By Connor Bradshaw Van Lier Ribbink ’13
The last time Brophy varsity hockey was on the ice was after a crushing overtime defeat in the state championship game against Pinnacle.
However their season didn’t end there.
Two weeks following the defeat, the team traveled to Florida to compete against the top teams in the nation, which would be the last chance for seniors to play in a Brophy uniform.
“The loss made me realize that nationals was the last chance I had to play Brophy hockey and competitive hockey at such a high level,” said assistant captain Spencer Smith ’13. “I wanted to go out playing the sport I love on top.”
Last year the team finished with a best ever national ranking of third in the country but this year the opposing teams were especially talented.
“The competition was strong this year, there are some great teams playing but in every game we were contenders,” said captain Tanner Touhy ’13.
According to Smith, the goal of the tournament was simple: win.
“The goal was to play Brophy hockey, which means we needed to be extra grindy and for the most part we were,” Smith said.
The team started off strong winning their first few games by multiple goals including a hat trick performance by Touhy but fell short against the defending national champs, Regis Jesuit.
“Regis was an incredibly well balanced team,” Touhy said. “It was a physical game, one kid was carried off in a stretcher, but they got the best of us in the end.”
The team finished with a national ranking of No. 7.
“I think the legacy we leave behind is a very close team that was one of the most dominant teams in Brophy hockey history,” Smith said. “Tanner and I have together scored close to 150 points, which is a great individual accomplishment, but as a team I couldn’t be happier with our finish.”