BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The St. Joe’s hockey team has cruised to a 15-1-3 record this season, and they’ve earned themselves a spot at the top of the New York state rankings. For a program that has seen so much success on the ice, what makes this year’s squad different than last year’s State Championship team.
“At this point in the season, a lot of people say 15-1-3, you need to be satisfied, but we’re never satisfied,” St. Joe’s head coach Rich Crozier said. “We know that every season has it’s challenges so we’re climbing the mountain, and we haven’t reached our peak yet.”
“I think we have a lot of kids that buy in and want to do it for the kid next to us,” senior defenseman Mitchell Floccare said. “We have a good group of guys that like each other, so we want to do it for each other.”
“Having a bunch of older guys who have been here, been through the process, it helps the younger guys for their first year,” senior goalie Joe Fronczak said. “Being able to help them and know what it is to win and showing them the winning kind, even when we’re in a slump, being able to come out and overcome that, just being able to come back and go back to winning.”
“Kids who come into Joe’s know it’s a hockey school, so knowing that our coaches are finding the best kids out there to come and help us win state championships,” senior forward Matthew Orlowski said. “Each year we have the best kids who come out.”
“I think we all know in the back of our head that we want to win another state championship,” Floccare said. “We just need to keep it going, treat our bodies right and stay healthy, especially now with what’s going on. We just gotta keep it up and we’ll be fine.”
“They’ve figured it out. The one thing they’ve figured out is the name on the front is more important than the name on the back,” Coach Crozier said. “Every player has a role on this team, and that role is not the same. We are very fortunate they have embraced that role.”
“From player number one to player number one to player 20, if we’re going to repeat as state champions this year, we’re going to need them to fulfill that role and to get it done on the ice.”
St. Joe’s returns to the ice on Saturday when they take on Orchard Park at 1:25 at the Northtown Center.