By Lethbridge Herald on October 3, 2023.
By Justin Seward
The Val Matteoti Golden Hawks U15AAA hockey team will turn to their depth throughout this hockey season to get them success.
“I think we’re pretty confident,” said head coach Mitch Maxwell.
“We’re really excited about the group we have. We really like our depth all over the ice from the goalie, right to our defence (and) to our forwards. We have a great group of kids, good leadership group for sure, obviously (leaning) a lot on the four guys returning. And so, yeah, we’re really excited.”
Maxwell thinks the strengths of the team is its depth.
“Up front we have 11 players that can all defend, good skaters, can move the puck (and) can all chip in offensively,” said Maxwell.
“We feel like we can come at teams in waves is our hope. On the backend, we have a real solid group, guys that work hard, guys that move the puck well (and) from one to six can play in almost every situation. And then obviously we have a returning goalie in (Lucas) Pasemko, who we’ll rely on a lot and then (Chase) Nielson is a first year playing for us, (who) had a great year last year, you know goalie of the year at the U13 level and he’s been great for us so far.”
The Hawks have four returning forward players in Owen Demone, Cohen Larson, Lincoln Eaves and Pasemko, who are expected to lead the way.
“Who we’ll obviously rely on a lot up front,” said Maxwell, with the three forwards.
“All three (are) really good players, (who) made big strides over the summer (and) kind of what we had hoped would happen for them. You know, playing in this league as a first year isn’t easy. I think they learned some good lessons for them last year and have come in with a bit more confidence this year, and then got off to a really good start and so we’re really excited for those three.”
“ We’ve got Lucas Pasemko in net there and he’s going to be a big part for our team. You know, learned under a really good goalie last year, played with Brody Rotar and so I just think (we will )lean on him a lot to kind of help Chase learn the ropes a little bit.”
The coaches are in the second year with the team are wanting to build off of the lessons learned from last year.
“The longer you coach 13,14 year olds, the more you learn about the best ways to work with them and things that work,” said Maxwell.
“And how to implement different systems and different skills that really at this level they can start to grasp and start to utilize in their game play. And so, just kind of building off the things that we’ve learned … But you learn and you try and improve just like players do. Yeah, we’re excited for the opportunity to kind of be back at the same level for the first time in our coaching career and feel like it’s going to be a bit of an advantage hopefully for us.”
The Hawks opened up the season with a split over the weekend with a 4-3 win in Medicine Hat against the SEAC Tigers and a 3-2 loss against the Airdrie Xtreme on Sunday.