Dan Bergan knows that if he has a spot to fill on the ice, he can call on Chris Deck to take on any role necessary.
“He has played forward, defense, power play,” said Bergan, the Robbinsville High School ice hockey coach. “He plays everything for us. He is the glue that keeps us together. If a kid gets nicked up, he jumps right into that spot.”
Deck was one of four seniors honored prior to the game when the Ravens ended their regular season with a 10-3 win over Hightstown on Feb. 11. The game was the final one for Robbinsville before opening the Mercer County Tournament on Feb. 18 against either Hightstown or Nottingham.
“Every game just means more and more,” Deck said of heading into the tournament portion of the season. “You don’t want it to be over with. These are the win or go home games with the Mercer County Tournament and the states. So it means a lot more. When you think about it, we do winter and summer teams so it is basically eight seasons of hockey and you would think it would not go by as fast as it did. It seems like just yesterday I was a freshman sitting the bench.”
Deck rarely sits on the bench for the Ravens these days. He played forward as a freshman before spending two years as a defenseman. As a senior, he has moved back into that role as a forward.
“I played forward my freshman year, then converted to defense my sophomore and junior year because that was where I was needed to fill some holes,” Deck said. “And then this year I have moved back to forward because we had a nice freshman coming in, John Martin, so I was able to move back.
“On my club team I also played both. I have been versatile with all of my teams. I tell the coaches I’ll play wherever you need me.”
The Ravens are hoping that Deck’s final season can create a couple of deep tournament runs. The MCT semifinals are scheduled for Feb. 20 and the championship game, if they should make it, is Feb. 22. After the MCT they’ll move into the state tournament.
“Our goals are to get to the Mercer County finals and ultimately meet Notre Dame and try to avenge our loss from earlier in the season,” Deck said. “And then in states we’d like to at least get to the third round. We feel like we have something special this year and this our chance to ultimately get to the Prudential Center and get to the semis or quarters, something like that.”
Helping make this year special is a small but talented senior class that has been a big part of the Ravens continued success. The team took a 15-4-1 record into the MCT, winning the Colonial Valley Conference Colonial Division title along the way.
“They have been everything for us,” said Bergan, whose team closed out the regular season with an eight-game winning streak. “You’ve got Kellen Anker, who was the Player of the Year last year and is a candidate again this year. You’ve got Logan Fredericks, who may end up leading the team in scoring. Chris Deck has been Mr. Versatility for us. And Zack Bryan is your absolute rock of a physical defenseman and has been solid for four years.”
Deck echoed his coach’s thoughts on the senior group and the whole team in general.
“It is a great group,” Deck said. “Everyone gets along and likes each other. We spend a lot of time with each other so that helps, too.”
In the regular season finale against Hightstown, Fredericks scored three goals, while Bryan and Eric Hildebrand added a pair to pace the offense for the Ravens. Keith Allen, John Francis and Matt Reed also scored in the win.