FHC hockey beats Saginaw Heritage 4-3 in OT – looks forward to big year

Previewing FHC Hockey's Season after a win against one of the state's best teams

FHC hockey beats Saginaw Heritage 4-3 in OT - looks forward to big year

Will Kuiper, Sports Reporter

Head coach Kevin Zaschak knows what he wants his team to be this year: a gritty team that just continues to work. He wants to be a team built off great leadership from every player. He is a coach that is confident in his last line of defense, the goalie. After a state playoff loss to Grand Rapids Catholic Central, the last thing this team wants to do is lose again. But Zaschak knows that it all starts on defense. After all, defense wins championships.

“Our main focus is playing tough defensively,” Zaschak said. “We feel if we take care of the defensive zone and eliminate turnovers in the neutral zone, we will be able to compete each night.”

Defense in hockey begins with play in the net. He has two goalies on his roster this year. The first is senior Drake Deering. The second is sophomore Carl Mielock.

“We are very lucky to have not only two very good goalies,” Zaschak said. “But also two great young men who support each other on and off the ice. No matter who is playing in net the other goalie supports and helps their partner. It’s special when you have two young men who put the team before themselves.”

Zaschak and his coaching staff realize what kind of a luxury it is to have a team with great character and leadership. He says that he wants every player on his team to be a great leader “whether they are wearing a ‘C’ or ‘A’ on their jersey or not.” The coaches know that they coach a team of high character also.

“We love our community and schools,” said Zaschak who, along with two other coaches, lives in the FHC area and has children attending FHC schools. “We want our hockey players to be fantastic student athletes and role models. We are blessed to have not only great young men but also ones that work very hard and represent our school and community to a high level. It’s a very special group.”

Even with a talented group there is always room for improvement. Zaschak just wants his team to get progressively better and try to make a playoff run at the end of the year.

Last night, the FHC hockey team showed tremendous progression by beating a state power, Saginaw Heritage, 4-3 in overtime. Junior Charlie Brewer slid in the game winning goal off of a shot from Zak Currie. Currie had one goal earlier in the game also. However, it wasn’t about Zak or Charlie, but an all around team effort by every player on FHC’s team.

“Our team worked hard,” Charlie said. “We did really well. We did the best we could and it was a team effort.”

Even though seven goals were scored, it was defense and the physical play from both sides, and especially FHC that defined this game.

“We are trying to play physical and defensive-minded,” Zaschak said. “They took it to us last year so our goal was to take it to them, turn it around, and play physical.”

This win, according to the head coach, is “huge.” He was so proud of the way that his team fought through injuries and ended up with the win after being beat by them 3-0 last year. He has total confidence in his team.

When asked if they can compete with anyone in the state he had one simple answer: “Yes, I do.”