Somerville High Winter 2011-12 Preview: Ice Hockey

(written and photographed for Somerville Patch)

With the 2011-12 Somerville High winter season about to begin, Somerville Patch will be previewing all seven of the Highlander teams. Unsure how the Highlanders did last year? Want to know who might impact the upcoming season? Just want to know when the first game is? Read on and find out.

Boys’ Ice Hockey

2010 record: 11-8-1 overall; 4-2-0 in Greater Boston League

The Highlanders came up a game short of a Greater Boston League championship last season, then lost to Triton in the first round of the playoffs. With 19 players returning this season, boys’ ice hockey coach Chuck Allen is looking for even more.

“The kids buy into what we’re trying to do,” says Allen, who’s coaching his third season with the Highlanders.

Allen says his system encourages not just good hockey, but also good academic habits and behavior, including wearing shirts and ties on game days.

“Coaching hockey is the easy part of coaching,” Allen says. “Trying to do enough academically, how they’re acting in school, that’s the hard stuff.”

“Games are fun. Practice is work.”

First 2011 game: Wednesday, 12/13 at Methuen, 5 p.m.

Home Opener: Saturday, 12/17 vs. Northeast Regional at Veterans Memorial Skating Rink, 8 p.m.

Returning GBL All-Stars (Second Team): Charlie O’Leary, senior forward and captain

“Charlie brings leadership,” Allen says. “Four years on varsity, the way he presents himself on and off the ice, in school, in the dressing room, he’s kind of like a role model for some of the younger kids coming up.”

Dan Camara, junior forward

“He’s very skilled,” Allen says. “He has good hands. He sees the ice. He’s a smart hockey player.”

Key to the season: Defense

“Everything starts with the defense,” Allen says. “If you keep the puck out of your zone, they can’t score.”

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