[ccfic caption-text format="plaintext"]
By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Coming off a 12-6-2 regular season in 2017-2018 that earned them the No. 7 seed in Division II South, the Westwood High School boys hockey team is looking to build off of their success from a season ago and make a deep tournament run later on this winter.
However, before the Wolverines even begin to think about postseason play, senior captain and forward Connor Donohue says that he and the Wolverines need to take things one step at a time.
“We need to take it one game at a time,” said Donohue when asked about his team’s general goals for the upcoming season. “Our general goal is to take it one game at a time and eventually make the tournament. Of course, our main goal will be a state title.”
Joining Donohue on the leadership front are forward Shane Cronin and defenseman Callum Guarino to form a trio of senior co-captains. Donohue says that he, Cronin, and Guarino are ready to motivate and lead by example.
“We make sure the effort is always up and that guys are encouraging one another to get better every day,” said Cronin. “Once the effort is there, the little things become easy to work on. We hope to enforce this year that everyone has an equal say and that it doesn’t matter how old you are or what grade you’re in.”
When it comes to putting the puck in the net, Donohue says he and his teammates are expecting big things out of senior forwards Ryan Healey and Matt Hetnik.
“Ryan Healey and Matt Hetnik are coming back this year and they have all the offensive skill in the world,” said Donohue. “We’re confident they will use their offensive skills to help us win games.”
Defensively, Donohue says the Wolverines will be relying heavily on junior Ben Goodrich as their new No. 1 goalkeeper, as well as senior Jake Shields to serve the role as the team’s shutdown defenseman.
“We are looking at Ben Goodrich to step up for us big this season after graduating an All-Star goalie last year,” said Donohue. “Jake Shields will have to step up big this year as a top defenseman in front of Ben.”
Westwood will begin their quest back to the state tournament on December 8 at home against Ashland.
For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0.