Hockey update

Team stymied by schedule and lack of officials


Emily Straetz

On December 14 the varsity hockey team hosted their first home game of the season against Houlton/Hodgdon, winning 5-1. As of right now there has only been one other home game since. Unlike last year, fans are allowed to attend home games, when they happen. “We know the home games are important for our players’ families, but it is also for the youth hockey program and the community at large. We can’t wait to play in front of our fans,” said head coach Carl Flynn.

Cassidy Carlisle, Staff Writer

The PIHS varsity hockey team has been hit hard with the shortage of officials this year. “We’ve gone from about 85 officials down to 55 state wide, and we’ve had crummy weather,” said PIHS athletic director Mark White, “And the ones that are available seem not to be able to make it during the week due to their own work.” 

At the time of publication, the hockey team has had two home games that have yet to be rescheduled and one away game that has been rescheduled. 

The consequences for missed games may not be insurmountable. Because this year is an open tournament, teams don’t have to play all 18 games. In the end, the heal points will be based on how many games any team has been able to play. No team will be punished for not being able to complete their full schedule of games.

While many other teams have been playing games the Wildcats have been working on all their different skills to prepare for when they are able to play again. “We worked on conditioning initially, then we worked on strategy- breakout, offensive zone entry, power play, and penalty kill,” said head coach Carl Flynn. “Lately we have worked on individual skills, particularly one on one play, and puck protection drills.”

Players are working to stay focused, despite the lag time between competitions. “We have been working hard in practice and working on drills that will help us get an upper hand on these next teams,” Isaac Staples ‘25 said.

The hockey team has faced many challenges with having so many games postponed, especially in the second half of the season. “The lack of momentum going into the end of the regular season then into playoffs is challenging,” said Garett Letourneau ’24.

Flynn and Staples believe they have struggled to find their footing, so hopefully these next few games will help with that. “It has been very hard to get our season going and develop any momentum,” Flynn said. Staples added, “It’s a little frustrating, because we have to crunch so many make-up games in a little period of time, but hopefully it will help us get some momentum going.”

Coach Flynn trusts that what his team has shown so far is not all of what they are capable of. “I hope we can start to develop some positive energy, with the help of our fans, and a series of home games,” said Flynn. “So that when we hit the playoffs in three weeks, we will be playing our best hockey of the season.”