Utica Eisenhower junior Param Vyas tries to escape from a defender in a game against rival Macomb Dakota Dec. 4. At press time, Vyas had scored two goals, recorded two assists and led the team in points with four.

Utica Eisenhower junior Param Vyas tries to escape from a defender in a game against rival Macomb Dakota Dec. 4. At press time, Vyas had scored two goals, recorded two assists and led the team in points with four.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Eisenhower hockey figuring out who they are

By: Jacob Herbert | Shelby - Utica News | Published December 10, 2018

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Utica Eisenhower hockey has gotten used to gutsy, grind-it-out performances so far this season. The team employed that exact style of play in a 2-1 overtime loss to Macomb Dakota Dec. 4 at Suburban Ice Macomb.

“That’s the way we will have to play this year,” coach Bob Hall said. “We’re a team of grinders and hardworking players.”

At press time, Ike sat at 0-3-2 overall.

Hall said that so far this season, his team has either played a game against a top-15 team in the state or a rivalry game against a top team from the area.

The coach believes playing the tough competition now will help his team make a run come playoff time. Since teams don’t have to battle for playoff spots, he wants the Eagles to be playing their best hockey by February and March.

“I’ll be honest,” Hall said. “I would rather be 1-24 and make it to the state championship game than be 25-0 and lose in the first game of the playoffs. I’m all about making the run at the end of the year — that’s our goal. We want to make an impressive run at the end of the year, and having a tough schedule prepares us for that. It better prepare us for that.”

Hall believes he sees progress in his team already in this young season. He said things are all coming together according to plan as the players start to realize their potential.

“You see the kids starting to get it,” he said. “You see the kids starting to see the impact of playing for your high school.

“What we really have to get better at is we have to learn how to win,” he continued. “We have to learn how to finish. Once they do that, they’re going to be hard to beat. They’re hard to beat now, and they haven’t figured it out yet.”

Leading the team this year are a plethora of players, starting with goaltender Salvatore Carabelli, who boasts a 1.38 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage.

Hall called his junior goaltender a leader who other players look up to. Hall called him an outstanding and competitive young man who goes out there and does his job. Carabelli has been known to be a vocal and boisterous leader.

As for his seniors, Hall listed Jacob Latorella, Blake Kuczaj, Peyton Medovarsky and Jared Kraski as players helping to guide this year’s team.

“They’re all good young men,” the coach said. “They’re character men. They do their due diligence on and off the ice. They work hard.”

Hall noted that there are also younger players to be on the lookout for as their time with Ike moves forward. Junior forward Param Vyas leads the team in points with four (two goals, two assists). This is Vyas’ first year playing high school hockey, and his coach is looking for him to adapt to the style of play that comes with it.

Other rising juniors on the team include forwards Jack Hammond and Jason Geiger.

In terms of goals set for the season, it’s obvious that the Eagles want to win the MAC title and make a strong playoff run. But Hall said there’s one other thing he and the players are vying for this season.

“Bottom line is, we’re looking for respect across the board,” he said. “Respect for each other, respect for coaches and players, respect from our opponents. We’re playing for that respect factor right now.”

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