By Ross Forman
Winning state is becoming commonplace for Reiden Mueller.
Two years ago, he was on the Northern Express (CSDHL) team that won state and last season he was a state champion with Saint Viator’s JV team.
“Winning state has a feeling like no other,” said Mueller who, along with teammates Mike Callahan and Ben Wozniak have been back-to-back champs. “For me, this past season was one for the memories. It had some unforgettable moments, including winning the league title and state. This team started off as a lot of kids (who) did not know each other, and then throughout the months, we turned into a family.
“The key to winning state in my opinion was all-around team play and following whatever game plan was given to us by the coaches.”
Mueller said that, aside from winning state, there was not just one most memorable moment. “I would say all the games where our fans came out to support us,” was magical, he said. “When we had a great student section that gave us a certain type of jump that allowed us to play (at) another level.”
Mueller, 15, who lives in Wauconda, will be a sophomore this season at Saint Viator in Arlington Heights. He wears jersey No. 89. “I picked that number years ago only because my big brother picked that number too and I looked up to him in hockey,” Mueller said.
Mueller, who shoots right-handed, plays either center or wing, and occasionally last season he moved to defense on the power play.
He previously has played for the Barrington Redwings (NIHL), Hoffman Estates Wolf Pack (NIHL) and Northern Express (CSDHL).
“My personal goals for this year are to take less penalties and become more defensive-minded,” he said. “My style of play is very offensive-minded; I play with grit, and I always want whatever is best for the team.”
On The Bench With … Reiden Mueller
Favorite NHL Team: Chicago Blackhawks
Favorite NHL player: Artemi Panarin
Favorite Sport (other than hockey): Basketball
Favorite Pro Athlete: Donovan Mitchell
Favorite app: Snapchat
Favorite TV show: Friends
Favorite Movie: Creed
Favorite pregame meal: “A fruit and veggie smoothie.”
Best Hockey Tip: “Former coach Joe Hall told me a famous saying, ‘Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.’ I have lived off that ever since I heard it.”
Pregame Motivational Song: Dreams and Nightmares by Meek Mill
Favorite Sports Movie: Miracle On Ice
The 2020 Stanley Cup Will Be: Dallas Stars
Best High School Jerseys (other than Viator): Glenbrook South
Worst High School Jerseys: Providence
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.