By Ross Forman
Garland, 17, was an assistant captain as a sophomore and the captain each of the past two years.
“He leads by example and would do anything for the team,” Conenna said. “He always put the team before himself and was a great mentor to our younger players this year. Each year he got better and better and always showed up to practices and games ready to work and do whatever it takes to make our team be successful.”
Success for the Saint Viator JV team this season was spelled, STATE CHAMPION.
The Lions defeated Loyola 5-3 on March 14 at The Edge Ice Arena in Bensenville.
“I have been fortunate to coach Matteo for all of his years at Saint Viator,” Conenna said.
Garland, 17, who lives in Arlington Heights, is a right-handed shooting center. He is undecided on his college plans for the fall.
“It was awesome winning state; that was our goal for four years, so it was amazing to achieve (that goal),” he said. “Winning state was a great way to end my high school hockey experience. It’s unique to end your career with a win, a state championship win.”
Snapshots With … Matteo Garland
Jersey Number: 86
Youth Hockey Teams: Rolling Meadows Renegades
Linemates: Leftwing Nick Guida, rightwing Joey Callahan
Hockey Highlight: “Has to be winning Catholic League’s DiCristina Cup and the state championship with a lot of my friends.”
Other sports: Also plays soccer
Hockey Style of Play: “I’m more of a defensive center.”
Hockey Influences: “The three coaches from the past four years were great, and also my dad, Jim.”
Favorite NHL Team: Chicago Blackhawks
Favorite NHL player: Marian Hossa
Favorite sport (other than hockey): Soccer
Ronaldo or Messi: Ronaldo
Favorite pro athlete: Michael Phelps
Favorite app: Snapchat
Favorite TV show: The Office
Favorite sports movie: Miracle
Hardest Slapshot on Saint Viator JV: Frank Saverino
Most Accurate Shot on Saint Viator JV: Reiden Mueller
Fastest Skater on Saint Viator JV: Matthew Olif
Teammate Who Will, Someday, Make A Great Coach: Nick Guida
Best High School Jersey (other than Saint Viator): Glenbrook North
Worst High School Jersey: Brother Rice
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.