June 02, 2017 09:03 PM
(ABC 6 News) – The Rochester Ice Hawks finished 10-36-1 on the ice in the 2016-2017 NA3HL junior hockey season, but last season is in the past—the Ice Hawks are already gearing up for 2017-2018.
The Ice Hawks are holding their two-day pre-draft camp Friday and Saturday at Graham Arena in Rochester. The camp includes Ice Hawks veterans, alumni, prospective players, and tenders, and it’s an opportunity for the coaches to get a first look at the Ice Hawks opportunities are for the upcoming season.
“This is about getting everyone excited,” Ice Hawks head coach Eric Hofmann said. “Getting the fans, the community, everyone excited about Ice Hawks hockey in Rochester.”
There’s also a change at this year’s pre-draft camp compared to a season ago—Hofmann is running his first pre-draft camp as the Ice Hawks head coach. The Ice Hawks tallied 16 points after Hofmann took over for Nick Fatis as the team’s head coach last November. “I hope that we can start the season where we ended it and keep going that direction,” Hofmann said. “With new players we’re bringing in, I’m hoping we can continue that development.”
With greater power comes greater responsibility—Hofmann said he knows everything, good or bad, involving the Ice Hawks falls completely on him.
"The buck stops with me, so to speak,” Hofmann said. “There is no 'oh, we miss a kid,' something doesn't go the way we want, it's on me, fully on my shoulders. So the responsibility, I feel that now, it's a lot more pressure and responsibility. It's exciting. The biggest thing with a direction change and a change like this is to get people excited, and get everyone around us excited."
Last season, despite finishing with 21 total points, the Ice Hawks reached the NA3HL central division playoffs for a 2nd consecutive season, but were swept in the opening round by the North Iowa Bulls.
The Ice Hawks were outscored by an average of close to three goals per game. If the tide is going to turn for the Ice Hawks, Hofmann said it’ll be a group effort. “I think it’s just attitude and getting everyone on the same page, and making it about the whole team,” Hofmann said. “We need to bring in good attitude, the competition. The biggest thing we’re looking for is work ethic. If we can bring in 25 common men, good players are going to come out of that because they’re not going to want to be scratched. If we have that common theme, I think we can achieve something special.”
The Ice Hawks pre-draft camp concludes on Saturday.
Created: June 02, 2017 09:03 PM
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