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LOUISVILLE – They may have practice in the fog at times, but the Oldham County ice hockey team has not played in a fog this year.
The team, made up of players from all three local high schools, has posted a 7-0 record this season.
“I don’t think we are really that surprised at how we have started,” defender Austin Majors said. “We have a pretty good amount of talent on the team and a lot of us have been playing for a long time.”
The team’s most recent victory came in an 11-0 rout of Trinity. They also own wins over Owensboro and Fern Creek in addition to beating four Lexington schools in Henry Clay, Dunbar, Lafayette and Lexington Catholic. Most of the games have been blowouts, the closest scores a 4-2 win over Catholic and an 8-5 win over Lafayette.
“They’re a great group of kids and very talented,” coach John Olivet said. “I really just have to give them a little bit of guidance and let them go out and play.”
The team has some big games coming, including a pair with St. X and Eastern, leading toward the state in Lexington, March 6 to 8.
The league is affiliated with the Louisville Youth Hockey Association and games are played at the Iceland and Alpine ice rinks.
They practice at Alpine, where it can get a bit foggy when the compressors aren’t running.
Most of the Oldham County players are northern transplants who moved to the area, and have plenty of experience on club teams.
“Most of us are playing or practicing just about every day,” center Conner Matsen said. “We start working out in August for the club teams.”
Matsen, Major and Sal Olivet all started playing youth hockey as 8-year-olds. Olivet, the team’s goalie started playing in New York.
All three said hockey, and especially youth hockey, is one of the most dominant sports in the northeast and western part of the country.
“It’s like basketball down here, it’s just what you do,” Sal Olivet said. “Most everyone’s dad played and they have brothers that played.”
The players are also involved in other sports at their respective schools. Olivet plays baseball at South Oldham, Major is a member of the lacrosse team at NOHS and Matsen plays golf for Oldham County.
The players themselves have also managed to recruit a few new members from the school halls.
“We put out some flyers and a bunch of guys showed interest, and a few stuck with it,” Matsen said. “Once you learn to skate well, and it’s not that hard to do that, the rest of it is just a matter of practicing and playing.”
They have also convinced some of their classmates to come out and watch a game and said most came back a second or even third time.
“I think once they came out and saw it they really liked it,” Major said. “It’s pretty fast and there are a lot of collisions.”
In addition to Matsen, Olivet and Major, team members are Ivan Afanasyev, Alexi Afanasyev, David Bechard, Teddy Brady, Brian Hennessey, Robbie Hennessey, Cole Morrow, Kayla McGrath, Austin Morrow, Hunter Shacklette and Scott Thompson.
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