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Article Published April 9, 2020

Evans Sees Great Success as a Freshman

By By Dean Bibens

Kim Evans is only a freshman at Guilford High School, but she’s already made her presence felt as a member of the Indians’ girls’ ice hockey squad. This winter, Kim put together an excellent debut campaign for a team that accomplished a lot on the ice.

Kim began playing hockey when she was seven, but started skating even before that with her older sister Mary on their pond in the backyard. It didn’t take long for Kim to become fascinated with hockey, and her dedication to the game quickly paid dividends as a freshman.

Kim played left wing alongside sophomores Maddie Epke and Daniella Vickerman on the Indians’ top line this season. Kim scored the second-most goals on the team with 25 and also dished out 14 assists to finish the year with 39 points, which was the third-highest total for Head Coach Rich Binkowski’s club.

“Kim made an immediate impact on this team,” Binkowski says. “She was a big reason why we were as successful as we were, and I’m really excited to see her back for her sophomore year next season. Her, paired with Daniella and Maddie, it’s a lethal trio.”

Kim helped the Indians turn in a historic performance during the 2019-’20 season. Guilford finished with an overall record of 17-6 and won its first Southern Connecticut Conference title in team history. Along with that, the Indians also claimed a victory in the State Tournament.

“I had so many awesome memories from this season, but the highlight of my year was winning SCCs and being able to play with my older sister,” says Kim. “That was a thrill, and I’m glad I was able to play with her during her senior year.”

Kim’s sister Mary served as one of Guilford’s senior assistant captains this year. Kim appreciates the fact that everyone on the Indians’ roster was driven to succeed through a team-first style of play.

“My favorite aspect of hockey is how it is a team sport,” Kim says. “To be successful as a team and as a player, you have to be able to know how to work together to help your teammates. Also, there is always room for improvement, and there is always a way to get better.”

All of Guilford’s coaches were impressed with the skills that Kim brought to the Indians this year. Binkowski says that one of Kim’s greatest strengths is her ability to adapt to specific situations during games.

“Kim has a knack for being in the right place at the right time,” says Binkowski. “Her ability to take feedback from the coaches was highly valued, and it’s why she had such a big role on our team.”

In turn, Kim credits Binkowski, along with assistant coaches Tom Epke, Scott Neleber, and Kitty Palmer, for playing a pivotal role in her success this winter.

“My head coach helped me improve dramatically in the forward position,” Kim says. “Rick has always been a great coach and is always looking for a way to help us improve as players and people.”

While Kim was happy to make an impact as a freshman, she’s already thinking about ways to increase her skill set heading into her sophomore season.

“To improve my game, I narrow down on a part of my game that needs refinement. Then in practice, I focus on that skill and get better. Or, I’ll make a mistake in a game and try to get better from it,” says Kim. “During practices, I try to ask my coaches and teammates questions when I feel like I’m not doing something to the best of my ability.”

Prior to joining the Indians, Kim competed for the Hartford Junior Lady Wolfpack 14-U team. Kim learned a lot while working alongside a seasoned pro with the Wolfpack.

“That was one of my favorite teams that I played for growing up,” Kim says. “I had the honor to be coached by a former NHL player, Bob Crawford, and it was just a great learning experience for me.”

Kim is also a member of the field hockey and girls’ lacrosse squads at Guilford. In school, she is a straight-A student.

“I take my academics very seriously. I always have since I was a kid,” says Kim. “I know that school comes before hockey, and I always make sure my grades are as close to perfect as possible.”

Kim has high hopes for the Indians next season. Kim loves the fact Guilford is trending upward, and she believes the team will be even better in her sophomore year.

“We have a lot of talent coming back next season,” Kim says. “In my opinion, we’ve got one of the best players in the state in Maddie, and she’s a huge reason why we are so successful. But we all contribute to the team in a big way, and I’m really excited to see how we improve.”