By LUCIA QUESADA NYLEN

With the start of the winter season at Malden High School, the winter sports have kicked into high gear. In addition to the usual sports played at MHS, this is the first in several years that MHS has a hockey team. In previous years there has been an attempt to form a hockey team, but there has never been enough players signed up to create one, until this year.

This season MHS and Pope John XXIII High School are joining together to create a combined and co-ed hockey team. Pope John plays in Division 3 North, even though MHS typically plays in Division 1 North. In addition to the mix of players, there is also a girl on the team, MHS sophomore Alyssa Giordano. When asked how it feels being the only girl on an all boys hockey team Giordano stated that “ all the boys are supporting [her].” Giordano wants  to “see what it is like playing on an all boys team.” It will be “a new experience [for her] from playing on a girls team.” Giordano hopes “[she] can improve [her] hockey skills by playing with the guys and pushing [herself] to try to play like they do.”

Playing with a different school means playing with new people, something that is difficult to adjust to. When asked how he felt about playing with a different school, freshman Liam Elliott explained how “[they are] one team. [They are] not divided because [they are] from different schools.” In addition, the team only had two weeks of practice before their first game against Somerville on Dec. 8, 2012. The team as a whole is working extremely hard to learn to play with each other and become one.

The team practices at Porrazzo Rink located in East Boston. They practice six days a week, Monday through Saturday. Coached by Joe DeReove, the team is looking solid for having only two weeks of practice so far. “[DeReove] is a great guy, he pushes us to [do] our best,” explains Giordano.

The team calls themselves the Mighty Ducks. “[We are] a bunch of kids that love the game and are put together on the team and we need to work together to get better at the game.” Giordano explains. The team are ‘underdogs’ since they were all thrown into a team full of other students that they have never played with. Giordano believes that “[they] have some work cut out for [them] but [they] keep getting better every practice.”

The team had their first game Dec. 8, 2012. They had a 1-5 loss against Cambridge Rindge and Latin at a two period jamboree in Somerville. The game had to be ended early due to a serious injury attained by sophomore Mark Santrella. Their next game is Dec. 15, 2012 in Marian. The team has high hopes to bring home a win.

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