May 4, 2015
ICE HOCKEY PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Nick Bohatiuk
Winning a state championship is always special whatever the sport. But Nick Bohatiuk’s senior season at Holy Ghost Prep was particularly satisfying.
The Golden Team Player of the Year scored 30 goals and added 15 assists to lead the Firebirds to the Class AAA state title, the first state hockey championship in school history. Bohatiuk’s contributions included four goals and an assist in the state title game against Canon-McMillan. He won the Class AAA Flyers Cup Bobby Clarke Award as its Most Valuable Player after leading that tournament in scoring. Bohatiuk had the chance to play on a championship team with his brother Marko, a junior at Holy Ghost Prep. But none of this was foreseeable at the start of the season. The Firebirds were to be sure a motivated group. They hadn’t won a Flyers Cup since 2007 and were smarting after falling to La Salle in the semifinals last season. And they were young in spots. “At the beginning of the season, it was tough,” Bohatiuk said. “We were new to each other. We had some returning players but we didn’t think we were going to come up with a state championship.” Bohatiuk notes that the team’s on-ice chemistry improved as the players grew closer off the ice. “We got closer and closer the more time we spent with each other,” he said. “We all started enjoying each other’s company more and more and we wanted to be with each other all the time. In school, during our break periods, we’d hang with each other, so that team chemistry really just built up.” Bohatiuk says that camaraderie was an essential element in the Firebirds’ on-ice success. In short, the players truly cared about their teammates, whatever their role. “We did it for each other,” he said. “There wasn’t that one individual. We wanted to win it for the guy next to us and win for the guy next to him, so the whole family thing was really the reason we ended up going so far. We couldn’t have done it without every single player on the team, everyone had a role.” Bohatiuk is looking forward to perhaps playing junior hockey next season and going on to play collegiately after that. He credits Firebird coach Gump Whiteside and his staff for accelerating his development as a hockey player. “The four years I’ve had here were great,” he says. “Thankfully, I’ve had a coaching staff that has really trusted me the last four years, making me get out there on power plays and penalty killing and trusting that I can score and help change the game. I’m really going to miss the whole coaching staff.”
All-Area Team (Bucks County)
Forward: Nick Bohatiuk, Holy Ghost Prep, Senior, Closed out his high school career in a blaze of glory by scoring four goals and adding an assist in the Class AAA state championship game. Was the Class AAA Flyers Cup Bobby Clarke MVP after leading the tournament in scoring. Finished the season with 30 goals and 15 assists.
Forward: Jack Kelly, Pennsbury, Junior, Led the SHSHL’s National Division in scoring. Despite constant attention from opponents, registered 30 goals and 35 assists.
Forward: Mike Major, Holy Ghost Prep, Senior, The Firebirds’ captain made the Flyers Cup All-Tournament team before going on to lead his mates to a state championship. Finished with 11 goals and 14 assists.
Defense: Joe Fiorino, Holy Ghost Prep, Junior, Played an instrumental role in the Firebirds’ state championship run. Finished with four goals and 25 assists. Flyers Cup all-tournament selection.
Defense: Robert Ovecka, Holy Ghost Prep, Sophomore, Considered by some to be the best pure defenseman in the area. Finished with three goals and 12 assists.
Goaltender: C.J. Lineman, William Tennent, Senior, Veteran netminder made the Panthers a contender in the SHSHL’s National Division. Finished with a 2.73 goals-against average and a save percentage of .889.
Forward: Nick Foster, Neshaminy, Senior
Forward: Zach Bennett, Truman, Senior
Forward: Nolan Jones, Holy Ghost Prep, Junior
Defense: Charlie Feeney, William Tennent, Junior
Defense: Chad Wiener, Council Rock South, Senior
Goaltender: Alex Taylor, Holy Ghost Prep, Senior
By Rick Woelfel
The Bucks County Courier Times