Written by Ed Meyer
The Springfield Pics U15’s opened up their league play at Foxboro Sports Center this past weekend. Due to C19 protocols and the uncertainty of the season for all of hockey; the U15’s after a single week of practice prior to the weekend still managed to impress the coaching staff with their individual skill and their potential.
This weekend was a great opportunity to expose many new players to a higher level of play that is both faster and more aggressive at the Tier I AAA Midget level within the USPHL. Returning Head Coach Vern Smith now has seen his players' game time decisions and abilities and has already made adjustments in the first training of the week to improve on attention to detail, but also the speed of play.
The Springfield Pics staff worked hard to recruit and build almost an entirely new roster for this season. It is a team of great potential and made mostly by players at the 2006 birth year. A positive outlook offensively for the U15’s were the new 06’s who contributed to the scoring and offensive pressure with Forwards Pisano, Ritter and Patchkofsky while defensively the pairing of Berman and Blaze kept their plus/minus respectful. The new guys still have plenty to learn and can do so by paying attention to the solid core of returning 2005 players such as Stockseth, Cassells, Cartee and Hill who used their experience and knowledge of the speed of the game to apply pressure on the opposing teams.
Goalie Aiden Houk (2005) was in net for the Pics and provided what can be nothing less than a stellar performance. Houk made all his routine saves and kept the boys in the game as they were still figuring it all out. It is a team that GM Rob Bonneau feels that will grow over the season, not only as a team, but to compete with teams that traditionally are strong at this age group and make a move to the top of the standings.