Editor's note: Malden Catholic senior captain and UNH-commit Mike Vecchione checks in with his first Player Diary installment with a look ahead ahead to the postseason, the Lancers' chances at a Super Eight title and keeping the team focused down the stretch.
Coming down the home stretch of my final season at Malden Catholic, everything seems to be going quite well.
I feel the team is really clicking and we are working hard to get that Super Eight title that we have had our eyes on for the past three years but could never quite reach. Every day at practice we are working hard to get better and setting goals for our team to lead us up to the Super Eight tournament.
One of our first goals was to become a team. We strayed away from that after losing to Hingham and then tying BC High the next game. It seemed like everyone on the team felt sorry for themselves because we lost a game. It is hard to be perfect and I don't think anyone thought we would be perfect because we are only kids. But we make mistakes and some games just didn't go our way, especially when we play as individuals.
However, when we play as a team and do all the little things right, we are a hard to beat. We have all the talent, work ethic, and maturity on our team, but if we use these things as individuals, we only beat ourselves.
After becoming a team, the next thing we set in sight was the Catholic Conference Championship, which we have not won since entering the league long ago. Once we came together and played like a team, we clinched the Catholic Conference title for the first time in school history after beating two great teams -- Xaverian and BC High.
As of right now, our eyes are set on the Super Eight title and we know it will not be an easy task. Every team is going to play us at 100 percent and leave it all on the ice. We can not walk into a game thinking we can just show up and win because hockey is an unpredictable sport; one wrong bounce and the game can be lost. The other night against St. Mary's [of Lynn] was a perfect example that we cannot take a team lightly. They are a talented, hardworking team that played us extremely hard and we just did not get the bounces we needed. We ran into a hot goalie [Donald Hesse] that kept them in the game and we made careless mistakes that St. Mary's capitalized on. We cannot take credit away from them because they were prepared to play and played us very well.
My plans for next year are undecided so far, but I just want to keep my head clear and focused on the team and finishing out my final season at MC. However, I do know that I will most likely play a year of juniors whether it is out in Nebraska, where I was drafted to the Tri-City Storm in the USHL, or play in the EJHL or BCHL.
For now, we just hope this season will turn out the way we want it to. But we know it is not going to come easily.