On a brisk December day, Deerfield JV squad headed down to Choate to take on its rival in an early season tilt. Thanks to the heroics of Mr. Philie careening down route 91 in a Deerfield van, some late arriving ACT test takers swelled the Deerfield bench toward the end of the first period. Unfortunately, the extra manpower proved unnecessary, as the tight officiating turned much of the game into a special teams affair. The coaches were a bit flummoxed, wondering if their off-season commitments distracted them from major rule changes that turned hockey into the equivalent of flag football. Deerfield nonetheless controlled the early start of the game, although the perimeter passing, which looked nifty at times, did not result in many shots on net, a necessary precondition for scoring. Even when Deerfield shot and missed the net, opportunities presented themselves, as Eamon McNamera ’19 short-sided miss on a power play ricocheted off the boards behind the net right to Nicky Hay ’19, who buried the puck to give Deerfield a 1-0 lead. Choate tied the game on a 5-on-3 power play in the second period before Reid Schilling ’17 shot one through the five-hole from the high slot later in the period while the teams were at even strength, given Coach Emerson all the evidence he needed to point out in between periods the need to get the puck on net, something like: “If Reid scored by putting the puck on net, that is all you need to know.” Deerfield players returned to the penalty box for a good portion of the third period, leading to some fruitless consternation, an apoplectic Mr. Emerson, and another Choate power play goal. Deerfield regrouped with some new focus and had quality chances down the stretch, including a 2-0 on the doorstep that resulted in Reid shoveling one off the pipe. Deerfield ultimately prevailed after AJ Shea ’17 passed the puck out of the corner to Scott Danforth ’17, who one-timed the game winner with just over a minute to go. Colin Olsen ’19 manned the net with poise throughout. On Wednesday, the team again takes to the road – must be the genius of our new AD, Bob Howe, to prepare the DA JV hockey program for a rinkless season in 2017-2018 by having so many road games this year – to take on Winchendon, our last game before the boys power skate and weight lift their way through the December break.