Hi's Eye

His goal is to deny theirs

Samantha Forcht, R3 Op-Ed Editor

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There’s only one hour until junior CJ Duffy takes the ice for the county championship. Duffy puts in his headphones, cancelling out the sounds of the locker room, and gets his priorities for the game in check. Getting mentally prepared with his pregame routine is an essential part of the competition for him. “As a goalie, you have to be in a mental state that cannot be broken,” he said.
Hockey has been a huge part of Duffy’s life since he started skating when he was four. His father played hockey when he was little and has always been a fan, which inspired Duffy to play as well, starting at age six.
Duffy has come a long way since he first started playing hockey. In his second year on the WHS varsity ice hockey team, Duffy has 375 saves and has only let in 36 goals, giving him a 94.5 save percentage, according to nj.com.
Although Duffy has been playing on the varsity team for two years, he still feels as though he can improve and is trying to move past his weaknesses, which include making sure he is mentally ready for his games. To overcome this, Duffy listens to music, runs, stretches and warms up his hand-eye coordination with a ball.
His strengths, however, help him to lead his team onto the ice every game. “I️ try and be a leader any time I️’m with the team, and I’ll do whatever I️ can to give my team a chance to win,” Duffy said. He does this for his team because he feels that they are “nothing short of a family” to him.
Duffy helped WHS ice hockey secure the county championship against Summit on Jan. 31. Despite an injury to his hip during the second period, Duffy was not going to give this game up, which was evident in his 31 saves.
This county title is something that WHS has been working toward since 2013, the last time they won it, and Duffy was thrilled to be a part of it all. “Winning the county championship was indescribable,” said Duffy. “This year’s seniors have been carrying the hockey program for four years, so to win it for them was something very special. I️t will remain as one of the best hockey moments of my life.”
With a few weeks left in the season, Duffy is hoping to show how much WHS ice hockey can accomplish. “We still have bigger goals for the rest of the season,” he said.

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