Small, but scrappy Blackhawks hockey squad hopes for ice success

2 years ago

HOULTON, Maine — A new head coach, with a proven track record of success on the ice, is cautiously optimistic for this year’s Houlton-Hodgdon-Southern Aroostook-Katahdin hockey team.

Karl Enroth, a 10-year veteran of coaching successful teams at Camden Hills, may have a smaller squad than he is normally accustomed to, but that will not stop him from pushing his players to be the best they can be on the ice.

“I want the team to play hard, play smart, work together and have some fun,” Enroth said.  

Members of the 2021-22 Blackhawk squad are seniors Kurtis Reynolds, Josh McGillicuddy, Alex Dunn, Caydon Campbell, John Cumming, Dominick Schools and Ciaran Johnson; juniors Riley Fitzpatrick and Elijah Neureuther; sophomores Konnor Lynds, Kanyun McNinch, Zach Hoops, Garrett Fitzpatrick and Dawson Cole; and freshmen Krayton Hogan, Ryker Forbush and Jack Hodgkins.

Reynolds will miss the entire season after suffering a torn ACL during football season, while Dunn is expected to miss two or three weeks with a PCL injury, but should be able to return later in the season.

COVID-19 has already proven problematic for the Blackhawks.

“After the pre-season John Bapst Holiday Face-Off Tournament we had two players test positive and those not signed up for pool testing also had to be quarantined,” Enroth said. “This meant we only had seven hockey players practicing for most of the pre-season practices. The players seem to be enthusiastic about the chance of playing a full regular season, and to be honest they don’t like wearing masks while playing but it is the same for all the teams. As far as I know, all the hockey players are playing despite having to wear a mask.”

The coach said goaltending should be one of the Blackhawks’ strengths this season. 

Enroth added that some of the areas he hopes to improve upon this season with the squad are improved team attitude, focus, and discipline. Playing with good sportsmanship, yet still maintaining an aggressive style of play is another mission for the team. Smart use of checking and playing strong team defense are other goals.

“I want to sharpen the saw in terms of offensive skills and transition attack options,” he added. “Improved special team play on power play and penalty kills is key.”

Assisting Enroth will be former varsity coach Tony Marino and Serenna Fitzpatrick.