Varsity Hockey Starts Season with a Bang


Media by Jeff Nebot

Trevor Keune, senior varsity captain, and Drew Cuba, junior, assist in defending the net.

The MHS varsity hockey team took on Westminster in the Wickenheiser rematch game on Thursday, Dec. 6. The Mustangs managed to take home a 4-2 win, redeeming their tragic loss in the Finals last season.

Senior Trevor Keune, varsity captain, is pleased with the win.

“Knowing how they took something from you, and then for you to be able to take it back from those same guys, it just felt surreal,” Keune said.

This year’s team is described by the coach as one of the best teams in 25 years due to the depth the team has. Despite having 17 out of the 22 players play on multiple teams, the team still is managing a 9-1 record since the season started.

“Having this much talent on a team, it’s just really cool to work with these guys and to show them the ways of Marquette hockey,” Keune said. “We have a lot of talent this year and we should bring home a lot of wins.”

Keune described his coach as supportive and is proud to be on the team.

“He’s a pretty strict coach when it comes to on the ice but he’s also off the ice. We can go to him for anything,” Keune said.

Isaac Weatherford, freshman, has learned a lot since joining the team this year. He was worried about living up to the standards of varsity but he found that his teammates help him fit right in.

“[Being on the team is] humbling but I think it’s a pretty awesome experience because as a freshman being on varsity itself is a lot of pressure,” Weatherford said. “Overall the guys are really nice and they’re really welcoming cause they’re kinda transitioning us so that in a couple years [we will] be the leaders.”

Tyler Sillanpaa, sophomore, is also new to the team this year, and despite the pressure to do well, finds the team to be very close. He said the team has had it’s ups and downs but are close and get through it as a team.

“[When] everybody’s doing well and everybody’s doing their job, we’ll win,” Sillanpaa said. “Then there’s other games where we won’t do so well and people maybe just aren’t feeling it. [But,] we’re all kind of there for each other.”

Gary Tockman, head coach, is proud of the team this season and expects the team to seed very high in the Challenge cup.

“This team is a little different,” Tockman said. “We’re very deep. We’re deeper than we’ve ever been where in the past we’ve been kind of top heavy so it’s nice that a lot of younger kids are getting a lot of ice time, cause they are better developed and they can compete.”

Tockman said the leadership on the team is great. The seniors and the juniors provide great examples for the newer members on the team and help them learn what being on the team is about.

“They play well together,” Tockman said. “They’re a close group and that helps because you can’t win unless you’re close.”

When asked about his coaching strategies, Tockman had a simple explanation.

“We don’t really focus on winning,” Tockman said. “We preach to our kids that if you work hard, and you work as a team, then the winning will take care of itself.”