Madison Ice Hockey has High Expectations for 2012-13

Opening face-off from Tuesday's 10-1 Madison win over Gill St. Bernards. Credits: Tim LeCras
Madison celebrates after the team's ninth goal of the game in the third period of Tuesday's 10-1 win over Gill St. Bernards. Credits: Tim LeCras
The Dodgers and Knights fight for the puck in front of the Madison goal in the third period of Tuesday's 10-1 win for Madison. Credits: Tim LeCras

MADISON, NJ - When it comes to high school ice hockey, experience is the key to bring any team to the promise land of the state playoffs.

With an ice full of returning talent, with several freshman thrown in the mix, the Madison ice hockey team is looking at a successful season if they can play up to their full potential.

The Dodgers started the season 2-0, with a 6-4 win over Newton and a 10-1 blast over Gill St. Bernard's. Head coach Dave Hansen said this year can be a special one on the ice.

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"We have high expectations this year," he said. "We only lost two seniors last year. We picked up two or three freshman. My expectations are to go to the house finals and see what we can do in states."

Madison is led by senior forward and captain Erik Andersson.

Erik has five goals and two assists after two games, including a first period hat trick against Gill St. Bernard's.

"Erik is an exceptional player," Hansen said. "We expect high things from him when he's on the ice. He makes everyone around him on the ice better."

Aside from Erik, freshman Mike Gleason will be a major factor in Madison's ability to score.

Hansen and Erik Andersson both said Gleason is full of pure talent that will be a big part of the Dodgers team this season.

"He had a little bit of a rough start in his first game, but he came out strong [on Monday against Gill St. Bernard's]," Erik Andersson said. "He showed what he's about, his skills, and that he can play at this level."

Gleason scored two goals against Gill St. Bernard's on Monday, his second career high school game.

At the back line, Madison will show two goalies, senior Grant Perry and junior Peter Andersson. Hansen said whoever is in net will give the Dodgers a chance to win.

With all the experience on the ice, Madison's room for growth is exponentially good. Erik Andersson said he hopes for good things come March.

"Its the same team we had last year, with a few new freshman," he said. "We have high expectations for this season, hopefully they can follow through."

The Dodgers return to the ice on Saturday when they take on Mount Olive at Mennen Arena beginning at 8:15 p.m.

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