Marauder Hockey: A Month in Review

     -Andrew Mossbrooks
                  With the summer having had its final sunset in 2014, the Marauders sailed back to their homes here in Millersville to embark on a journey through the first season of Marauder hockey in the Colonial State Collegiate Hockey Conference (CSCHC). Accompanying old friends, are some new ones, as a new age of Marauders arrived, trying to continue the goal that Millersville brings with them each year and that goal is to win a championship. This year is no different, and these players are well aware of that, but everyone knows it takes hard work to get to the top of the mountain, and that starts now. Every great story has a beginning. We ask you to buckle up and set sail with the Marauders during the 2014-2015 season
                  Growing pains:
With a new season, there tends to also be new players, and that is true for the black and yellow, who practically have an entire make-up of freshman defenseman, combining for over half their blue line. These young men will represent the future and bring pride to Millersville, but for now there are lessons to be learned. Having a new coach, a new system, along with being on a new team can be overwhelming for a freshman, especially when a number of them are defending the blue line. Responsibilities can take their toll, as for a freshman like Ben Flocken, who has received large chunks of ice time, and spent most of the season on the top pairing with veteran Millersville defenseman Sean Walsh. Doing this not only gives Flocken an opportunity to flourish and become more confident with his role on the team, but also gives him more responsibility. Along with Flocken comes another group of freshman defenseman, who are also chomping at the bit to get an opportunity to showcase their skill and talents, and although they might be questioning their roles on this team, they should not worry as they will be the group that will glue together over the course of the next four years to form a formidable foe for anyone who crosses center ice in the opposing jerseys. Along with the blue line comes more freshman up front, including freshman Asher Michelbacher and Matt Iehle, who opened up this season with the first goal of the year, and the first of his collegiate hockey career. These two have enjoyed success thus far as individuals, but as a team it has been somewhat struggling. Ask rookie back-up goaltender Jeff Pelkeowski, who has had a very unfortunate start to the season, scored on through odd man rushes, screens, tip ins and deflections. And at times discombobulated defense has played in front of Jeff, leaving him out to dry for a number of goals. Despite some unlucky goals Pelkeowski has been solid for the Marauders, mostly splitting time with junior goalie Eric Hench. The two have been strong between the pipes facing a total of 335 shots only allowing 35 goals.
                  Attitude Adjustment:
The season is a mere 8 games through, and already we have seen a number of controversial events both on and off the ice. Millersville has went from a 2-0 start via a weekend sweep of the IUP Crimson Hawks, to losing their last game of the month to the Broncs, their 5th loss in their last 6 games, putting their record to 3-5-0 to end the month of September, and to add to the controversy, Millersville Assistant Coach Pat McKenna has reportedly stepped down from his position on the coaching staff. With that, things are in need of change. Head coach Brent Burgard may consider some line shuffling as he has done so already. Tim DiRugeris has moved from defense to forward, which now helps due to the foot injury to forward Rob Weinberger, leaving him sidelined indefinitely. Burgard may also consider giving players more ice time and more games started such as freshman Cam Trump, or forward Andrew Quintos, who was a healthy scratch for the last 2 games of the month. There is also a need for improvement even from the experienced veterans on this team. The men that have been lacing their skates with the Marauders for some time now will be called upon to pull together, pick up the pieces and find what they know they already have and that is the capabilities of a championship team.
                  Shaking off the Rust:
So here we are, 8 games into what has been an up and down start to hockey here in Millersville. The Marauders have shown at times why they have made it to the championship game 3 years in a row. Marauders don’t quit. They will do everything they can to persevere through the tough times in a season. Millersville opens the month of October on the road, playing two non-league games against Georgetown, followed by a trip to Penn State. Even though Millersville has only had one league game in the CSCHC so far, they still need to care about the rest of the games. With a sweep over the weekend, MU can get back to the .500 mark for the first time since September 19th. They will need to come together and be the team they are capable of being in order to do so. The first month of the season is finished, but October is right around the corner. With that in mind, there is only one question left to ask…. Marauder Ice Hockey Club, Are you ready?

Millersville Joins CSCHC

     -Eric Hench
Millersville University Ice Hockey is excited to announce they have joined the newly formed Colonial States College Hockey Conference, the CSCHC.  The new league will begin play in the 2014-2015 season in the ACHA Men’s Division 2.  Other teams that are in the league are New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), Princeton University, Seton Hall University, The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), and West Chester University.  Millersville Ice Hockey is proud to be a part of this new league.  We will be playing each team twice with a home and away game.  There will also be a league playoff and all-star game at the end of the season.  Schedules are still being finalized at this time. Please check back for final schedules and league information.  The new season should be a fun and exciting one.

Lombardi Hired As New Head Coach

     -Gaetan Juliano
Millersvile, PA - - The Millersville Ice hockey Program would like to welcome new coach Michael Lombardi to the team. After going through three coaches in three years, the team feels they have have found the missing piece.

“Three coaches in three years - it can be a lot for these guys to take in. The team spends all year buying into a system to end up learning a new one come next year. You like to see a coach come in with a plan and stick to it, “ says Gaetan Juliano. 

Lombardi grew up outside of Montreal where he played hockey for 16 years. He eventually found his home in the US with Jill, his wife of 23 years. He has been a USA Hockey Level 5 Master Certified Coach for 10 years and worked the last 17 years with Sun Motor Cars Mercedes-Benz as a Parts Manager. He has also spent the last 3 years as the New Car Sales Manager. 

Lombardi has coached High School Varsity hockey for 16 years and spent the majority (9 years) as the Head Coach and Director of Hockey for the Cumberland Valley Eagles. He also spent the last 10 years coaching his two sons (Jared 14, Nick 20) on the Capital City Vipers and Hershey Jr. Bears. He was the Capital City Vipers Chief-of-Coaches for 8 years and the 4th VP of the CPIHL for the last 4 years. He spent 3 years as the Junior (U20) Head Coach for the Keystone Games.

“I owe a lot of my experience and knowledge of the game to Bob Wilkie (Detroit Red Wings) who I assisted for two years with the Keystone Generals (Midget AAA) and former Hershey Bear and AHL Hall of famer Mitch Lamoureaux, who I also spent 2 seasons with coaching the Hershey Bears Junior "B" team.”

Returning to the team this year will be, Strength and Conditioning Coach Kevin Dea and assistant coach Pat Mckenna. Lombardi will be bringing with him another assistant coach, Brent Burgard.

“He is a great person with a great attitude and a wealth of knowledge of the game...I truly feel that Brent, Pat and myself will collaborate very well together to help all of the players improve, be smart and compete in every game and practice all season long.”

Hiring a new coach is no easy task for officers- who had a very busy off season. Zach Juliano worked tirelessly over the summer setting up a tougher schedule this year, pushing players to challenge themselves. Lombardi’s philosophy seemed to fit this vision. He had great things to say about a club, who is strictly student-run.

“It was also the way the four of you presented yourselves and the program that sold me on coming to Millersville to coach. Each one of you presented yourselves with professionalism, the right attitude and the will to win.”

An important question that was raised during the interview was what Lombardi had planned for the players. It was important to know what his goals were for both the players and himself.

“My personal goals for this season are to get to know the program, the players and to create a team chemistry that makes all of the players come to every practice and game with a smile on their face but with the intensity to play at 100% all of the time.”

His team goals were perfectly in line with what this team looks to accomplish each year.

“Make everyone a better hockey player with the right attitude and because of how competitive I am, I would like to win a Championship as much as everyone else.  My ultimate goal every year is a winning season, a strong playoff run and an opportunity to compete to be the last team standing.”

The team is eager to get this season under way. The only thing missing from Millersville’s new look is a GNCHC championship, an accomplishment the players hope Lomabardi can help achieve.