By Ross Forman
It’s been a rough season for the Oswego JV team, with its 1-23-0-1 record and 21-game losing streak.
The lone victory, back on Nov. 4, was a 6-2 win over the Chiefs Red. Team captain David Porter had 2 goals in that game.
“I’ve learned a few things about myself and have grown closer to my teammates (this season),” Porter said. “I want to work on the accuracy and reliability of my shot. Even though I play defense, I am not afraid to skate it up if the chance is there. And I am fairly physical.”
But how do you stay upbeat, given the struggles the team has endured this season?
“We joke around and come up with different ways we ‘won’ the game – small victories,” he said, laughing.
One highlight this season was, during a tournament with a short bench, when a backup goalie was forced to skate out. “He borrowed an injured player’s gear and during the game he managed to get a clean shot and a goal,” Porter recalls.
Porter, 16, lives in Oswego and is a sophomore at Oswego High School.
This is his second season on the Oswego Hockey Club and he sports uniform No. 2 a la Duncan Keith, who he admittedly looks up to. The right-handed shooting Porter has previously skated for the Sabres and Huskies.
“David is an awesome young man, a true pleasure to coach,” said Oswego JV head coach Joe Hartge. “He has been an absolute great captain, much like Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks – a serious, quiet leader very well respected by his teammates, truly a coach’s dream.
“With our team being a very young, (playing) in a very (challenging) Illinois West Division, David has logged Duncan Keith-like minutes. He is a very good offensive defenseman who, down the road, will turn into a dual player at offense and defense. He has competed in every game, no matter what the score (is).
“There have been times I’ve walked into the locker room to address the team in between periods, and David has already spoken what I had been thinking.
“He truly is a joy to coach.”
Slapshots With … David Porter of the Oswego JV Team
Favorite NHL Team: Chicago Blackhawks
Duncan Keith: “He is tough and reliable. The play that made him my absolute favorite was when he took a puck to the mouth, lost seven teeth, and after getting stitches, he was back on the ice within seven minutes and playing fine.”
Favorite Sport (other than hockey): Surfing
Favorite app: SoundCloud – “I listen to Indie music a lot and found that other music apps didn’t have the artists I like. It allows me to listen to whatever song I want on demand.”
Favorite TV Show: “I don’t watch much TV anymore, but when I did, I’d watch a lot of Gravity Falls. In fact, I still make references and recite lines from it.”
Favorite Pregame Meal: “I eat any sort of protein, (such as) steak or ribs.”
Best Hockey Advice: “What stuck with me was what my former coach, Mike Wilt, often told my team, ‘A two-goal lead is the most dangerous lead. Don’t let your guard down. Keep playing hard, even though you’re winning.’”
Teammate Who, Someday, Could Be A Coach: Michael Hugelier – “He has heart and the ability to get a group of guys together and play effectively. I can rely on him when I need help on and off the ice.”
Hardest Slapshot on Oswego: Michael Hugelier
Most Accurate Shot on Oswego: Max Yarbrough
Fastest Skater on Oswego: “Max Yarbrough and I are fairly close in speed; it’s hard to tell.”
One Pregame Motivational Song: Party by Ofenbach – “It’s upbeat and gets me pumped.”
Favorite Sports Movie: Miracle on Ice – “It’s inspiring and (doesn’t) get old.”
The 2019 Stanley Cup Champion Will Be: Tampa Bay Lightning
Best High School Jerseys (other than Oswego): Leyden – “The colors complement one another and both home away jerseys look professional.”
Worst High School Jerseys: “I never considered myself as someone with good fashion taste, but I have to say I don’t like OPRF jerseys. To me, they are just too bright and the bright orange and dark blue clash.”
Ross Forman has written about Illinois high school hockey for more than 15 years and is the only sportswriter to have covered Illinois High School hockey every year during that stretch. He played locally and then at Indiana University before becoming a referee. Ross was a referee for the State Championship game several years ago at the United Center. Contact Ross by email at Rossco814@aol.com.