Hockey trains hard to climb to the top

Fords hockey tied early on against Germantown Academy, December 8, 2022 – Pierce Laveran ’24

Winter has arrived, and with it come the sounds of scraping ice and the sharp clack of hockey sticks. 

Each practice, the hockey team spends at least half an hour skating and working on stick handling. This time is for players to focus on their skills and further enhance their abilities. In addition, they work on flow drills, where players break out of the defensive zone and into the offensive zone to score. Following that, they work on shooting and passing the puck to the goal.

The hockey team is drilled strictly. Fifth Former Ryan Gibson said, “Any mess-ups during those first thirty minutes, and there is going to be a lot of skating.”

He believes that the fundamentals of hockey and the ability to read plays before they happen are paramount to success. 

“No one’s ever going to be perfect at all of it. The key to success is based on these fundamental skills and being where the puck will be in the future is the key to winning games. This, plus having good teamwork will net more wins than losses,” Gibson said. 

Fourth Former Patrick Cohen agrees. 

“Knowing what the best play is for all five skaters on the ice will win us games. The coaches have been pushing us to do many rebounding drills so that we can score when the opportunity comes, we just have to take them,” Cohen said. 

Coach Thomas Lindberg ’07 has been a key part of their strategy. 

“Coach Lindberg watches other teams’ games so we know the other team’s plays and strategy, so we can always start on the right foot,” Cohen said.

Hockey Fords confer with Coach Lindberg in their 4-4 tie against GA, December 8, 2022 – Pierce Laveran ’24

Coach Lindberg firmly believes that preparation is key to success. 

“I always tell the players that everything we do in practice has a very specific purpose. Every practice depends on who we are going to play and what they do,” Coach Lindeberg said. “Our opponents last week, for example, love to rush the puck in. We needed to work on zone entries [getting into shooting position] so both our offense and defense got practice on what they needed.”

He also believes that efficiency is integral to a good program. 

“We do these things called flow drills where in just seven or eight seconds, players work on six or so individual skills all in one package,” Coach Lindberg said.

We want to win the Independent Hockey League. We have the talent and the character to do it. With hard work, we will be the best.

Coach Thomas Lindberg ’07

Unfortunately, the team has had a tough start to the season, playing top teams. They tied Germantown Academy, the defending champions, and lost to Saint Joseph’s Prep and the Hun School, all of which are Triple-A teams. However, Gibson believes that with time, all three are beatable. “Overall, despite the losses, it’s a learning experience for the team to see where we stand and where we can grow,” Gibson said. 

The team has a difficult road to the top. They play all of the Triple-A teams in the Philadelphia area. Despite these setbacks, all three feel that they should aim for the stars.

“We should be the best hockey program in Philly without question,” Lindberg said. “We want to win the Independent Hockey League. We have the talent and the character to do it. With hard work, we will be the best.”