Coming into the hockey season after a two year break, the team’s leaders did not know what to expect.
“I think that it was hard to truly set some solid expectations at the start of the year,” Sixth Form Captain Peter Kaplan said. “Our team had not played the previous season, and we knew that the league was going to look very different since it was the last time we took to the ice as a group.”
The two-year hiatus greatly impacted the team’s roster, with a lot of players graduating from the program. It took a while to adjust, but the team is not the same since first stepping on the ice in November. Kaplan is impressed with the team’s growth.
“Once we get into the playoffs, as you know, anything can happen and we will make some noise for sure.”Peter kaplan ’22
“I think that we have grown tremendously as a team as the year has gone on. In the two years that COVID has started and ended up canceling the 2020-21 season, our team has seen a lot of turnover, losing a lot of upperclassmen and starting basically from scratch with a new group of players,” Kaplan said. “From where we were back in November, where we had almost no chemistry as a group and a lot of us were still learning more fundamental skills as players, to now we are pushing the top teams in our league to their limits, has been tremendously impressive as I have so much respect for the effort that our new coach Thomas Lindberg and group of players bring to every game and practice.”
At this point in the season, the team’s eyes are on the playoffs. The next couple of weeks will essentially define their season. Kaplan knows what is necessary for the team to sneak into the playoffs.
“We have a game that is basically a must-win against the Pennington School. Although we lost to them 5-1 in our first meeting back in December, I think that we have come together more as a group and I believe that we will find a way to get the right result from that game to get us the highly coveted playoff spot,” Kaplan said. “Once we get into the playoffs, as you know, anything can happen and we will make some noise for sure.”
“We had a team of mostly upperclassmen and experienced hockey players, but now we have a team with a lot of underclassmen making important contributions to our success this year.”peter kaplan ’22
Since the team graduated many players in the last couple of years, Haverford Hockey has an entirely new setup. Kaplan is pleased with the underclassmen’s ability to step up and is excited to see what they will accomplish in the future.
“We had a team of mostly upperclassmen and experienced hockey players, but now we have a team with a lot of underclassmen making important contributions to our success this year. I personally have a lot of respect for the younger guys for holding their own against the older and more experienced players in our league and for how much they have all grown as the season has gone on,” Kaplan said. “There are not many other teams at Haverford that have so many younger guys contributing in such big ways to a varsity team’s success, so there’s a lot of credit owed to them, and signs of a very bright future to come.”