Bridget McGann, a junior at West Hartford’s Hall High School, earned All-State honors while her teammate Maddie Levesque earned all-conference honors, and several members of the Conard and Hall-Southington boys teams also received accolades for their play this season.
By Paul Palmer
Hall High School junior Bridget McGann was named to the Connecticut High School Girls Hockey Association’s All-State Team for her efforts this season. For the junior, it is her second All-State Award this year having previously been named All-State for field hockey.
McGann scored 20 goals in a 12-game schedule this season, surpassing her total from last year and leading the WarChiefs in scoring. “Her skillset and talent are obvious to anyone who has had the chance to watch her play. What a lot of people don’t see is how hard she works, her high compete level, and what a great teammate she is,” said her coach, Brett Soucy.
A team captain, McGann reflected on the honor. “I’m really honored to be named. All my teammates and coaches on Hall-Conard and on my club teams have helped me gain confidence in myself.”
That confidence and production also come from a lot of hard work, including some early morning work. “We often have 5 a.m. practices and we let the kids on the ice early, at 4:30 a.m., if they would like to work on their skills for 30 minutes before the team practice begin,” Soucy said. “Bridget always steps on the ice, right at 4:30 a.m., working on her stick handling, her shot, and anything else she can think of.”
McGann said of the early sessions, “I always like to be the first one on and last one off the ice. It’s kind of calming for me to be the only one on the ice to work on whatever I need.”
The forward started playing ice hockey at age 8 and is a New York Rangers and Washington Capitals fan. She said her favorite player is Alex Ovechkin of the Caps.
As for what’s next, both coach and player are looking forward to a full season next year.
“Nothing would make Bridget happier than the team’s success. Senior year is always special for everyone and I don’t see any reason why it won’t be extra special for Bridget,” Soucy said.
McGann, who’s running track this spring for Hall, says she’d like to score 20 goals again next year, but that’s not her main focus. “I want to help my teammates achieve their goals for the season too,” she added.
Soucy is excited to see what McGann can do in her senior season. “Her work ethic and determination bring a certain consistency to her game. Combining those qualities with the maturity and excitement of senior year, it should be fun to watch.”
McGann, who plans on following in her father’s footsteps and attending Connecticut College, was also named to the All-Conference team along with defenseman Maddie Levesque.
Several members of the Hall-Southington and Conard boys hockey teams also were honored for their play this season.
Duncan Hollander, a forward for Hall-Southington was named to the first team, Division III All-State Team by the CHSCA. His coach Brian Cannon, who won his 100th game as the team’s head coach this year, said Hollander plays a solid, all-around game.
“Despite missing a full month of a short season, Duncan was second in scoring by only 1 point. D’s game isn’t just defined by scoring, he is a leading contributor all over the ice, on O or D and off the ice as well. He’ll really be missed,” Cannon said.
Hollander was also named to the All-State Team for Division III last season as well.
Two Conard seniors were named to the Second Team All-State for Division III. Senior forward Owen McGoldrick and senior defenseman Colum Flaherty were named as representatives from the Chieftains.
McGoldrick was the team’s top scorer with 19 goals and 25 points and is a special talent according to his coach, Jason Olson. “He leads by example and has been a huge reason why younger players around him have found success so early in their high school careers. He knows how to put the puck in the net and does it often. He proved to be one of the most dominant players in Connecticut high school hockey.”
Flaherty led the team with nine assists to go along with his three goals and was second on the team in plus/minus with a +11. Olson called him a tough kid who loves to play and provided the team with great versatility this season.
“While he had a strong start to the season on our top forward line, he made an even larger impact when we moved him back to defense. He has great composure with the puck and has the ability to escape oncoming pressure. He was a significant factor in limiting our time spent in the defensive zone.”
Flaherty, Hollander, and McGoldrick were also named to the All-CCC team for the winter, and were joined by Aiden Shaffer of Conard and Sean Roach, Cody Brew, and Noah Behrens-Gould from Hall-Southington as All-Conference players.
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