Culver Athletics Winter Break Recap

CGA Prep Hockey

On December 13-15, Culver Girls Academy Prep Hockey traveled out to Cushing Academy (MA) to participate in the Watkins Invitational Hockey Tournament where they would take on Cushing Academy, Berkshire School (MA), The Winchendon School (MA) and eventually New Hampton School (NH).

With good goaltending from McKinley Hoff ’20 (Anchorage, AK) and goals from Margaret Groszek ’21 (Chicago, IL) and Madilynn Hickey ’19 (Lowell, IN) the Culver Girls Academy was able to top Berkshire 2-1. The Eagles fought hard in their second game against Cushing Academy, however fell 3-2 with a late 3rd period goal from Cushing. In their third contest against The Winchendon School, goals were harder to come by as the Eagles fell 3-0. In their last game before the Christmas break, the Eagles fought hard the entire game with goals from Megan McKay ’22 (Carmel, IN), Madilynn Hickey ’19 (Lowell, IN) and Marissa Dolorfino ’19 (Cadillac, MI) but ultimately falling in overtime 4-3.

Madilynn Hickey would go on and be named to the All-Tournament team recorded two goals and one assist in those four games. Overall, first year head coach Brian Idalski has been pleased with the play of his team through the first half of the season. “At the end of the day we continue to compete and gave ourselves opportunities to win,” said Idalski.

Culver Girls Hockey will be in action next at 1:00pm on January 19 at Henderson Ice Arena when they take on the Madison Capitals.

CMA Prep Hockey

On December 14-16, CMA Prep Hockey traveled to Massachusetts to compete at Lawrence Academy against some of the nation’s premier high school boys hockey programs; the three day trip included games against Dexter Southfield (MA), Lawrence Academy (MA) and Pomfret School (CT), respectively. The Dexter match-up featured a tight checking, low scoring, and gritty battle. Unfortunately, the Eagles lost, falling 1-0. Regulation time wasn’t enough in the match-up with Lawrence Academy, the second game of the trip. One over-time period and a shootout lasting 14 rounds ensued before CMA’s Nathan Cesarski ’19 (Columbus, IN) was able to find the back of the net and seal the win. With their last game before the break, the Eagles tasked Levi Gho ’20 (Fairbanks, AK) between the pipes against Pomfret. Gho played exceptionally well, and with tallies on the offensive end from Jacob Eckerle ’19 (Indianapolis, IN), Fisher Shea ’19 (Culver, IN) and Noah Henry ’20 (Milton, GA), the squad managed a 3-2 win to conclude the trip.

“We battled some adversity early on, but our guys show resiliency and the staff is proud of them for that,” said head coach Steve Palmer in his sixth season with the program. “We saw improvement in a lot of individuals as well as our ability to play as a team, which resulted in two quality wins over two quality opponents.”

After a brief period of time off, the CMA Prep Hockey team traveled to Cushing Academy (MA) to begin tournament play on December 28th. The opening round gave the team a chance at redemption, with an opportunity to take on Dexter who had dealt the Eagles their most recent loss. With another game of solid goaltending by Grant Adams and goals coming from Beau Fixari ’19 (Gahanna, OH) and Maksis Brimanis ’20 (Anchorage, AK), Culver was able to come out on top this time 2-1. In hopes of keeping their three-game streak alive, Culver took on Thayer Academy (MA). Coach Palmer’s squad played hard, but Thayer got the best of the exchange, winning 3-2. With little time to dwell on the loss, the Eagles took on Canterbury School (CT) the same day. CMA kept the theme of strong defense intact, allowing few opportunities while the offense managed to capitalize on three scoring chances in route to a 3-0 shutout victory. The last game of the road trip did not go as planned as Culver took on Lawrence Academy once more. Offensively, the Culver group struggled to find its rhythm, and Lawrence was able to cash in on a couple of defensive errors resulting in a 2-0 win for Lawrence.

Boys Prep will play next on January 12, when the Chicago Mission travels to Culver. The puck is set to drop at 4:00pm at Henderson Ice Arena.

CMA U16 Hockey

Beginning its break, CMA U16 Hockey traveled an hour north to South Bend December 14-16 to compete in the Green Puck Showcase. The entire team, most notably its goaltenders, played exceptional hockey. Matt Loney ’21 (Highland, CA), Garrett Littleton ’21 (Dallas, TX) and Cole Evans ’21 (Kalamazoo, MI) all saw action over the weekend between the pipes, and all managed to record shutouts. The quality goaltending received plenty of offensive support for the entirety of the showcase, resulting in an impressive 3-1-0 record and scoring 15 goals while allowing only three. The full results from the showcase are as follows:

CMA v Green Bay Gamblers: 8-0, W

CMA v Pittsburg Predators: 5-0, W

CMA v Pittsburg Hockey Academy: 2-0, W

CMA v Philadelphia Hockey Club: 3-3, T

The U16 team began the New Year as it traveled to head coach Stu Wilson’s hometown of Rochester, NY to take on the Rochester Coalition for a two game set, January 4-5th. Culver lost the first of two games 4-1, but managed to improve on Saturday, tying their final game 2-2.

“Overall, Coach Phillips and I were pleased with the effort over break. First game in Rochester we came out a little sluggish which is understandable after time off and a long bus ride, but still battled through it to come out with a tie on Saturday.”

U16 will be back in action again January 11-13, traveling to Detroit to take on Team Maryland, Bell Tire (MI), and Pittsburgh Predators in tournament play.

Culver Fencing

Culver Prep Fencing competed in two North American Cups over break.  First in Cincinnati, OH December 14-18, where fencers Kat Hone ’19 (Arlington, VA) and David C. Anderson ’20 (Park Ridge, IL) finished with their first national medals and personal bests.  As Culver's women’s sabre captain, Hone finished the Division 2 sabre event with a silver medal and a new national B-rating. Hone eventually had her winning streak stopped by a four-year varsity fencer from NCAA D1 Temple University.  The opponent, a Nicaraguan National Team member, is currently training for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Anderson finished the Division 2 men’s foil event in 7th place, earning his first national medal. The Chicago native and junior transfer seized this result a week after he earned his national B-rating Culver’s Midwest Open the previous.

Charlotte, NC was the host city for the January 4-7 USA Fencing North American Cup. Daniel Hergan ’19 (Lake Forest, IL) finished the Junior (U20) event 58th out of 245. This top-64 results earned Daniel his first National Junior points.

“Each of successes to this point in our fencers’ development are a reflection of the hard work and dedication they continue to put in,” said head coach Matt Cameron. “It was nice to have Kat and David earn their personal bests at the same tournament on the same day. In Charlotte, Daniel will never forget the bout he won which earned his first national points. All of the instances are special moments for them as individuals and the Culver program.”