By Erik T. Masingill ’12
After losing to Notre Dame two years ago in the state championship, the Broncos look to bring home their first hockey state title this year after a 14-5-2 season that earned them their first No. 1 seeding in the playoffs.
“We had a pretty successful regular season, but all that matters is if we end up first in the end of the year,” said Ryan Beneduce ’12.
With five teams in the playoffs, the Broncos, No. 2 seed Pinnacle and No. 3 seed Mountain Ridge have all earned semifinal appearances.
The other two teams, Desert Vista and Notre Dame, will play Sunday, Feb. 26 at the Alltel Ice Den, and the winner will play the Broncos Saturday, March 10.
The championship game will be the day after on Sunday, March 11 against the winner of Mountain Ridge and Pinnacle.
Beneduce pointed to the team’s practices and hard-work attitude that gives them the capability of winning the title.
“It all starts with our practices, and I think we’ve been working pretty hard,” he said. “I think the leadership we have; John Carkeek ’12, he’s a pretty good captain, and I think he just motivates everyone, and it trickles down to the entire team.”
The Broncos’ last regular season game was a win against Desert Vista Feb. 12. With Brophy’s next game March 10, there is a total of 27 days in between for practice.
“I think the main thing is just staying in sync with everyone,” Beneduce said of the long wait for their next game. “We just have to make sure we have to stay in tempo in practices, and hopefully that will translate to a success in the playoffs.”
Carkeek said that although the team may not have the most skill, it certainly works the most.
“We work the hardest probably,” he said. “We might not have the most skill, but we come together and work as a team, we listen to our coach, we play good defense and that probably gives us the best chance (to win).”
Carkeek said the Broncos will be working most on defensive positioning and posturing and not forgetting team roles during the preparation.
He also said the team will be ready by March 10.
“We’re excited, we really hope to take it home this year and bring home Brophy’s first title,” Carkeek said. “We don’t want to fall short like the last two years.”