By Jim Den Hollander / USPHL.com
The Hudson Havoc has in recent seasons put itself consistently among the frontrunners in the Premier Midwest West Division.
Some great players have worn the jersey but Harvey Dove sticks out as a home-grown talent. Dove joined the team in 2020-21, one season after wrapping up a successful high school career that included a state title with Hudson High.
The popular local player has been rewarded for three seasons of hard work as he recently committed to attend Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn.
A look at the line of banners hanging from the rafters in the home rink is a testament to the talent level in the community at every level from youth hockey to the varsity squad and now, the junior Havoc. The team has the performance bar locked in at the highest position and Dove said big things are expected for any team in Hudson.
“I feel the Havoc had a big space to fill, being the next level hockey team coming from Hudson varsity and how much success we have had over the years,” said Dove, in an e-mail interview.
Dove hands most of the credit for the team’s success to former Head Coach/GM Brett Wall, now the head coach at NCAA Lawrence University.
“I think most of the success come from Coach Wall bringing the organization from the very bottom to the absolute top of the league,” added Dove.
Coach Wall, now Head Coach at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., clearly liked what he saw in the high school version of Dove as he pursued him practically refusing to take no for an answer.
“The first time the Havoc contacted me was Coach Wall being his resilient self, non-stop texting me, trying to get me to join him and the Havoc, but at the time, I didn’t really know too much about them and never was too sure on the Havoc,” said Dove. “That was until ‘Wally’ got in contact with my dad and set up a time to come over to my house. He gave me the classic Wally speech and here we are now. He never lets me forget I was the only recruit he ever had to show up at their dinner table for.”
Dove arrived in the locker room at the perfect time as the 2020-21 Havoc was riding a wave of talented and experienced players who served as great leaders for a kid testing the junior waters.
“The biggest reason that I chose to stay on the Havoc for was connection Coach Wall had with us players. Another big reason was the fact that all of us 2002’s and a couple of 2001’s my rookie year all became extremely close to each other and formed great friendships,” he said.
Dove has played a key role on the team’s offense over the past three seasons and has been reliable, missing just nine of the team’s 132 games and racking up 55 goals and 148 points. This season, the offense was a little slow getting started but the team was winning, and Dove said he was working at becoming a better 200-foot player.
“I believe the slow start has a slight factor but I think it’s mostly because in order to play at the NCAA Division 3 level it’s not all about points and production, it’s about much more than that and part of that is having good defensive play as well and making all the right plays at the right time so I can get into the college lineup.”
The team’s current Head Coach, former NHL player Dean Talafous, has put together an amazing defensive team, surrendering just 59 goals over 44 games and that blueprint generally breeds success in the postseason. Expectations are high for the Havoc who have lost just once in 17 games since returning from Christmas break. Before Hamline, there is work to be done.
“I believe we have a great chance to go on a deep playoff run this year. A lot of the credit for us staying focused and not looking past any game goes Coach Talafous because he is the one making sure we are focused on the game straight ahead of us and treating every game like it’s a playoff game.”
Dove first started considering Hamline last season and once again, familiarity and comfort with the Head Coach played a part in the decision.
“The first time I came in contact with Hamline University was around the middle of last season. I have been lucky enough to have known the Head Coach Shane Wagner through hockey for quite some time as I played for him growing up in AAA youth hockey, so we have been in contact before and he has seen my game.
“At the end of last year’s season Coach Wagner invited me to go on campus visit and I loved it right away,” he said. “From the Tria Rink to each building on campus and having a couple buddies from Hudson already playing Hockey for the Pipers I knew it was the place for me.”
It’s comforting for Dove to have his future in hockey secured but for now, his focus is on adding another banner to the Hudson Civic Center rafters.
The USPHL congratulates Harvey Dove, his family, the Hudson Havoc and Hamline University for his commitment.