Senior sparks Quaker Valley hockey team with high-energy game

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Sunday, October 31, 2021 | 11:01 AM


Max Quinn is known for his hard-charging, high-energy attitude on the ice.

Both are reputations the Quaker Valley hockey senior embraces with fervor.

A defenseman who moves to center at times, Quinn is in his second season as team captain. He was an alternate captain two years ago when he became the first sophomore in program history to wear a letter.

“My duties are the same as they were my sophomore year and both my junior and senior years,” Quinn said. “I have to lead the team, get the positive energy up and keep the morale high. I personally like to lead by example, which is playing hard and bringing energy to the team.”

Quinn was lauded as the PIHL Class A Player of the Month for January last season. He scored five goals and tacked on seven assists in five games. He also reeled in his team’s MVP award last season.

Quinn plays in all situations but propels a QV defensive corps that also includes seniors Hayden Earlewine and Bob Carey, sophomore Will Watson and freshman Tommy Orie.

“Max has been a leader on and off the ice,” said QV coach Kevin Quinn, no relation to Max. “He works and competes very hard. He has been moved around positionally to help us.

“His strength is his passion for the game. He loves to compete. He is also very strong physically, which helps him win a lot of battles during the game.”

The 6-foot, 195-pound Quinn, who led the Quakers in scoring (13 goals, 13 assists) a year ago, focuses on hockey during the school year. The PIHL season is a long, grinding enterprise.

“I am a one-trick pony,” Quinn said. “Hockey is my only sport. I don’t have an offseason. I’m hockey for 10 months out of the year, and the other two are in the gym and doing lessons.”

One of Quinn’s fondest memories at Quaker Valley is a late-season game two years ago.

“It was probably that game against Mars my sophomore year to get us into the playoffs,” he said. “The environment was electric.”

Quinn said he hasn’t yet made any concrete post-graduation plans.

“I’m hoping to play juniors next year,” he said, “and I’m looking at some junior options.”

Off the ice, the 18-year-old skater is an avid outdoorsman. When he has time.

“I like to hunt and fish,” Quinn said. “I also like to hike and mountain bike sometimes, but I don’t get to do them very often.”

Quaker Valley opened the season impressively, blanking Beaver, 3-0, on Oct. 4 in freshman goaltender Landon Buterbaugh’s first game in a varsity uniform.

Buterbaugh has taken over at the goalie position for sophomore Holly Collins, the starter last year who has been out of the lineup with an injury this season.

“Landon has been a great addition to the team,” said his coach. “He’s a freshmen goalie who’s playing very well and has a bright future ahead.”

QV skated to a 5-4 victory against McDowell on Oct. 12 to assume early control in the Varsity A Northwest Division. It appears the Quakers, who finished 6-11 in 2020-21, and McDowell are destined to battle for the top spot in the division, which also includes Beaver and Blackhawk.

“We are an experienced team that needs to be clean-cut and use our system to beat (opponents),” said Quinn, QV’s senior standout. “Our strength is our ability to work hard. We have a bunch of kids that are grinders. It seems to be a strong suit for us.

“We are slowly getting chemistry and making everything go better and smoother. I’m surprised by the amount of goals we are scoring.”

Coach Quinn likes what he’s seen production-wise by his team in the early part of the season.

“We’re off to good start,” he said, “but a long season remains.”

The Quakers’ top two lines are seniors Noah Mattie and Kyle Rice with junior Ben Carlson, and juniors Riley Moore and Braedan Steffey with Luke Flowers.

Moore and Carlson sparked QV offensively in the early going with two goals apiece.

Mattie, Rice, Flowers and Steffey chipped in with a goal apiece from their forward positions. Rice and Flowers tied for second on the team in goals scored last season.

After a road game Nov. 1 at Greensburg Salem, the Quakers will play Hampton (Nov. 4) and Plum (Nov. 8) on their home ice at Baierl Ice Complex in Warrendale.

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