Huron's Luke Dwyer is Washtenaw County Hockey Player of the Year
“I just wanted to throw the pads on, I guess,” said Dwyer, now a senior at Huron High School.
Leg pads. Blockers. Gloves. They all fit the young Dwyer, in more ways than one.
“I’ve been playing goal every since,” he said. “When I was young, I liked having a lot of the control over the outcome of the game. You have a lot of that in net.”
Dwyer, indeed, helped control Huron hockey’s milestone 2009-10 season, highlighted by the program’s first regional championship since the early 90s and a three-game sweep of cross-town rival Pioneer, a feat the River Rats hadn’t accomplished since 1990.
Fittingly, those were the two goals Dwyer and the River Rats had chalked onto their preseason board.
“Our biggest goal was to beat Pioneer. We never really talked about doing it three times, so that was a little surprising,” said Dwyer, who, along with his teammates, had never been on the winning side of a Pioneer matchup until this year.
Huron’s latter of the three wins over Pioneer came in the first round of a Division 1 pre-regional held in a standing-room-only Ann Arbor Ice Cube. Dwyer allowed one goal on 26 Pioneer shots to help Huron nab a 2-1 win.
“Obviously there’s a ton of excitement surrounding the games with Pioneer,” he said. “Not just in the locker room, at the school and in the community. Our team was just so fired up.”
That victory laid the playoff path to the Rat’s regional title. Huron went on to top Willow Run-Belleville, 7-2, advancing to a regional final with against the co-operative team from Lincoln and Milan. There, Dwyer made 18 crucial saves against the high-scoring Railsplitters, who featured two of the top three point scorers in Washtenaw County.
“Winning regionals was our other main goal,” said Dywer. “We were fortunate enough to check both of those goals off the list.”
Looking back on the regional title, Dwyer, a four-year starter at Huron, admitted, “It was a great feeling because, in the past, in the playoffs, we were always one-and-done.”
“There was kind of a secret mindset (in the past) that inevitably we were going to lose,” he continued. “This year, the mindset was so much different. We just took one game at a time and took it as far as we could.”
Dwyer’s campaign with Huron came to a close in an 8-0 state quarterfinal loss to Detroit Catholic Central, the No. 1-ranked team in the state. Dwyer finished the game with a nutty 62 saves on a whopping 70 shots.
The senior finished the season stopping 90-percent of the shots he faced, compiling 770 saves on 855 shots.
Dwyer’s play earned him All-Southeastern Conference Red Division honors along with a slew of Metro League awards, including the West’s MVP and the Governor George Romney Trophy, given to one senior in the league displaying outstanding sportsmanship, scholarship and playing skill each year.
Dwyer appreciates the recognition, but it’s not why he drapes on the goalie gear year after year.
“It’s flattering, but it’s not really what you play for,” said Dwyer. “I’m really going to miss representing Huron and the city of Ann Arbor. It gives you a ton of pride just to know you’re representing your school and city.
:It’s a feeling you can’t really describe. It’s great to know you’re representing something you love so much every game.”