(ABC 6 News) – For the large majority of his hockey career, John Marshall’s Mason Decker has been a defenseman. Last week, however, he was made a forward and it paid off in a 4-goal night against Winona. A night when the Rockets were not at 100 percent.
They won’t go down as short-handed goals in the stat sheet, but for Mason Decker and the John Marshall boys hockey team, all four of Decker’s goals against Winona on January 27 may as well have been.
"Their d wasn’t very strong. I mean, we could take it down on them, make it — sort of beat them wide, so. After one of their defense stumbled, we got a two-on-oh and I got a great pass and I buried it," Decker said.
With a small roster that stood at 12 boys strong against Winona, Decker unleashed his full fury on the Winhawks, his four goals were a first for him.
"Well, the big the with mason, he’s supercompetitive, right? So, if he loses the puck he works super hard to get it back. You know, before we knew he had three goals and pretty much three shots for him in that first one then he tacked one on later, it was a nice breakaway goal he’s just got it going right now." Head Coach Matt Erredge said.
Indeed, he does, as Decker, himself notes his history as a defender.
"Previously, I was more a stay-at-home defenseman, you know. Helping everyone in the d-zone. But now, after this year, playing d to start – to start joining the rush more. And now, obviously, playing forward, you know? Taking that puck and going and going," Decker said.
Decker’s presence has been a source of morale for a rockets squad that is currently 7-10 with the love of the game fueling their depleted roster all season.
"We only can play with who we have on our team, you know? There’s nobody else who’s coming into the locker room this is what we have. They’re not trying to make excuses, they’re just going out there and trying to play the game that we want them to do. And it’s been successful for them, you know, more times than last year," Erredge said.
"We all love the game, I mean, most of us have been playing it our whole life so, we just got to – we work for each other and come out with wins and that’s what we’ve been doing," Decker said.