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Palo Alto ice hockey reaches league championship

Celeste Bates/Used With Permission
Celeste Bates/Used With Permission

After progressing to the Sharks High School Hockey League championship, the ice hockey team suffered a 6-2 loss against Saint Francis on Feb. 6, concluding the season with a record
of 8-3-5.

Junior Takumi Weimann said despite its effort, the team lacked intensity until the later part of the game once it was too late to make a comeback. 

“I think our offense was great, but their goaltending was outstanding which made it difficult to score,” Weimann said. “In our defensive zone, we struggled because their top line moved the puck well and were fast on zone entries.”

Sophomore Will Hagan agreed that the team did not play to its full potential. 

“I think we struggled with passing and holding onto possession,” Hagan said. “We also had a tough time defending some of their better players.”

In conjunction with the team’s quality of playing, sophomore Henry Harding said the lack of chemistry contributed to the loss.

“As we began facing adversity a lot of our players tried to do everything on their own and not work as a team,” Harding said.

Despite the loss, Hagan said the team had an impressive season overall and improved significantly since last season.

“Last year, coming out of COVID-19, our team was not as organized. We only had one practice a week that was optional, and we didn’t have a lot of players attending,” Hagan said. “But this year, everyone was more committed and attending practice, so we were a lot more organized as a group.”

Harding said the team was also more experienced this season.

“Our team is mainly comprised of sophomores and upperclassmen, which is a big differentiator from last season,” Harding said. “A lot of the other teams in our league have players who play on a bunch of different club teams, whereas on our team, a lot of us have played together before.”

Looking forward, Hagan said the players are evaluating how to better the team during the off season. 

“I hope next season we can build off of how we did this year and have a strong regular season and win our league,” Hagan said. “Our team can create good scoring opportunities, but we struggle with scoring off those opportunities, which is something we want to work on.”

Harding said an area of improvement for the team is limiting turnovers. 

“A lot of the goals we give up are on fast breaks” Harding said. “Working on that in the offseason will definitely be helpful.” 

In addition to strengthening these skills within the team, Weimann said the team is planning to expand its roster. 

 “I think going into the offseason our team is likely going to add some new players and more depth,” Weimann said. “And hopefully we can make it to states next year which is definitely not out of our reach.”

While the team had a frustrating finish to the season, Weimann said he still has a positive view of the season and an optimistic outlook for the upcoming year.

“Even though we did not win the championship, I’m not disappointed in the year as a whole,” Weimann said. “Overall, we had a great season and made it pretty far.”

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Shamsheer Singh
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