Nathaniel Hughes shoots for success

McLean hockey’s star player, Nathaniel Hughes, scored the winning goal in his game Dec. 1

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Nathaniel Hughes shoots for success

SPEED SKATING—Nathaniel Hughes skates down the rink with a Stonebridge defender close behind him on Dec. 1. He aims to take a shot in the next few seconds. (Photo by Laine Phillips).

SPEED SKATING—Nathaniel Hughes skates down the rink with a Stonebridge defender close behind him on Dec. 1. He aims to take a shot in the next few seconds. (Photo by Laine Phillips).

SPEED SKATING—Nathaniel Hughes skates down the rink with a Stonebridge defender close behind him on Dec. 1. He aims to take a shot in the next few seconds. (Photo by Laine Phillips).

SPEED SKATING—Nathaniel Hughes skates down the rink with a Stonebridge defender close behind him on Dec. 1. He aims to take a shot in the next few seconds. (Photo by Laine Phillips).

Laine Phillips, Reporter

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Nathaniel Hughes, freshman hockey player, moves up the rink towards the goal. He passes to his teammate who then hits the puck, trying to score. It bounces off the goalie’s pads and within a second Hughes is up in front and he sends the puck flying back past the goalie, scoring the final goal of the game.

Hughes’ goal on Dec. 1 against Stonebridge gave McHockey their first win of the season.“I was skating in with the puck, then I passed it to someone, they took a shot and there was an easy rebound and I shot it and it went in. It was so exhilarating and exciting when I scored,” Hughes said.Hughes has been playing hockey since he could walk and has loved every second of it.

“He wanted to play very badly because he got into hockey with the Caps, and ever since, he has been playing hockey,” Hughes’s father Brad Hughes said.

Hughes was 7 years old when he scored his first goal for the Squirts at Kettler, an ice skating rink in Virginia.

“I scored it my first game when I was really bad, but afterward I felt so happy,” Hughes said.

As a freshman on a team of mostly sophomores, Hughes has to work extra hard to be the best.

“It’s hard getting everything wrapped around my head, like the entire rink and knowing where my teammates are at all times,” Hughes said.

Hughes has played for many different teams throughout his life, but McHockey has been his favorite.

“On McHockey you are playing with all your friends and classmates rather than a bunch of random people,” Hughes said.

His coach thinks very highly of him and rarely takes him off the ice.

“I think he is very skilled and he has a good sense of the game, a good hockey sense, as they say, and he really has very great sportsmanship,”said Chris Stroik, head coach of the McLean hockey team.In the Dec. 1 game he even shot a penalty shot during the second period.

“It’s stressful because If you have a penalty shot then everyone is looking at you,” Hughes said.

Hughes never wants to stop playing hockey and he eventually wants to become a professional player.

“I would love to be a Caps player, but it’s gonna be difficult. For now I need to get more ice time and practice more,” Hughes said.

Hughes thinks hockey was the best decision of his life and he never wants to stop playing.

“He loves coming out and playing with his teammates.” Brad Hughes said. “He would play hockey every day if he could, especially for McLean.”

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