Hockey Dominates North Central Division

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Hockey Dominates North Central Division

The Eagles swooped in, took the ice, and held their own at the Nest with a 2-1 win over New Trier on Wednesday, January 15. With this win, the Leyden Eagles Hockey team officially clinched first place in the North Central Division with a 15-5-4 record. 

The Eagle’s season started off a little rough, as they had about a .500 record through the first few games. They then propelled themselves with a few four-game win streaks, and, winning 9 of the last 14 games put them as serious contenders. 

Senior captain Matthew Hagerstrom (10 goals, 12 assists) gave some insight on why the season started slow and how exactly the team began to dominate its opponents. “It’s always rough at the beginning because a lot of new kids join the team, and we just needed to get to know each other.” He continued,“When we were losing, our coaches made us practice with no puck, and instead, focus on conditioning and skating drills.”

Hagerstrom was chosen as a captain at the beginning of the season, and he knew what he needed to do to get the team going. “It’s all about confidence. My job is to make our players stay in line and give as much confidence boosters as I can.” 

Even though Hagerstrom is the captain, he gives credit to other players as well for getting the team going in times of trouble. “Defenseman Daniel Determann has played a huge role on our team. All of the guys listen to him, and are quick and ready to do whatever it takes to win.”

With all of the winning amongst the team, the Eagles have four players who are ranked in the top ten of their league. These players are Kyle Lamphere, Dominic Capozzi, Mason Perri, and Danny Bagnole. 

Some would think standing at 5’4” would be a disadvantage, but Forward Kyle Lamphere, who’s an assistant captain, couldn’t disagree more. “I think since I’m smaller it makes me strategize more since I’m targeted a lot. It keeps me on my toes.” Lamphere, who is Leyden’s leading scorer (17 goals, 16 assists, 33 points total) has been a force on offense, as he is top three in his league for points scored. 

Both Lamphere and Hagerstrom have been skating and playing hockey before they were in grammar school. Although both are undecided about where they want to go next year, they are “going to play hockey until they physically can’t.” For Hagerstrom, it’s all about “wanting to come to hard practices” and “loving the game even when it can be the most difficult part of your life.” 

The Eagles have their first playoff game this Friday, January 31, at the Franklin Park Ice Arena. The puck drops at 8:30 PM, as the Eagles will be playing the Kings.

“I believe we have what it takes to make it to the League Championship,” Hagerstrom said.