Milford Hockey hopes to excel in new season

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Milford Hockey hopes to excel in new season

Sydney Rice, Managing Editor

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As October concludes, volleyball, swim, and other fall sports at Milford are coming to a close for the 2017 season. Now, winter sports at Milford High School commence, including Milford Hockey.

The hockey program consists of one varsity team that competes in the new LVC conference, which eliminates their toughest competition like Hartland and Brighton. The team still plays at its home arena at Hartland Sports Center.

Last year, the hockey team ended 12-12 and 3-1 in conference play. This summer preseason, the team was over .500 with a win over Lakeland for the first time in 12 years. This season’s home opener is an official face-off between Lakeland and Milford on November 22.

This year, the team is led by a group of 13 seniors including newcomers and previous athletes. The captains are seniors Jacob Briggs, Tyler Conklin, and Mitchell Balaka. Assistant captains also include seniors Brent Anderson and Jacob Quinn.

Conklin, a third-year varsity player who plays center forward, is excited for the upcoming season.

“This year our biggest competition is Lakeland and South Lyon because of their lineups,” said Conklin, “but I am extremely confident that we will be successful this season against them.”

The hockey team has also added an assistant coach that will be joining head coach Dennis Gagnon and assistant coach Bob Nolan. Gagnon coached previously at Livonia Franklin and led them to win a state championship, while Coach Nolan created and coached for the Waterford United team.

“I feel like this is the year for Milford Hockey,” said Briggs, a two-year varsity player. “We have a lot of kids here who have played together for years and it makes us a strong team.”

While the team is made up of mostly upperclassmen, there are also players that are freshmen and sophomores, including new varsity member Ben Kozar.

“I’m most excited to play with experienced seniors who are also my friends,” exclaimed sophomore Kozar.

As practices kicked off in the first week of November, the Mavericks hit the ice for their first scrimmage November 8. The team traveled to Novi and fell 3-4 to the Bobcats. Junior, Connor Meadows, is ready to start the season.

“Our team has a very competitive atmosphere,” said defenseman Meadows, “We are willing to give it our all to win.”

Come and support your hockey team as they begin their season at their first conference game Tuesday, November 14 at Walled Lake Western. Go Mavericks!

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