BRONXVILLE, N.Y. – Graduation claimed 15 players from the Eastchester/Tuckahoe/Bronxville ice hockey team in June, leaving coach Dave O’Neil in need of a leader and playmaker.
Enter Chris Hagen. The junior is the Eagles leading score, but more importantly, the leader on a young team. Hagen is also the Bronxville Daily Voice December Athlete of the Month.
Hagen led ETB to a 4-5 record in December and leads the team in scoring with 12 goals and 18 assists.
“Chris knew he had to step up and knew he had to be our top-scoring player this year,” O’Neil said. “Chris plays on several teams and plays year-round. He has that natural ability. He has excellent hands, is an excellent puck-handler and a great passer.”
Hagen skated on the No. 1 line last year wth Ian Palfrey and Mark Luciano. He is on the No. 1 line once again. Hagen spent the offseason refining his game, preparing to raise it to the next level.
“I focused on my shot and my skating, but worked on my all-around game,” Hagen said. “We lost a lost a lot of talented players so I knew I had to step up and do even better this year.”
Hagen has provided ETB with the offensive punch it needed. However, his leadership has been vital in helping the younger players adjust to increased playing time.
“We’ve never had freshmen on the team before until this year so in practice, the guys look up to Chris and he leads by example,” O’Neil said.
Hagen said the team has made huge strides since the first day of practice.
“We are becoming a much-better team because a lot of the younger guys are stepping up and giving us what we need,” Hagen said.