Weekly Feature



2016-03-16 / Sports

MMA’s Drew-Mead earns Player of the Year honors

by PATRICK J. NAGY
Reporter


Kaitlin Drew-Mead of the Monsignor Martin Association was named the All-Bee Girls Hockey Team’s Most Valuable Player. Drew-Mead, a junior from Sacred Heart, led the Monsignor Martin Association with 16 goals and eight assists for 24 points. 
File photo by Patrick McPartlandPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Kaitlin Drew-Mead of the Monsignor Martin Association was named the All-Bee Girls Hockey Team’s Most Valuable Player. Drew-Mead, a junior from Sacred Heart, led the Monsignor Martin Association with 16 goals and eight assists for 24 points. File photo by Patrick McPartlandPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Kaitlin Drew-Mead’s biggest impact in a girls hockey game can be measured by when she does not have the puck.

“I remember one game where she was double- and triple-teamed and she came off the ice aggravated, and I looked at her and said, ‘Do you understand what kind of compliment that is that they are triple-teaming you?,’” Monsignor Martin Association coach Linda Groff-Mroz said. “‘You need to focus on passing the puck off to your other teammates and then you are going to be even more deadly. You have hands, a shot and speed and when you start to see open girls on your line, you are going to be unstoppable.’ Once she understood that and started to move the puck, that is exactly what happened.”

Drew-Mead, the All-Bee Girls Hockey Most Valuable Player, was a dominating presence for the MMA, and was a major reason why the team finished undefeated and won its fourth Western New York Girls Varsity Ice Hockey Federation title in six years.

In 14 games, the Sacred Heart junior center/winger led the MMA with 16 goals and eight assists for 24 points, which ranks fifth in the league. She also scored three game-winning goals, which tied for the league lead with four other players.

Her third game-winning goal of the season, against Amherst/Sweet Home/Clarence in the Federation semifinals, was her best goal of the season, Groff-Mroz said.

“She was dead tired, stepped over the red line, took a slap shot just below the center red line and scored,” Groff-Mroz said.

Drew-Mead did not score in the team’s 2-0 win over Williamsville in the Federation final, but she drew attention from the opposition.

“That is all I needed her to do,” Groff-Mroz said. “I told her all year that ‘I don’t need you to score in every game. I need you to be a leader on the ice’ and she was. That is why she was an assistant captain.”

Groff-Mroz said Drew-Mead also plays defense on power plays.

Drew-Mead, an All-Bee First Team selection last year and All-Bee Honorable Mention two years ago, has been one of the team’s top offensive threats since she joined the team as a freshman.

“Her hands are unbelievable,” Groff-Mroz said. “She has the skills to weave in and out of people. If I gave her the green light to go, I would say I need a goal and she would do it. In practice, she would try to improve her personal game; by doing that, her individual skills increased and she became a better team player.”

Groff-Mroz also noted the growth in Drew-Mead’s attitude and maturity.

“We have a good player-coach relationship where if she needs a recommendation, I would give her the highest recommendation possible,” she said. “I’ve seen her mature over three years.” email: pnagy@beenews.com

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