On several levels, Darien senior forward Jack Pardue had the kind of hockey season most high school players dream of growing up.
Entering the 2014-15 season, the Blue Wave were on a mission to make up for disappointing losses the season before when they lost in the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference tournament semifinals and 2-1 in overtime to Fairfield Prep in the CIAC Division I final.
Pardue, called “clutch” and “elusive” by his coach Chris Gerwig, made an impact in accomplishing that mission.
While his name didn’t appear on the stat sheet, Pardue contributed in both ends of the ice in a 5-3 win over Greenwich in the FCIAC tournament final.
His major impact came in the CIAC Division I tournament, scoring two goals in a 3-1 win over Xavier in the semifinals and scoring the game-winning goal in a 1-0 win over Greenwich in the championship game.
For his effort, Pardue has been named the Register State Player of the Year.
“I’m still enjoying that Division I championship win,” Pardue said. “It’s a great feeling. Emotionally, I can’t explain it. But it was so amazing to be able to bring a state title back home after 46 years (last title was in 1969).
“From the first game of the season when we scrimmaged Bishop Hendricken (R.I.) and tied them, we could see how our fast-paced team and depth would pay off in the regular season. All three lines were up to the task and Will (goalie Will Massie) had an excellent season. I have to give it up to my linemates (center Craig Miller, right wing Jake Kirby) who worked hard to help our line get over 170 points.”
Pardue ended up with 20 goals and 27 assists and led the team to a single-season school record in wins with a 23-2-1 finish.
“Jack was clutch for us all season long,” Gerwig said. “All season long most of his points came in big games, but then again, that’s what an all-state MVP is supposed to do. We saw the level of play we had as a team in that Bishop Hendricken scrimmage and I could see back then that Jack was going to have a special season.
“Jack’s strength is his elusiveness, he has great hands and he’s a solid playmaker. That playmaking ability and his good hockey IQ helped make his line a very productive line.”
Darien was rewarded for its success by finishing as a unanimous No. 1 team in the Register Top 10 Hockey poll.
“It’s all been incredible,” Pardue said. “ I didn’t think that one goal goal would hold up in the (D-I) championship game and that was incredible. Our goalie and defense played so well, one goal was all we needed. To finish No. 1 in the poll and to get this all-state MVP honor, it’s just amazing and incredible.”
Pardue is still considering his college options. But he is leaning toward Sacred Heart, where he hopes to continue his hockey career on the Pioneers’ club hockey team or possibly the varsity team.
More New Haven Register All-Star Teams
- All-Area Boys Track :: Akiel Smith MVP
- All-Area Girls Track :: Danae Rivers MVP
- All-Area Wrestling :: Chidi Broderick MVP
- All-Area Gymnastics :: Abby McGuirk MVP
- All-Area Girls Basketball :: Maura Fitzpatrick MVP
- All-State Girls Basketball :: Kiah Gillespie MVP
- All-State Boys Basketball :: Mustapha Heron MVP
- All-Area Boys Basketball :: Tyreek Perkins MVP
- All-Area Hockey (coming soon)
- All-State Hockey :: Jack Pardue POY
- All-Area Swimming :: Karl Bishop MVP