Sewickley Academy’s high-scoring senior Hajdukiewicz glides into all-star game
Friday, January 18, 2019 | 7:42 PM
Every top player has a highlight reel, and Matthew Hajdukiewicz could put together a compilation of goals longer than many.
The Sewickley Academy senior ranks third in the PIHL with 27 goals, so it was given he would earn a spot in the Class A all-star game.
“I’ve just approached the season wanting to contribute and make a big impact for my team and to be looked as a leader,” Hajdukiweicz said. “Being an all-star just comes along with it if I can do a lot for the team. I think it’s big honor and shows I’ve put in a lot of hard work.”
One goal sticks out to Hajdukiewicz. In a November game against Fox Chapel, an opponent tried to clear the puck, but Hajdukiewicz was waiting for it.
“I jumped up, caught it and dropped it behind my back,” he said. “I was able to step around another guy and got a pretty nice shot off. I’d say that was cool. I’ve never really had a goal like that before, and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a goal like that. That’s pretty unique.”
Sewickley Academy coach Chris Chiusano has grown accustomed to marveling at Hajdukiewicz’s combination of skill and instincts on the ice.
“He’s got great speed, good hands and sees the ice and has a good shot to finish,” Chiusano said. “He has an unbelievable ability to put the puck in the net.”
Hajdukiewicz might pile up accolades but also doesn’t want to overlook his teammates who were not selected as all-stars.
Jack Duggan and Jackson Paul are tied for the team lead with seven assists. Chris Keller, Tommy Gordon and Andrew Beck have combined for 25 points.
“I know we have more players who could be all-stars, and it’d be fun if a bunch of us could go,” Hajdukiewicz said.
“Unfortunately, we got off to a slow start in the season, and I think that hurt some people’s statistics. I think a lot of our players are better than what the stats say or look like. A lot of our guys could have been there.”
Sewickley Academy shook off a sluggish first month to win five of its last eight games. The Panthers were 7-6-0 entering this week.
Shawn Annarelli is a freelance writer.
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