Boys’ hockey celebrates senior night

Team ends regular season on high note, looks on to Sections


Emily Ziessman

Senior Bobby Doss shoves Bloomington Jefferson’s junior Pierce Thomka while reaching for the puck. Park finished the regular season with an overall record of 16-9-0.

Maggie Klaers and Marta Hill

As senior Alex Riley reflected on his last game at Park, he said it was a bittersweet experience.

“It was kind of sad, but kind of cool to see everybody kind of saluting us and honoring us and almost like a little send off,” Riley said. “A little sad, especially since you’ve been playing hockey since you were five.”

In the Feb. 15 matchup, Park defeated Bloomington Jefferson 5-1. This victory places Park third in the Metro West Conference.

According to senior Avery Pittman, senior night evoked many emotions for the team, but it was a good way to recognize the last regular season game for seniors. 

“There’s a lot of emotions definitely before the game was pretty sad, but it’s been a really wild ride and I wouldn’t have rather done it anywhere else,” Pittman said.

Riley said he experienced his first varsity shift during the Feb. 15 game.

“It was my first time playing varsity,” Riley said. “It was pretty cool, just to be honored and get a chance.”

According to coach Brent Cornelius, this win puts Park finishing third in the Metro West conference and is a reflection of Park’s improvement in recent years. 

“It’s huge to get over that hump. In the past we’ve had to battle with teams like this, but we can prove that we’re a little bit better at times and if we can play consistent, stay in the moment hockey, we will be right there,” Cornelius said. 

When Park faced off against Bloomington Jefferson earlier this season, they lost 2-4. Riley said the Feb. 15 game illustrated the team’s improvement over the season. 

“It shows that we can beat a team by more than we did before,” Riley said. “It sets the tone for how we should play during Sections.”

According to Cornelius, because of the fast pace of Section play, the team will need to come prepared. 

“Once you receive (your seeding) and you play a specific team that you’re pitted against it goes quick,” Cornelius said. “You play one game, then you play a second game, then you play a third…. These boys are gonna have to come out ready to go and have that endurance up.”

Pittman said success in Sections hinges upon the team’s ability to work together.

“Everyone has to buy in,” Pittman said. “It’s gonna take every guy and every shift is going to be hard, so everyone’s got to buy in. Everyone’s going to be a part of it.”

Cornelius said although it isn’t a certainty yet, Park is likely to play Benilde-St. Margaret’s in the first game of Sections. He also said the Feb. 15 game solidified the team’s seeding in sixth place for 6AA Sections.

“That’s a great match-up, because they beat us good the last game we played them, but we came out strong and playing as a team,” Cornelius said. “If we can keep that going, might be a good win for the good guys.”

Pittman said he has faith Park will perform to the best of its abilities in Section games. 

“We have a really tough Section, but that’s how it is every year and I’m confident in our team. I’m hoping that we can do well in the first game,” Pittman said.