USA Hockey Magazine

April / May 2018

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APRIL/MAY 2018 USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM // 21 Craig Anderson, a resident of Parkland, as well as Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, who attended the high school for two seasons before heading off for Junior hockey. And then there was the afternoon prac- tice on the Panthers' home ice at BB&T Arena, which was decorated in Stoneman Douglas' honor, followed by an appearance of the Stanley Cup. "What the Panthers and everyone has done is beyond what we could've expected," said senior Matthew Hauptman. "It's been incredible. I've wanted to know those guys since I was a little boy watching the games on TV." The outpouring of support didn't end there. After arriving in Minnesota onboard the Panthers' team jet, the team learned first hand what "Minnesota Nice" is all about. Hotel [Hockey] is one of the best sports for bringing people back together." – E R I C L A F O R G E rooms and meals were taken care of, the local varsity hockey team offered up its home lock- er room to the team, and local fans and media came out to show their support. Their trip was capped off with a suite at a Minnesota Wild game, where Stoneman players issued the traditional pregame chant, "Let's Play Hockey." "To be here with people from around the country watching us and knowing what we went through just makes you feel a special way," Hauptman said. "This has been very spe- cial and something I'll always remember." A pair of preliminary round losses closed the door on the team's chances of advancing, but their final day in Minnesota proved to be a memorable experience. That day, members of the Eagles spoke out at the March For Our Lives Protest in St. Paul, in front of thou- sands of protestors. Hours later, the team played its final game of the tournament, defeating Lake Central, Ind., 3-2, in overtime. Senior forward Matthew Horowitz, who spoke at the march, scored a pair of goals in the win. "It was exciting to pick up our school's first ever Nationals win," Horowitz said. "The march was very meaningful and I was glad to speak at it." While the country continues to come to grips with another senseless school shooting, the players, parents and coaches of the Stoneman Douglas varsity hockey team know there is far more good in the world than evil. They have experienced both ends of the spectrum and know firsthand that victories and losses can't be measured by the scoreboard. "[Hockey] is one of the best sports for bring- ing people back together," LaForge said. "It's easy to get tied up and see the negativity and the sadness, but it's important not to overlook the tremendous good that's out there." P Ryan Williamson is a freelance writer based in Eden Prairie, Minn. Members of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School hockey team join in a March For Our Lives protest in St. Paul, Minn. "

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