‘Sticking together’: camaraderie proves to be the winning factor for boys hockey Senior Night


Photo courtesy of Jessica Sehgal

Jessica Sehgal, Executive Editor

Following the girls hockey game on Saturday night, the boys hockey’s Senior Night was off to a similar start. A little over halfway into the first period, Oak Park River Forest (OPRF) scored, paving an early 1-0 lead. But, the Kits were quick to reverse this trend. Less than one minute later, senior Sean Kennedy raced down the ice, passing the puck off to sophomore Kingston Scrim, who shot it in the goal, tying the game up 1-1.

Heading into the second quarter, the Kits were determined to take the lead, and ten minutes in, they succeeded; senior Titan Mrozik’s goal put Evanston up 2-1.

“One play that really comes to mind is Titan’s goal,” head coach Del Morris recalls. “When he came through the front of the net, he came through like he was shot out of a cannon; he just flew in there, took a lot of sticks to the legs, took a lot of body contact, stayed with it and put the puck in the net.”

Once Evanston had the lead, they refused to lose it. With less than two minutes left in the second period, senior Luke Flangel scored their third goal of the night, placing the Kits two points ahead of OPRF as they entered the third period. Now, with the clock ticking down, both teams battled even harder for the victory. Seven minutes in, OPRF scored, reducing Evanston’s lead to only one point, leaving the Kits unsatisfied. With only 18 seconds left on the clock, senior Jimmy Val took advantage of the frazzled OPRF defense, scoring the final goal of the night and ending the game at 4-2, Kits victory. 

“Overall, we played really well. I was really pleased that we could win, and it was just so much fun,” shares senior Ryder Bellios.

Other seniors leaving the program this year include Jack Clair, Will Dunlap, Nick Ghate, Garrett O’Hara, Rajko Marich and Francisco Patel.

“[Our seniors] are like one big, happy family, and it’s been awhile since we’ve had a team like this that just gel on and off the ice. I think they really show all of the younger guys that sticking together is how we win,” Morris notes.

While Morris admires the communal impact that the senior class has left on the program, Bellios is looking for his lasting mark on the team to be more concrete.

“We have playoffs coming up soon, and I think winning a championship would be a lot of fun.”

Boys hockey next plays Saint Viator at home on Wednesday, Jan. 25, you won’t want to miss it!