December 14, 2022

Although Winning Streak Snapped by Holy Ghost, Hun Boys’ Hockey Still Confident Going Forward

SWOOPING IN: Hun School boys’ hockey player Elian Estulin, left, tracks down a puck in a game earlier this season. Last Friday, senior star and team captain Estulin picked up two assists in a losing cause as Hun fell 7-3 to Holy Ghost Prep (Pa.). In upcoming action, the Raiders, now 5-4, play at LaSalle College High (Pa.) on December 14 and get a rematch at Holy Ghost Prep (Pa.) on December 16. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Riding a three-game winning streak, outscoring its foes 25-0 in that stretch, the Hun School boys’ hockey team was rolling as it hosted Holy Ghost Prep (Pa.) last Friday evening at the Ice Land Skating Center.

Midway through the second period, it looked like the good times were going to keep coming as Hun took 3-1 lead on Justin Laplante’s second goal of the contest.

Hun head coach Ian McNally liked where his team’s mentality was as it had overcome an early 1-0 deficit against Atlantic Prep Athletic Conference (APAC) rival Holy Ghost with two straight goals in a 50 second span late in the first period to take a 2-1 lead.

“Things were going good so I think the mindset coming into this was more like things are good right now rather than we are playing Ghost,” said McNally. “We didn’t start that well but we responded by scoring goals.”

Unfortunately for the Raiders, Holy Ghost responded with four unanswered goals in the last eight minutes of the second period and never looked back on the way to a 7-3 win.

“They have three or four really good offensive players, and they just hung around long enough until the momentum changed,” said McNally, whose team moved to 5-4 with the defeat. “It is not like they were coming out of their zone and around all of us scoring goals. We would turn over the puck and they would take advantage of it. They were pesky, and eventually we would make a poor decision with a pass or using a backhand instead of a forehand. We would turn it over and it was ‘oh boy, three guys are coming.’”

Hun boasts a really good offensive player in junior transfer Laplante, who also picked up an assist against Holy Ghost to go with his two goals.

“Justin has been awesome, he is so fast and strong,” said McNally, who also got a goal from Scott Richmond in the loss with Ryan Levesque chipping in three assists. “You can see it happening. There are times where he creates a little space and separation and they see it and pass the puck to him and it is ‘see you.’ You know he is about to blow by everybody. He has definitely found the scoresheet the last three or four games. He has been great, he is certainly one of our more effective players now.”

In the wake of what happened on Friday, McNally is looking for more leadership from his veterans when the team is hit with some misfortune.

“I would hope having gone through this, that the next time there is a little adversity like that, we deal with it,” said McNally. “I am interested in seeing who steps up and leads us from here on out. When you could feel the mood on the bench changing and the score was changing, I am not sure I saw anybody on our team be like, I got this, follow me. We are going to need some of that because there are going to be times every game where it is not going our way.”

With Hun playing at LaSalle College High (Pa.) on December 14 and getting a rematch at Holy Ghost on December 16, McNally is confident that his squad can get back on the winning track.

“We are not going to take much out of this game beyond like we blew it because things have been good,” said McNally. “This isn’t back to the drawing board. It is not that we couldn’t play with them or whatever. We continued to give them opportunities and power plays and it bit us.”