The Tigers Experience - Checking in with the Tigers
As a new season approaches we recently caught up with four Tigers who are moving on to the junior ranks to speak about their experience with the Tigers AAA program and how it has prepared them for the next step in their hockey careers. All four players are very passionate about continuing their hockey and academics in the future and along with teammates have continued to improve a great culture within the CSAHA club.
Nick Weaver of Rio Rancho, NM played two years of U18s with the Tigers having his best offensive season in 2017-18 and is set to play with the Boston Jr Rangers of the EHL for the coming year. Nick spoke about “the experience being the best two years of my life. I couldn’t have asked for a better staff or team to play for!” When asked about his development “I feel I have improved the most on protecting the puck and patience until I find the open play instead throwing it away.”
Justin Vickers of Murrieta, CA played three years in the Tigers organization and made a major transformation in his game at the U18 level. Justin is fresh off the NAHL NJ Titans main camp and slated to start the season at the EHL level with their affiliate the 87s. When asked about his time with the Tigers Justin stated “My experience with the Tigers provided the opportunity to better myself as a player and a person. I will look back with pride and confidence knowing I worked hard in a great atmosphere. When asked about the best part of his experience Justin said “having a home away from home was the best part for me. I was able to have a supportive team, coaching staff, and community.”
Marty Pietraszek of Colorado Springs has played his entire youth career with the Tigers. Marty was tendered with the Odessa Jackalopes (NAHL) back in November and went on to have his best AAA offensive season in 2017-18. Marty attended the Odessa Main Camp last weekend and will be reporting to the club August 25 for the start of the junior season. Marty was asked about how the experience helped his game on and off the ice “My understanding and adjustment to a faster game as well as the strength and conditioning was an immense learning experience that I look back on as a very memorable two years.” “Going to the SDC and being a part of the NSCA greatly contributed to my development and bonding with a great group of teammates was the best!”
Conner Lindsoe of Three Forks, MT played two years with the U18s and provided great leadership as assistant captain during the 2017-18 season. Conner is set to play Jr A hockey with the Brockville Braves of the CCHL this coming season. We jumped right in with Conner on his experience, “I had a great experience in this organization all the way from the coaching staff, the team I played on, to the billet families I lived with. Looking back on the past two years, I don’t think I would’ve been able to develop not only as a hockey player, but the person I have become if I did not play here.” Conner was asked if the experience helped him on/off the ice, “Yes! I was provided with many tools and opportunities throughout my two years. You just need to take advantage of what is given to you. On the ice I would say I became a much more well-rounded defenseman, away from the game, I would say I became a healthier person and much more self-determined.”
When pressed to help incoming players to the U18 level all agreed that they can expect a great atmosphere revolving around hard work and dedication! “You get out what you put in.” Justin Vickers stated “The Tigers allow you to work on your game consistently throughout the entire season and offseason. Great atmosphere to prepare for juniors and better your game with great people.” Lindsoe added “don’t expect anything to be easy. If you want something, go get it.”
These young men have all contributed on and off the ice in very positive ways for the Tigers. We are fortunate to have a long list of players with these same character traits who take great pride in putting in the work and look back at the experience in a positive way. We look forward to seeing all our current and former Tigers reach great success in hockey and life ahead.
The Tigers U15, U16, U18AAA teams participate in CAHA, NAPHL as well as schedule independent games across the country.
Training camp for the 2018-19 season opens August 15.