Tonawanda News — St. Joe’s (4-0-2, 2-0-2 Fed) finished 22-4-1 last season and won the regular season title in the Federation, but a disappointing, double-overtime loss to Canisius that ended its season still haunts players that have returned on this year’s squad.
There aren’t many returning players, however, as the Marauders graduated 11 seniors off last year’s team, including All-Federation first team selections Tyler Mills and goaltender Marc Mallore.
”That was a strong group,” said St. Joe’s coach Rich Crozier of last year’s bunch. “Those guys were freshman when I took over the program. We put a lot of time and energy into developing that group when they were young kids. They all turned out to be exceptional hockey players.”
This season St. Joe’s is at the top of the Federation once again, currently in fourth place with a 4-0-2 record (2-0-2 in the league), and Crozier attributes his team’s early-season success to the senior leadership left on the squad.
”My senior leadership has done a nice job acclimating the new guys to what we’re all about,” he said. “We try and keep things really simple. Every time we step on the ice we want to be the hardest-working team. Nobody ever outworks us and that’s something our team rallies around. Work ethic to me is a big deal.”
Crozier is excited about his team’s depth this season and said it has allowed him to run out four strong lines. He said that his team’s game plan is to wear down opposing teams with hard work.
Senior captain Zach Klapp is the embodiment of all the qualities Crozier hopes to instill in his team. He works hard and plays a real physical style. Eric Paradowski also fits into that mold because of his toughness and willingness to battle in front of the net.