Varsity one hockey skates through playoff push


Photo by Michael Fox

The Bulldogs stand proudly after their 11-0 win against the B-CC Barons on senior night Feb. 6. The team will play in the state semifinals Feb. 23.

By Michael Fox, Sports Editor

Offense wins games, but defense wins championships. Fortunately the CHS hockey team is lucky enough to have both a dominant defense and an explosive offense.

The hockey team is approaching the playoffs with a 14-1 overall record and a 9-0 league record. The team rolled into the postseason as the number one seed in the league, defeating WJ 7-0.

“Our biggest win this year is our 8-2 win against Wootton,” junior goalie Markus Hurd said. “It is always good to beat our rival, but to beat them by six goals was a great way to show what we are capable of.”

The team’s talent and performance compares to that of two years ago when the Bulldogs won the state championship for the 2012-2013 winter season.

“Although we were good [last year], we were not quite as good as Wootton,” senior captain Ross Allen said. “However, as we have shown, that is not the case anymore. If I were to compare this team’s talent to another year, it would be [my] sophomore year when we won the state championship.”

Senior captain Jacob Arden believes that this year’s team is better in some aspects compared to the state championship team from two years ago.

“Compared to our last state championship in 2013, we are much more deep,” Arden said. “We have three full lines and five defensemen that would be the best on any other team.”

The team has seen much success through its chemistry and execution on the ice. Key offensemen include Allen, junior Philip Satin, and sophomore Andrew Kurapov.

“The team’s strengths are our depth, talent and ability to possess and work the puck around,” Allen said. “We have all worked hard during practice so we are all in good shape and can outwork other teams.”

Arden not only plays defense, but he also contributes significantly on offense. Arden has eight goals and 14 assists in his first 15 games of the season, but Kurapov has been the man to watch, as he scored 43 points in the regular season.

The Bulldogs rely on junior goalie Markus Hurd to come up in the clutch when needed. Hurd has only allowed 11 goals in the first 15 games of the season and has continued to have solid performances against rivals Wootton and Whitman.

“To make it to states we need to continue to work at every practice and take each game one at a time,” Hurd said. “Each and every game is an opportunity to learn and grow as a team.”

With so many possible scorers on the ice at one time, the team must remember that hockey is a team sport, and in order to score, the team needs to work as one unit.

“Our weakness is our own skill,” Hurd said. “With all the talent on our team it is easy to rely on other players to get the job done, when in reality it takes every player on the team to work as hard as they can to win.”

In order to get back to the state championship, the team will need to battle its way through divisional opponents.

“We have to win our conference playoffs, most likely having to beat either WJ or Whitman and then likely Wootton,” head coach Ray McKenzie said.

The Bulldogs seem to be the biggest threat in the league, as the team is eager to repeat history and claim the championship trophy yet again.