The Niverville Nighthawks are in their second season and Nighthawks Head Coach and General Manager Kelvin Cech says some things have definitely changed.
He says the biggest difference from last year to this year is the experience off the ice.
“I have an office and I have walls that I can write on, our logistics are a lot more organized, where we put our stuff, it’s just everything off the ice is a lot more calm.”
Cech notes that the another big change is that teams aren’t going to take them lightly, as they have been in this for a year now.
He says it’s great to be one year in, as he is able to lean on players he has already been with for a year.
“I find it a lot more efficient to lean on people when they have experience, Carter Spirig played 50 some games and Eric Martin played how many games. And all these guys were first year players last year on our team and just in Junior A Hockey.”
Cech says it’s great to have these guys come back with a year under their belts and just feel more confident.
“Ty Kennett’s another player, barely knew anything about Junior Hockey in Canada, and now he has played a bunch of games and he’s come in and he looks like a veteran.”
He talks about the team captain, Brett Tataryn.
“We believed in Brett being a 19 year old captain and he earned the seat at 19, but to be 20, just to see the way the guys look up to him already. He’s not the most outspoken guy, he’s quiet, but man is he intense.”
Cech has two schools of thought on this year’s season, one as the GM, and one as Head Coach.
“As general manager, I was very impressed with our first season. We made the playoffs, it was a battle. By the end of the season in my head we weren’t a first year team, we were a team competing with the hosts of the national championships. This year my expectation is that we will be stronger, we expect to be a playoff team, anything less than that would be a disappointment. That’s the bar that we set and I think we need to clear it.”
Then as Head Coach he can’t look too far ahead.
“I’m just worried about Selkirk on Friday night in our home opener. I might drive myself crazy thinking I can separate my brain like that.”
With files from Dave Anthony
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