WO Hockey: Hard Work and Dedication

Isaac Sierra

Furiously dashing down the ice, the forward prepares to take a shot. He scores and celebrates as his team takes the lead. The West Ottawa Varsity hockey team is shining with talent and skill this year and is performing well against its opponents. West Ottawa does not have an ordinary hockey team, but what in particular makes West Ottawa’s team unique from its opponents?

 All sports teams have their strengths and weaknesses, and all coaches have to learn to cope with them. The West Ottawa team is privileged to have an experienced coach and a well-developed team. Although some very talented seniors from last year have graduated, the team is in top shape and competing well.

 One unique attribute to the team is its extreme dedication to the sport. “We have a hard nosed, gritty style of play. We like to get pucks in deep, forecheck hard, and play the body. We block a lot of shots in our end, sacrifice the body, and pay the price to be successful,” Varsity Hockey Coach Nicholas Biondo said. Most teams are determined to win, but the West Ottawa boys clearly have a special sense of dedication propelling them to victory.

   The fundamental importance of practice is widely known, but the way practices are run is determined by each individual team. The WO hockey team takes advantage of practices to its full extent and each practice is modified based on previous team performances. “Our practices are high energy and high tempo. We condition daily, encourage competition, and modify drills based on what we view in film sessions,” Biondo said. Building off of each performance with the usage of videotaping, the team sees each mistake as a way to improve and each practice is highly intensive in an endeavor to minimize mistakes. Many hockey teams have incredible natural talent but no work ethic, so they fail to perform. The WO hockey team works extremely hard in practices and their well-exercised techniques are consistently displayed in games.

 The final standout attribute of the WO hockey team is its excellent team chemistry. Most teams function adequately together, but there is typically some bitterness and negative competitiveness for playtime. The WO hockey team has only healthy competition with minimal bitterness towards each other. “We have some players that are naturally gifted athletes as well as some players that simply work their butts off. There is great chemistry in our locker room and the boys have a ton of fun together. There is a sense of brotherhood with our group that makes it easy for them to work together and our success over the past 2-3 years is a testament to that,” Biondo said. The variety of talent and work ethic make the team unique and it gives them an edge over their opponents. Every player benefits the team in some way, and the overall effect is a team with spectacular chemistry and skill.

 The WO hockey team has a significant advantage over its opponents due to its dedicated style of play, strong practices, and team chemistry. They have played extremely well over the past few years and they have started off the season exceptionally this year. Make sure to come out and support the team at their next game!