Hockey Season Gets Extended In Light of Fantastic Record

A Collective Group of Hockey Fans | Contributing Writers

In an extraordinary move, Athletic Directors Robin Chandler ’87 and Danny Smith have decided to extend the hockey seasons of the Boys and Girls Varsity teams. Although raising eyebrows initially, this move has now been applauded by many.

Hotchkiss Hockey has been a storied program throughout the years. The teams have won multiple Founders League Championships, and even two New England Championships, with the boys winning in 1992 and 1995, and the girls having three appearances in the Finals. In the past five graduating classes alone, the boys have had five Division 1 players, along with six more in the NESCAC League. The girls have had three Division 1 commits, along with four more playing in the NESCAC league. Both Varsity coaches are alums who played for the school, with Michael P. Traggio ’91 coaching the boys and Corey M. Cooper ’08 leading the girls.

With the combined record of the past two seasons for the boys sitting at 11-23-7, and the girls sitting at 9-21-9, the program had long been mired in a slump. With the boys racking up as many wins in this season alone than they did the past two seasons, and the girls winning five more this season than the past two, players and coaches didn’t want to quit while they were hot.

In meetings with the coaches, the Athletic Directors have decided to waive the need for spring sports for these athletes. “It’s a big step for our program, and we hope to carry on this tremendous success into the coming years,” said Smith, “I’m excited for some our top athletes to continue competing at a high level and be able to make up for the struggles of past years.” Instead, they will compete against local club teams throughout the Spring, and move on to the inaugural USA National U20 Youth Tier 1 tournament, hosted in Miami, Florida, April 4-8.

Numerous players from both teams were slated to play in the U18 ice hockey tournament taking place the same weekend in Grand Rapids, Michigan for the boys, and Irvine, California for the girls, but have decided to forgo their club teams in order to take advantage of such an opportunity. “After having the season we did,” explained Upper Mid Gavin Puskar ’20, “this just makes a lot of sense. We narrowly missed playoffs, but I truly think we can pull things together for a natty in April.”

This season saw fans rally behind both teams, and as a result, there will be fan planes to go support the teams. “After the success of the fan buses for basketball playoffs, we have decided to charter private planes for the whole student body,” said Dr. Arthur Gibb ’85, Dean of Community Life. “This will come at no additional cost to the students and will be a great way to build school spirit and morale prior to the final push to exams in May.” The representatives for the Hotchkiss Fund, in charge of the school’s endowment, had no comment on the unprecedented move.

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