Hockey Puts in Time Over Break

While most of the WRA community was suffering from a food hangover the day after Thanksgiving, the Western Reserve Academy hockey team spent their precious last days before classes facing off against rival teams in the annual HoneyPot tournament.

On Friday, November 24th, the team faced off against the Fremont Club. While WRA lost 7-1 Nate Hopkins had an impressive game with over 56 saves during the contest. Captain Max Shin ’18 used the game as “an opportunity for the team to play together for the first time” and an “important growing experience for underclassmen.”

Early Saturday morning the team clashed with Team Audi of Mentor. Though the game ended with a score of 4-2 in Audi’s favor, it was still an impressive feat for the WRA skaters. Team Audi’s bench had an extensive number of players and frequently provided fresh legs on the ice while Reserve had a mere nine skaters with only three defensemen. Shin, who was the backbone of the three-man defense, said that “seeing everyone pushing hard during every shift was impressive” due to the seemingly empty bench.

Later that day, the team played North Royalton, the hosts of the tournament. Another loss plagued WRA, but they kept their heads high. Captain Tommy Wagner ’19 stated that he “could see growth among the guys” over the extent of the weekend.

Along with the remarkable stamina of the players, another person stood out for their perseverance. Head coach and math faculty Brand Closen stood tall during the first several games but, unknown to the players during the first game, fought through a sickness that would keep him home for Sunday’s game.

This game particularly had its shining moments. For example, Jad Darwiche ’20 scored his first goal of the season and the only goal of the game, but the match ended in a 6-1 loss to the Fremont Club. Henry Harkins ’18 looked back at the weekend as a “great opportunity to learn to play as a team,” even though the team “did not get the results they were looking for.” The parents noticed the “positive attitude” the players kept during the adverse games and have continually looked forward to tournaments for the “great bonding opportunities” they present. The weekend’s results truly did not match the hard work and dedication the coaches, players, and parents put into the games, but hopefully the experience will leave the team better off in the games to come.

– Amy Kerr ’18

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