On and off the ice

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On and off the ice

Anthony Maurice shoots the game winning goal on a breakaway against the New Jersey Rockets in 2019.

Anthony Maurice shoots the game winning goal on a breakaway against the New Jersey Rockets in 2019.

Photo Credit: Michael Maurice

Anthony Maurice shoots the game winning goal on a breakaway against the New Jersey Rockets in 2019.

Photo Credit: Michael Maurice

Photo Credit: Michael Maurice

Anthony Maurice shoots the game winning goal on a breakaway against the New Jersey Rockets in 2019.

by Emma Neubart, Staff Writer

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Stepping onto the ice at the Chicago Bauer National Championship in 2012, Anthony Maurice had his focus on one thing, winning. Nerves consumed him as he stared into the eyes of the opposing forward of the L.A. Junior Kings. The puck had been dropped at center ice for the face off. As he skated along the ice towards the goal, his father’s voice rang in his ears. 

“Stay on the puck. Know your game.” 

It’s been seven years since that championship game, and whether it is on the sidelines or in his head,  Anthony’s father’s voice is always with him. Giving advice, encouraging him and pushing him to do even better every time he steps onto the ice. He has pushed him and inspired him throughout his hockey career since he was just four years old. Knowing that Anthony wouldn’t be tall enough to excel at a sport like basketball, Michael Maurice longed for his son Anthony to take up a sport that allowed him to be physical instead. Hockey was the perfect match. His father told him that with the fastest speed, best skills, and the ability to be evasive, that he would be a phenomenal hockey player. Those three factors are what Anthony works on improving each and every day. 

Michael accompanies Anthony to every game and tournament. From the whole North East area, all the way to Canada. Traveling hundreds of miles together for countless hours, crammed in their Ford Explorer, being poked by wooden hockey sticks amid the stench of foul equipment, Anthony and his father have been able to build a strong relationship. They converse about Anthony’s skill and the places that he needs to improve, on and off the ice. They have been traveling together from when Anthony played for the Mite-C division, the lowest division, all the way up to the AAA division, the highest level of youth hockey. 

“Even though he has never played hockey, my dad has always been the person I have looked up to most in the hockey world and throughout my whole life,” Anthony said, adding that he sought his dad’s advice “not only as a hockey player” but throughout his life.

Also in his mind on the ice that day seven years ago at Nationals, was Anthony’s paternal grandmother. Anthony and his grandmother were very close. She tried to come to the majority of his games when she could. He always enjoyed seeing his grandma in the sidelines  as well as both of his parents and siblings. They always motivated him to play his best. Since she couldn’t make it to Chicago for the National Championship game that day, after the victory, he was ecstatic to call and tell her the great news. 

A year later, in 2013, Anthony’s grandmother passed away. Now, when he gets in position for the first faceoff, his grandmother is always in mind he said. He plays every game for her. 

Playing hockey almost every day of the week, Anthony pushes himself to be his best. He works year round to improve his abilities, such as stick handling, speed skating, and agility. 

Anthony is looking at a number of schools to play at the collegiate level.  Schools such as the University of Michigan, Boston College, and Quinnipiac interest him and he is currently going through the recruitment process.