January 9, 2019

With Talented Junior Evaldi Growing Into a Force, Hun Boys’ Hockey Building on Purple Puck Title

FIRING AWAY: Hun School boys’ hockey player Eddie Evaldi sends the puck up the ice in recent action. Last Wednesday, junior star Evaldi tallied three goals and two assists to help Hun defeat Princeton High 7-3 at Hobey Baker Rink. The Raiders, now 9-4, play at Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) on January 9 and at Seton Hall Prep on January 11. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Eddie Evaldi is developing into a force for the Hun School boys’ hockey team this winter.

Going from 5’3 as a freshman to 5’10 as a junior, Evaldi is a bigger, improved version of himself.

“I have grown a lot; that has really helped my confidence,” said Evaldi. “With that, my speed has also increased. I have been working a lot on my acceleration stuff and have really brought that to my game.”

Last Wednesday against Princeton High at Hobey Baker Rink, Evaldi displayed his all-around game, tallying three goals and two assists, helping Hun pull away to a 7-3 victory as it improved to 9-4.

“It is always nice to pick up points, it is actually the first hat trick of my high school career,” said Evaldi.

In reflecting on his big night, Evaldi was quick to credit his teammates.

“I am playing with a Notre Dame commit [Matt Argentina], another kid, Brian Nelson, who has 35 points right now and Aidan McDowell, who should be playing Division I,” said Evaldi.

“Hayden Watson is big and is a great player as well. I have really great players around me so it is not really hard to get so many points.”

The Raiders were feeling great about themselves coming into the clash with PHS after reeling off five straight wins from December 28-30 on the way to earning the title at the Purple Puck tournament in the Washington, D.C. area.

“We were 3-4 and then we went into Purple Puck and going 5-0 really raised our confidence,” said Evaldi. “It was nice to win a tournament. We had in our minds that we going to win this game.”

Hun head coach Ian McNally believes that his team’s run at the Purple Puck could be a turning point this season.

“The Purple Puck was awesome,” said McNally. “It was kind of unexpected; we even said it feels like something special is happening here. We are finding different ways to win and different guys stepping up. Everything went right in the tournament, even when it didn’t, we made it right by the end of the game.”

Evaldi has been stepping up for the Raiders, starring at both ends of the ice.

“Eddie has been playing defense all of last year and so far this year; I decided to change it up a little bit so we have got him playing center now which gives him free rein,” said McNally.

“Every second he has the puck, he draws more attention to himself. He takes it up here and moves all around and all of a sudden everyone is panicking and chasing him. He has got eyes in row back of his head and all of a sudden he is passing it to one of his teammates.”

The team’s big five of Evaldi, junior defenseman Watson, sophomore forward Argentina, senior forward Nelson, and senior defenseman McDowell have been getting in sync.

“Those guys as a unit have become a pretty lethal combination,” said McNally.

“Every time they are on the ice, they possess the puck. They are creating goal scoring chances. It is like watching a power play all the time. If you are against them on the other team, basically you can’t let them get the puck because the second they do, it is gone, they are up the ice and are behind the defense.”

With Hun heading into the thick of its Mid-Atlantic Prep league (MAHL) schedule, McNally is confident his team will keep playing well as it looks to place in the top four and make the league playoffs.

“We are in a tough spot because we are already 0-3 in our league, we usually only play one league game in December,” said McNally, whose team plays at Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) on January 9 in an MAHL contest and they plays a non-league game against Seton Hall Prep on January 11.

“We are in a hole, but in the three years we have been doing this, somebody always finishes 3-3 and makes the playoffs. We can still finish 3-3 so that is the goal.”

Evaldi, for his part, believes that the Raiders can achieve that  goal. “We are going in the right direction, we are starting to click,” said Evaldi. “I feel there is a good possibility we are going to win those three games and go into the playoffs on a high.”