Broomfield native, Hyland Hills product Haake advances game for ’21-22, inks with EHL’s Eclipse
Next season will be different on a number of levels for Connor Haake.
For starters, he’ll be leaving Colorado for the first time after a complete youth hockey career with the Hyland Hills Jaguars to play junior hockey with the Eastern Hockey League’s Maine Eclipse.
In signing with the Eclipse, it was actually a situation that happened by chance.
“The Eclipse had been talking to one of my teammates about coming up there, so I ended up reaching out to them and they had already seen film on me from watching film on the other player and really liked me and my style of play,” said Haake, a 2003-born goaltender from Broomfield. “The appeal for me to go into the EHL was the amount of players they move on to NCAA Division III hockey and this team has contacts with the D-III school I am hoping to attend (Lake Forest College).
“The jump to juniors is always a hard one, but I hope to adjust to the speed of the game by watching film and getting on the ice with top-end players as much as I can so when it comes time to make an impact, I won’t have to completely change my game and I can stay calm cool and collected in the net.”
Haake started playing hockey when he was seven years old as his father Jack had coached for years before he was born.
“Along with my last name being pronounced ‘hockey,’ it was kind of a must for me,” Haake said. “The Avs did play a minor role in my love for the game but I grew up a Chicago Blackhawks fan, so those three Stanley Cups were monumental to my love for the game.”
In addition to his years with Hyland Hills, Haake played this past season for Standley Lake High School.
“Hyland has always been my home away from home, but the most influential coaches would have to be Gary Pedigo, Tyson Davis, Chance Creger and Brady Reynolds,” said Haake. “Gary Pedigo taught me how to skate when pretty much no one else could along with bringing me on as a goalie coach for his teams for a couple years which really helped me grow my game. Tyson Davis and Chance Creger have always been around for me to get opinions from and have always been around to help me improve on things that I wouldn’t have noticed. Brady Reynolds was my head coach this past season and gave me most of the games for the season which really helped me to get used to playing a lot of high-intensity games sometimes on back-to-back days, which I had never done before, but really helped with putting bad games into the past and carrying momentum into a game after having a good game the game before.”
The 2020-21 season was a whirlwind due to COVID-19, but Haake was able to take positives from last year.
“With the pandemic, it made the start of the season hard along with going out of state but this past season with everyone going through the same thing, it helped to bring all the boys closer together, in my mind, which made this season one of the most fun overall seasons I’ve had in a while,” said Haake.
Looking ahead, Haake is looking to have a solid season in Maine and hopes that translates into opportunities down the road.
“Short-term goals for me are to really work on my consistency from game to game along with becoming faster on my cross-ice movements,” Haake said. “Longer term is to end up going to Lake Forest College and playing D-III hockey there as it is in Chicago with lots of family. I like the looks of their hockey program, and they have a good law program, which is my overall long-term life goal, to be a lawyer.”
— Matt Mackinder
(July 29, 2021)