Utica Eisenhower senior goaltender Andrew Grewette stops a puck Jan. 31 against Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett. The Eagles won 4-2. At press time, Grewette had a 3.71 goals-against average and a .893 save percentage.

Utica Eisenhower senior goaltender Andrew Grewette stops a puck Jan. 31 against Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett. The Eagles won 4-2. At press time, Grewette had a 3.71 goals-against average and a .893 save percentage.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Eisenhower hockey working as a team during win streak

By: Jacob Herbert | Shelby - Utica News | Published February 4, 2019

 Eisenhower senior forward Zach Fortress carries the puck up ice in a recent game against Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett. At press time, the Eagles were 11-6-2 overall and in the midst of a 11-game winning streak.

Eisenhower senior forward Zach Fortress carries the puck up ice in a recent game against Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett. At press time, the Eagles were 11-6-2 overall and in the midst of a 11-game winning streak.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Advertisement

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — It’s one of the most used phrases in sports, and there’s a reason for it. Learning to play as a team can go a long way when it comes to having a successful season.

One of the latest examples comes from coach Bob Hall and the Utica Eisenhower hockey team.

Through the season’s first eight games, the Eagles were 0-6-2 overall and were being outscored 34-10. Ike has since gone on a 11-game winning streak, outscoring opponents 35-21. At press time, the Eagles were 11-6-2 overall.

“We’ve really started to work as a team more,” senior defenseman Jared Kraski said. “In the beginning, I feel like we were more selfish, but now we’re working as a team, obviously, and following the plans of our coaches.”

Kraski said the team had a discussion about its play during the losing streak, and all it needed was the taste of one win to get things turned around.

Following the plan of their coaches has been a key factor in getting the season turned around. In order for that to happen, the coaches had to put their players in the position to succeed.

“It’s finding what works for our boys,” Hall said. “A lot of this is systematic hockey, so you have to make sure that you have the right system for your team. Right now it seems to be working.”

The system that Hall and his staff put in place centers around playing disruptive hockey that tries to generate opportunities off of other teams’ mistakes. He called his team a “gritty” one that will grind other teams down in order to secure a victory.

As well as the system has been working for the Eagles, there are players who Hall said have helped bring the team along.

Goaltenders Salvatore Carabelli and Andrew Grewette are players who the coach pointed to when it comes to the success of the team. Carabelli has recorded a 2.18 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage, and Grewette has a 3.71 goals-against average with a .893 save percentage.

Hall also noted that senior defensemen Blake Kuczaj and Peyton Medovarsky “are really shining” on the team right now.

Offensively, the Eagles feel comfortable running all four lines consistently on any given night.

“Offensively, it’s clicking,” Hall said. “Even our third line is grinding it out. Our fourth line is getting good minutes because they’re out there working hard. They’re making things happen and they’re being disruptive. It’s fun to watch.”

As the season starts to wind down, the Eagles are looking to be playing their best hockey come playoff time, and they are trending in that direction on this win streak.

For now, Hall and the Eagles are focused on taking things one game at a time.

“We have a tough schedule, and we’re just looking to keep getting better every day and every game,” he said. “That’s our focus right now. It’s not about one or two individuals — it’s about the team. That’s our attitude, that’s our mentality, and hopefully we can take that into the playoffs.”

Advertisement