Tonawanda News — Crozier said one of the areas he pushes his team to excel is in its ability to skate hard.
”One of my philosophies as a coach is that. ... guys have to be able to handle the puck well and make big hits — but my belief is the one skill that separates you from other players in your ability to skate,” he said.
Nick George is in net for the Marauders and Mike Iannello and Kyle Klawon are the team’s top two defensemen.
When it comes to this year’s Lumberjacks (1-3-0, 1-3-0 Federation), it’s all about sophomore goaltender Kyle Painter.
“Our team relies heavily on him because we only have one,” said North Tonawanda coach Alan Zybtek. “He’s a pretty aggressive, puck-handling goalie and he moves side-to-side real well. He communicates real well with defensemen so he’s always active in the play. ... With him in net I think we have a shot in every game we play in.”
NT only lost two players off last season’s squad, but one will be missed — leading scorer Colton Anstey.
Left to pick up the slack is senior Connor Hughes, who earned second team All-Federation last season. He’s one of four defensemen — along with Brandon Lavocat, Griffin Spatorico and Dylan Tomasulo — that anchor the team’s defense.
On offense, Zybtek said that the scoring has to be a balanced effort.
“Scoring comes from a bunch of different guys,” he said. “We don’t have any real solid snipers but my forwards work hard and they work together real well. Hopefully they can generate enough goals.”
Marty Clarke and Andrew Walck will play large roles on the offensive end, and Curtis Swan and Sam Rydzewski are expected to contribute as well.
Last season was a disappointing one for Kenmore West, but this season first-year coach Tim Knight is hoping his squad will take advantage of a fresh start.