Stella shines when Devils have puck
Glenbrook North's Seth Gideon (right) races ahead of Hinsdale Central's Michael Stella. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media
Thursday Girls soccer: St. Ignatius at Hinsdale Central, 5 p.m.
Girls soccer: St. Ignatius at Hinsdale Central, 5 p.m.
Friday Boys gymnastics: Krupicka Invite at Hinsdale Central, 6 p.m.
Boys gymnastics: Krupicka Invite at Hinsdale Central, 6 p.m.
Updated: April 15, 2013 6:18AM
Hinsdale Central senior Mike Stella tallied four goals in the Red Devils’ Cougar Cup win over Lincoln-Way in a performance that didn’t surprise head coach Mike Rohdenberg.
“He’s always been a big goal scorer,” he said. “Great penalty killer and just a great influence on the team.”
Hockey sparked an interest in Stella at a young age and he doesn’t plan on ending his career anytime soon. He’s still trying to cement his plans, but wherever they take them, he’s sure hockey will be there.
“I have a strong passion for the game,” Stella said. “I always want to keep it as a part of my life.”
Highly motivated to be there for his team, he’s back full strength vercame some obstacles last season.
“I had two stress fractures in my back last year,” Stella said. “I had to take time off and do a lot of conditioning to strengthen the area. I was able to return to hockey last spring but it took time to completely recover and be back at full strength.”
Since then, he’s done nothing but put up some impressive numbers. In 28 games Stella scored 16 goals, tallied 16 assists and averaged two points per game. Over that span, he scored two power play goals and knocked in a game-winner.
Stella strives to be a good leader and hopes to pass along his success to his teammates.
“Not letting my team down is a huge motivator for me,” Stella said. “Being a leader and a captain on the team makes me strive to play well and encourage others to do the same.”
There may be a hidden secret behind his success.
“I put my equipment on in certain order,” he said. “And I always try to eat pasta before a game.”
As for his four-goal performance during the Cougar Cup semifinals on Feb. 24, Stella brought his game and his teammates noticed.
“(Lincoln-Way’s) shots may have been up, but we got the best of ours and Stella is a big contributor,” said Hinsdale Central goaltender Mike Levine.
Stella has spent two years on Hinsdale varsity and plays for the Chicago Bruins Midget Major team. He’s active off the ice as well, with pond hockey and snowboarding.