Boys Hockey Fights Cancer


David Li ’21

Gavin Puskar ’20 has embraced his role as a Senior leader on the team.

Air-horns blasted on November 22 in Schmidt Hockey Rink as fans, many wearing white t-shirts emblazoned with a purple “Hockey Fights Cancer” logo, erupted into cheers. Boys Varsity Hockey took on the Brunswick Bruins in its Hockey Fights Cancer game, which ended in an thrilling 4-2 victory.
While commited to starting off the season strong, the team also played for a cause even larger than a victory that night. According to the National Cancer Institute, around 1.8 million people will be diagnosed with cancer in 2019. The team capitalized on the appeal of a Friday night season opener, dedicating it to the Hockey Fights Cancer movement.
With T-shirt, raffle ticket, and bake sales before the game, the team raised over $5,000 for the American Cancer Society, an organization dedicated to finding a cure for cancer. Defenseman Julian Leonhardt ’21 said, “I think what the team did for this cause is incredible. Everyone bought into it, and everyone made a difference.”
The number of newcomers on the team makes it different from teams in recent memory. Ten new players joined the squad this season. They seized the opportunity to put their talent on display against Brunswick, with new members Jonathan Horn ’21 and Karsen Dorwart ’22 scoring goals against the Bruins.
The team remains a tight-knit group, which has contributed to its success in past years. The development of the team’s bond began even before the season had started, through participation in the Fall Team Training co-curricular. By having almost every member of the team participate in the program, the team was able to foster camaraderie beginning in September. Brian Haywood ’21, said, “Two weeks into school, I knew all the new guys like they were my teammates last year. It’s hard not to get to know a guy [when you’re waking up at 6:30 a.m. with them].”
In previous years, the team has lost momentum going into January after suffering tough losses at the Flood Marr tournament, which is jointly held at Milton Academy and Nobles and Greenough School.
The players will sacrifice the beginning of their Winter Break to play against some of the top New England prep schools at the annual event. This season, the team hopes to overturn past results by making a deep run in the tournament. This would give the team a boost towards its primary goal of securing a space in the playoffs—something it narrowly missed out on last year.
Despite the tough competition, the team is eager to tackle these challenges after a motivating win against Brunswick. In keeping with the positive start to the season, co-captain and goaltender, Henry Wilder ’20 said, “It’s an honor to wear a Hotchkiss jersey for every one of the guys. [The team has] a ton of history, and we’re looking forward to continuing it and growing that this season.”
Tune into the Flood Marr Tournament via live-stream as the team hits the ice after exams from December 20 to 22.