Chrzan calls the shots as Middletown North goalie



Junior Luke Chrzan of Middletown as the Middletown North hockey team’s goalie. Chrzan saved 29 of 32 shots during the game against Rumson-Fair Haven.

Henry Frieman and Ryan Lemberger

Every time a goal was saved in Middletown North High School’s hockey game against Rumson-Fair Haven High School on Thursday, March 3, a chant rang out from the Middletown North student section:


Communications High School junior Luke Chrzan of Middletown led the Middletown North Lions to a 4-3 shootout win over the Rumson-Fair Haven Bulldogs in a New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Public Group B State Hockey Semifinal at Mennen Sports Arena in Morris Township.

Chrzan, a goaltender, saved 29 of 32 shots. During the 15-minute overtime period, he twisted and contorted his body to keep the puck out of the goal. The game then went to a shootout, where each team had five attempts to score as many goals as possible. In a shootout format, the team who scores more goals wins.

During the shootout period, Chrzan stopped three shots, celebrating as the rest of his team spilled out onto the ice.

According to, over the Lions’ 25-game season, Chrzan saved 90.3% of shots—substantially more than the national average of 60%.

Although the Lions fell to the Northern Highlands Highlanders in the finals on Monday, March 7, they still finished in second place of the NJSIAA Public Group B, which consists of high schools with a student body of 510 to 1,150 students.

Middletown North hockey coach Don Wood believes that Luke is one of the driving forces behind the team’s success.

“Without [Luke] we aren’t close to being as successful as we’ve been this year,” Wood said. “He’s been that guy all year.”

The star goaltender overcomes adversity both on and off the ice, as a hearing impairment affects him on a daily basis.

Chrzan suffers from moderate to severe hearing loss, and uses hearing aids. According to WebMD, a person with moderate to severe hearing loss has lost anywhere between 56 and 90 decibels of hearing. They cannot hear laughing, conversations at a volume of approximately 60 decibels, or a dishwasher running.

“In your ears, there are little hairs that pick up sound,” Chrzan explained. “In a sense, mine are gone.”

Being affected by hearing loss can make it difficult to be involved in certain elements of everyday society.

“When I’m in restaurants, it’s extremely painful to try and listen to a conversation,” Chrzan said. “It’s hard to hear in crowded environments, or even when just speaking one-on-one in a quiet room. It can be hard to pick up what they are saying.”

Although Chrzan has a hearing impairment, Wood has not seen it impact his play.

“Nothing has affected his performance from the minute he has put on a North jersey,” Wood said. “He’s just the ultimate team guy, and everything he does and tries to do is with the intention of getting us wins or putting us in the best spot to be successful.”

Though Chrzan’s junior season ended with a loss, he left his mark in the school’s history books.