The list of great Fairfield Prep hockey players is long.
It contains NHL players, professional players and collegiate players.
Mason Whitney’s name might eventually get on that list, but for now what he has done in the past four seasons has already left an impression on Fairfield Prep coach Matt Sather.
“His four years at Fairfield Prep are going to be looked back on for a long time,” he said. “He was a special talent, a special player, a special person and one of the greats in Fairfield Prep history.”
Whitney played on the varsity team for four years, helped the team win two Division I state championships and led Fairfield Prep to the No. 1 ranking in the state media poll the past two seasons when state tournaments were canceled due to the pandemic.
— Pete Paguaga (@PetePaguaga) March 10, 2021
He scored 49 goals and added 39 assists in his career, netting 14 goals and added 13 assists in just 13 games this season to earn GameTimeCT/New Haven Register boys hockey Player of the Year honors.
“It’s crazy more than anything,” Whitney said. “I neither planned nor expected to have the career I had.”
Whitney will be head to the Taft School next year, where he will play both hockey and lacrosse.
While the numbers are impressive, it was what Whitney did when no one was looking that stood out, especially after the pregame warmup, when the team leaves the pucks from warmups in the net.
“Looking at it from the bench, he is the best player in the state,” Sather said. “There he is on his hands and knees picking up the pucks.
“That’s him in a nutshell.”
— Pete Paguaga (@PetePaguaga) March 6, 2020
Over the past two seasons, Whitney was on the top line for the Jesuits with teammates Aksel Sather and Tiernan Curley. The line was one of the most feared in the state.
“You get through their second and third line and you go back to a line with Whitney on it and you hold your breath again,” Notre Dame-Fairfield coach Richie Minnix said.
The line, led by Whitney’s 27 points, scored 69 of Fairfield Prep’s 130 points Fairfield Prep this season.
“Having three guys who can shoot the puck and score anywhere in the offensive zone is pretty hard to defend,” Whitney said.
Defending the trio, specifically Whitney, was almost impossible for opposing coaches.
“It’s really impossible, he’s such a high impact player, it’s impossible to stop him,” Notre Dame-West Haven coach Larry Vieira said. “We tried to contain him.”
In some of the biggest moments of the season, it was Whitney who stepped up, even when being contained.
— Pete Paguaga (@PetePaguaga) February 15, 2020
On Feb. 20, trailing by two goals against then-No. 1 Notre Dame-West Haven, late in the second period Whitney buried the first goal to pull his team within one. He then scored the fourth goal of the game to complete the 4-2 comeback win.
Later in the season on March 10 when the two teams met again, it was Whitney who scored with 1:19 left to tie the game in what ended as a 2-2 tie.
“We knew we couldn’t stop him, so we tried to limit him, limit his shots, limit his area,” Vieira said. “We probably failed more than we succeeded.”