It would be simplistic to say David White is the reason why the Fairfield Prep boys ice hockey team is undefeated.
After all, teams not individuals win games. Matt Beck and Chris Gutierrez have been stellar in goal, the Jesuits have gotten significant scoring from all of their lines, and Prep's defense is second to none.
But if you want a player who defines all the things it takes to win games, it is Prep's No. 8.
"We have a group of seniors that drives our team, and (White) is obviously a big part of that," Prep coach Rudy Mauritz said Wednesday after Prep's 6-0 win over Darien.
Sure, White scores. His 16 goals, -- three of which came Wednesday -- 18 assists and 34 points are all team-highs. He leads the club with four power-play goals, and White's seven power-play points are all tops on the club.
Those goals and points are not by accident. They're by hard-work and proper positioning. On White's first goal Wednesday-- a power-play tally early in the second-- Sean Henry's point shot was blocked by a Darien defender. White, properly positioned at the side of the net, scooped up the rebound and put Prep on the board.
Offense may not even be White's best asset. If you watch Prep's games closely, you see the little things Prep's captain does. White back-checks, he blocks shots and kills penalties-- all signs of a selfless player. His plus-25 rating is mind-boggling-- and it leads the team-- White also has 106 hits thus far this year.
"I've always been taught that great offense is great defense, and defense wins championships," White said. "I think it's very big to play defense first."
Yet, if White is reading this right now, he's undoubtedly uncomfortable receiving this much praise. According to him, his first goal was "the luck of the draw," and scoring it "was nothing that I did."
White's humility and maturity are what inspire his impressive play. He's always the first to compliment his teammates rather than himself.
"Dave's a very good hockey player, and he's got a bright future," Mauritz said. "But I don't think he thinks about that, and that's a testament to his maturity."
But White also has that insatiable thirst for greatness that inspires others. He won't take a shift off, offensively or defensively, and is unsatisfied with finishing in second place.
"It's a great example to everybody on the team," Mauritz said. "When the guys at the end of the line are going like gang-busters for 45 minutes, it shows everybody else that they'd better play like that too."
It's almost as if Prep's semifinal exit a year ago is fueling Prep's play.
And White's play is representative of that as well.