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Donald Crocker, Assistant Sports Editor

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The boys varsity ice hockey team are catching fire this season with a record of 13-1.

Hockey has one of the longest seasons at H-F and they are shorthanded with only 13 players.

In hockey, there are always six players on the ice, including the goalie, at a time. That means that only seven players come off the bench.

Sophomore left wing Eric Gerecke has been a part of both the hockey and soccer programs during his high school career.

“You have to drink a lot of water on the bench. If you need to ask coach for a break, he’ll let you take a break because you don’t want to be out there just gassed.” Gerecke said.

Last year, they lost in a three game series against Fox Valley for the BlackHawk Cup with a 6-1 loss on March 4.

“I’m very happy the way that the team went so far in the playoffs. I’m just looking for that one extra step we can take to get that championship possibly this year,” Varsity head coach Wayne Perry said.

While the team finished with a 24-12 record last year, they lacked the ability to score during the playoffs.

“We have been scoring a lot more goals, and we got to be more of a team and work together more,” sophomore Miguel Mancha said.

The team had their first loss of the season last week against Kankakee.

Senior goalie Andrew Sline, who is also another two-sport athlete, received a scholarship from University of Tampa to play lacrosse. Since lacrosse starts in the early spring, he begins to play lacrosse right after hockey ends.

“If a player can succeed in another sport besides hockey, I completely promote that…I think it’s a nice transition to go from one sport to another.” Perry said.

Excluding their one loss, the team managed to out score their opponents by at least three goals every game this season. Even though they are competing well in every game, they need to do the same when playoff time arrives.

“Winning these games right now in November and December mean a little bit, but we want to win in February and March when it means the most,” Perry said.

The team practices from Tuesday through Thursday for four hours. They have a game on Friday and another game on either Saturday or Sunday. Their only day off is Monday.

Similarly to last year, the team has a small amount of seniors with only two, while the rest of the team consists of a mix of juniors, sophomores and freshmen.

“Our core guys, sophomores and juniors, that we had last year are catching up to things we’ve been trying to do. And our freshman coming in have caught on really quick this year, and it shows with our record being so successful.” Perry said.

Their next game is at home against the Lake Central Indians today at 6:35 p.m.

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