Hitting the ice

Freedom hockey players begin their season with Central Valley Warriors


Brigette Richard

Trying to get the puck, senior Matthew Keller skates down the ice against Bishop Canevin on Nov. 11.

Not having a Freedom hockey team means that any Freedom hockey player plays for the Central Valley Warriors. This Warriors team isn’t just made up of Freedom and Central Valley players though. The team is made up of players from six different schools in Beaver County: Freedom, Central Valley, Beaver Falls, New Brighton, Hopewell and Riverside. There are five players on the team from Freedom: seniors Matthew Keller, Mark Evans and Jesse Nelson.The freshmen are Chase Grable and Aiden Pournaras.

The Warriors 2020-2021 hockey season was pushed back multiple weeks due to COVID-19 and they finally began in November. The season tipped off with the Warriors traveling away to take on the Wilmington Greyhounds on Nov. 3. The game ended in a tough loss for the Warriors in which the Greyhounds found the back of the net 13 times and won 13-0.

“It wasn’t really the start to the season that we wanted, but we are a young team and I’m sure we will only continue to grow,” Keller said. 

After losing five seniors last year, the team gained eight new freshmen, meaning that the team will have a big foundation to build on moving forward.

“Being a freshman is tough having to play against kids way older than me, but my main goal is just to be an asset to the team and help be the reason we win,” Pournaras said. 

The Warriors then took on Bishop Canevin on their home ice, Brady’s Run Ice Rink. This game ended with the Warriors taking another huge loss by a score of 14-1. This was the last game the Warriors had played until Dec. 3, when the Warriors will get a rematch against the Wilmington Greyhounds. This is due to the fact that their scheduled game against the Burrell Buccaneers on Nov. 23 was canceled due to COVID-19 related reasons. The pandemic still continues to affect the team’s schedule. 

“It has been tough to get into any type of rhythm because of all the changes that happen week to week. We have a very young team this year and the upperclassmen will be expected to step up and help out a lot,” Keller said.

The team definitely will have high expectations moving forward as they hope to make the playoffs. 

“I’m sure there will be bumps in the road, but I am just focused on doing what the coaches and captains say the best I can,” Grable explained. 

This seems to be the general consensus throughout the team as they will continue their season. Last season, the team finished with a record of 3-14, and this season, they will try and improve on that record.