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Gonzaga hockey team heats up as they chase fourth straight MAPHL title

Feral+Dinn+leading+celebration+after+goal+against+Spalding
Feral Dinn leading celebration after goal against Spalding
By Malik Lansdown –

After an injury-riddled middle part of the season, the Gonzaga hockey team begins to heat up following its strong performance at the Jesuit Tournament in Chicago.

“Our team has been showing steady improvement throughout the season, but most noticeably after our recent trip to Chicago,” said Varsity I Head Coach Samuel Gerdano. “The tournament forced us to learn how to play faster and got us used to playing a more physical game. These are two areas of our play that we needed to improve upon in order to capture a fourth-straight championship this year.”

Team takes the ice before game against St. John’s.

“After the tournament, I feel like we definitely improved as a team,” said Colin O’Leary, senior and team captain. “We’re starting to get a lot of our younger guys with less experience more playing time, and I think it’s helped them.”

The Eagles currently stand at 11-6-4, as of Jan. 24, 2020. After a nice string of wins at the start of the year, the team found itself having ups and downs from week to week, and injuries starting to pile up, especially on the blue line.

“Injuries have been frustrating this year, but every team deals with them,” Gerdano said. “What separates Gonzaga apart from other schools dealing with the same issue is our depth.”

One of these depth players, Jayson Diner, senior, has been permanently called up to the Varsity I team based on his play.

“Jayson is a physical stay at home defensemen who plays within himself,” Gerdano stated.

“The game is a lot faster for sure,” said Diner when asked about his transition to the top team. “But everyone has been very supportive in helping me adjust.”

Other defenseman, including juniors Jack Mowrey and Josh Park, have seen their roles grow throughout the season.

“Jack Mowrey has made tremendous strides growing more confident and has all the tools to be a rock solid defensemen for us,” Gerdano stated when asked who has stepped up as a result of injuries.

Park, who transferred from Spalding this year, is coming off a torn ACL and has fit nicely into the lineup.

Team celebrates goal over Spalding.

“Josh Park has been making steady progress since his Gonzaga hockey debut a couple of weeks ago,“ Gerdano stated. “And has been doing a fantastic job for us as he is still getting his legs back under him.”

With the forward core’s production being lead by seniors Feral Dinn (24G-19A-43P) and Luca Docking (11G-13A-24P), the team has their sights on making another deep run in a league that has seen more parity than ever before.

“It is no secret to us that the league has been getting stronger. As we saw last year, any team that gets into the playoffs is capable of winning a game, maybe even the entire tournament. Every one of us knows what is on the line and what it is going to take. We want to make sure, as has been the case in the past, that Gonzaga is playing its best hockey throughout the month of February,” Gerdano said.

The team’s next game, senior night, takes place against St. Alban’s Monday, Feb. 3 at Fort Dupont Ice Arena.

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