The Boys Prep hockey team of Gilmour Academy features players from multiple different states, as well as a select few that come from out of the states. The team competes in the MPHL along with competing against some of the top teams at the 18U AAA level, hoping to make a run at the Mid-America district tournament which will be followed by the 2017 National Championship Tournament held in Pittsburgh, PA this year.
The team got off to a hot start going undefeated in their first eights games at home, making a statement to the rest of the teams in the country. They were then faced with their first lost of the season when the headed to the World Bauer Invite, the largest AAA tournament for 18U, held in Chicago, IL. Going 0-2-2 in the tournament, the boys had a wake up call, and realized that it is going to take a twenty one man roster to compete with some of the top teams in the country.
Head Coach Mike Chiellino stated in the locker room, “Boys, this weekend’s struggles serve as a wake-up call for the rest of the season.” He later stressed the importance that this adversity was facing the team early in the season, as opposed to later on when playoffs were near. He said, “Learning from our mistakes now will ultimately be crucial to our success later in the season.”
After the early struggles in the season, the team put together multiple win streaks to amount to their current record of 34-13-6, where on the way they defeated some of the top 18U AAA teams in the country. The team is currently ranked 38th in the country, the team has also been ranked as high as 26th in the country for 18U AAA before.
While focusing on competing against some of the top teams in the country they are also focused on league play where the team finished first in the Malloy Division, giving them a by into the quarter finals.
Sam Lau (‘17), one of the Prep Hockey team’s captains stated, “I think one of the reasons why we are so successful this year is because we have an older group of players that have played at the Prep level before, which at this age is huge.” Lau talked about how the work ethic and maturity of the team is also another reason for their success. “We have a lot of skill as a team,” he said,” and we have guys that are leading by example both on and off the ice”.
Coach Chiellino shared his insight about why the team has been very successful so far this season. He said, “This team has had some success this season as it is a very tight knit group where the common goal is to be successful as possible through accountability for each other.This is a fun group of guys to be around as they are focused in the classroom, during training, and within the greater Gilmour Academy community.”
The Prep team wrapped up their MPHL playoff weekend falling short to Lake Forest Academy in the semi finals. The team ended up finishing third place in the league with a final record of 14-4-3. After an exciting Senior Night, the team finished their season with a 1-2 record at the USA Hockey Mid-Am District Tournament.