall Country Day School on Friday, Jan. 4. We hope the KO hockey team finds success this season and we wish them the best of luck!