Chippewa icers back to work

Manistee hockey goalie Rocco Staszak and the Chippewas will be back on the ice for the 2017-18 season starting on Saturday, Nov. 18. (News Advocate file photo)

Manistee hockey goalie Rocco Staszak and the Chippewas will be back on the ice for the 2017-18 season starting on Saturday, Nov. 18. (News Advocate file photo)

SCOTTVILLE — Manistee hockey will look to rebound after a tough season with a new coaching staff and some fresh faces on the ice.

The Chippewas will be mixing in some returners will a mix of new players and three foreign exchange students this year.

“We’re graduating four. Even with the exchange students I think we’re only graduating one. It’s a pretty young group,” Manistee coach Jim Foley said. “I have pretty high hopes for them. I think we’re going to put up some numbers.”

The team will have 14 skaters and two goalies this year, which will mean the team will have to be in shape to battle. With 14 skaters the team will have slightly more than two lines each night.

“The one problem we’ll have is that we’re going to be going up against teams that are running three or four lines on us. We’re going to probably be running two most of the time,” Foley said.

“That’s the whole thing. We’re going to have to score quick and often because we could be wearing out towards the end.”

Despite the short numbers there is some reason for optimism. The team returns both goalies, Raymond Schwass and Rocco Staczak, and is bringing back a player who played travel hockey elsewhere last season with Jake Lamm. The team’s three exchange students each played hockey competitively in Sweden and Finland. Those guys will mix in with the core of underclassmen that played significantly last year.

With only 14 skaters Foley think the team should still be fine this season. Early in practice he’s stressed possession constantly to limit opponent’s opportunities.

“I have high hopes for them, but you never know until you get into a game situation. We’ve really been stressing puck possession, and I think we had a lot of turnovers last year. We’re looking to reduce those this year. I hope to get fewer shots on our end and more on the other,” he said.

“It’s about the whole mind set of possession, possession, possession, and I think the kids are buying into it.”

The Chippewas open the season in one week with a game at home on Saturday, Nov. 18 against Hudsonville at 7:30 p.m.

avatar

Posted by Brian Fogg

Brian is the sports writer for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3110 or bfogg@pioneergroup.com.

Leave a Reply