By Jim den Hollander / USPHLPremier.com
Seed: Midwest West #1
Seeding Round Schedule
All games at Utica University Nexus Center, Utica, N.Y.
Day 1: Thursday, March 23, vs. Mountain #2 Seed (TBD), 3 p.m. EST
Day 2: Friday, March 24, vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights, 1:30 p.m. EST
The Hudson Havoc started the regular season significantly later than the other eight teams in the Premier Midwest-West Division and as a result the team appeared to be chasing the division leaders in the standings early on.
Once the team made its way to the division penthouse, though, it made a season-long reservation.
Winners 37 times on 44 chances this season, the Havoc boasted a league best 59 goals against and appears to be a team destined to leave its mark at Nationals this season.
The team added four straight wins in post season series against the Dells Ducks and Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings and Associate Coach/General Manager Marty Dyck said the team was ready for anything.
“We were prepared to meet anything they threw at us,” said Dyck. “We stuck to our strong suits and came out on top.”
The team never lost two games in a row and posted a trio of nine-game winning streaks including the first nine of the season.
“We were never satisfied with only winning the division,” said Dyck. “We knew we had more to give and after losing out in the round robin play (last year), we’re ready to show how to play Havoc hockey.”
Coaches and returners will chalk up last season’s run as a learning experience and they head to upstate New York on a mission this time around.
“After last year, we know a bit more of what to expect,” said Dyck. “East coast hockey is different than Midwest hockey and we’re ready for it.”
The coach said returners might be the heartbeat for this team but there are some additions that make the team more formidable this time around as well.
“We have a lot of veterans that helped lead the team, like Harvey Dove, Patrick Noonan, Evan Izenstark, Harout Torosian, Jake Jakusz and Cooper Anderson to name a few. We had some new faces as well like Jack Noonan, Jack Kerich and Adam Brzezicki.
Practices during the days leading up to the trip east will not introduce anything new for the Havoc as Dyck feels they are more than ready.
“We don’t feel as if we need to make any adjustments,” said the coach, “But we need to be prepared for anything, like injuries, different officials than we’re used to and a different facility as well as the time change (Central to Eastern).”
Hudson, right on the Minnesota/Wisconsin border, is an awesome hockey town and any visitor to the arena can see that with the long lines of championship banners in the rafters. The team fits in perfectly there and gets great support from the hometown fans.
“We will have a send-off party for our supportive community including billets and families.”
They no doubt will be watching closely when the Havoc opens seeding round play March 23 against either the Utah Outliers or Ogden Mustangs, and the following day against the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Knights.