State Champions Looking to Repeat
After a historic season, The Denver East Hockey team hopes to have a promising season but with the loss of the seniors and the star goalie, it is a challenge to return to glory. Coming off a 64-7-1 record and seven seniors left for college this year will be tough to get back to the place they were at.
This season the team has high expectations to defend the title and perform well at nationals. With the loss of the star goalie Noel Friedman, who went to play at Northstar, it’s a prep school in Minnesota to try to further his hockey skills to make it to a higher level. Northstar is a AAA hockey team that travels around the country and competes with other programs. With him leaving and the seniors include Kayden Dunham, Colby Asheim, Connor Smithburger, Alex Larchenko, Ben Pedigo, Benjamin Kluza, and former captain Conor Hase. Senior goalie, Sam Cozart tells us “ Even though we lost some key guys, I expect us to make another championship run. Once we start to form chemistry between the new guys and the veterans, this team certainly has what it takes to win another championship.”
This fall season they have gone 12-7 with the leading scores this year being Zeke Romero with 10 goals this fall season, Jack Paterson 15 goals, Nicholas Chadd 13 goals, and Aiden Yourkin with 13 goals. With Captain Zeke Romero on injury reserve not likely to come back for months. Role-players will need to step up to fill the scoring void. However the angels have help on the way, Joe Capra last year's player of the year will return in the winter to provide reinforcement.
Cozart says “ I don't know if a high school team will ever be as good as we were last year. We had high-end talent everywhere on the roster, which is a rarity in high school hockey in Colorado. There is no reason we shouldn't be a championship contender again this year but it will require more of a grind than it did last year.”
The fans want a back-to-back championship but it will take work. With the winter season starting soon all eyes will be set on the team hoping they return back to glory.