Pat Powers isn’t making any predictions, but he’s optimistic an infusion of new players will make a difference in the program.
The men’s hockey coach has brought in 14 new players this year to help the team push towards a playoff spot.
“I was looking for recruits that had played at the highest amateur level with a degree of success. Each player’s level of success is gauged differently based on the type of skills they can bring to our team,” said Powers. “Most importantly I feel that we brought in players that have a desire to be a student athlete at STU and work tirelessly to make our program much improved.”
Last season was his first year as men’s hockey coach and the team finished fifth in the eight-team Atlantic University Sports conference, which was a big improvement from their last place finish the year before.
“We saw growth in our win total for the first time in three years and I felt that we competed incredibly well for the majority of our games with opportunities to win a couple of additional games with a couple of more bounces.”
Powers felt the players he recruited last year were good role models and helped establish a good base.
Second-year player Brendan Childerley agrees the team saw growth throughout the year.
“We doubled our wins and definitely saw progress as the year went on. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish this year,” says Childerley.
“I think once they adapt they will be good players in the league. We have two solid new goalies that came in and they can push each other as well.”
With the extended time Powers had to recruit, he has increased the team’s depth so he can consistently roll lines onto the ice. This will improve their play on nights the team plays back-to-back, he says.
“There is a very good feeling of camaraderie in the dressing room right now which was not necessarily present last year and I think that comes from having 14 new players excited to play AUS hockey,” said the coach.
Powers isn’t making any predictions about a Tommie men’s hockey team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2008, but he definitely thinks the team has potential.
“I feel that we are a playoff calibre team and once playoffs hit I want my team to be playing its best hockey.”
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