CORTLANDT MANOR, N.Y. – Hendrick Hudson High School hockey goalie Zach Shapiro is The Cortlandt Daily Voice Athlete of the Month for February.
Shapiro helped lead Hen Hud to the first playoff win in school history as a member of Section 1 with a 4-3 overtime win against Pawling. Hen Hud was in just its second year as a varsity program and had existed as a club team for several years before that.
Hen Hud started the season with a 1-5 record and Shapiro said the players started to have some doubts about their year. But that’s when the senior buckled down and helped guide his team to an eight-game winning streak that propelled them into the playoffs.
“I thought I wasn’t playing my best hockey and the defense in front of me, they weren’t communicating very well,” Shapiro said. “But we picked it up. I picked up my game, my defense picked up their game and that’s how we were able to get that eight-game streak.”
Hen Hud split two regular season meetings with Pawling but had beaten the Tigers, 7-4, about a month before their playoff meeting.
As a junior, Shapiro had let in a soft goal against Horace Greeley in the playoffs. So when the time came to lead the Sailors to their first sectional playoff win, he loosened up.
“I didn’t want to be nervous going into the game,” Shapiro said. I knew it was going to be a tough game considering that we split our two games one apiece. I knew I had to keep my head in it and not be cocky going into the game.”
Hen Hud’s season ended in the semifinals with a loss to second-seeded Rye. But without him, the team would never have even had a shot to reach the finals.
“He’s been a steady goalie for a long time for me and I’m going to miss him. I wish him the best in wherever he goes off to,” said assistant coach Mike Grean.
As far as the next step in Shapiro’s life, the senior said he is still weighing options for college and has considered either staying at home and playing at the junior college level for a year or two or playing for a club team in college. But he knows one thing for sure.
“Either way,” Shapiro said, “I’m playing hockey next year.”
The Athlete of the Month is chosen by the sports reporters and editors of The Daily Voice.