Thursday, February 28, 2013

2013 Preview

2013 promises to be an exciting season for the NGE.  Coming off a championship loss, almost the entire '12 squad is back and hungrier than ever.  Some new faces are to be expected, but cannot be confirmed till paperwork is in and rosters are set.

Two practices into the season, it is evident that Newtown isn't looking to ease into the year, but rather hit the ground running... and running a lot. With a renewed focus on conditioning, the Golden Eagles have opened up the preseason with a vengeance. Returning to the bench is head coach Mike Stevens, who says "The NGE men are working hard during practice and have been running and playing during the off-season."  A former standout player for the NGE, Stevens knows what it takes to get to the President's Cup.  "This 2013 season should be a big turnaround for us with returning players and some possible new faces. I expect big things on both ends of the floor, and from both returning goalies."

The new conditioning regiment may take some getting used to as players shake off the rust, but everyone is on board, and excited for the upcoming year.  "We've had a great turnout for tryouts and we know all this hard work will pay off," said 2012 Kevin White Memorial Award winner Jake Davis, a defender for the Golden Eagles.  "We have high expectations this year and we won't be satisfied with anything less than a championship."

Newtown will open their season April 5-7th in the 3rd Annual Kevin White Memorial Tournament held at the Gil Lay Arena on the Cattaraugus Reservation.  The tournament has quickly become a major preseason event that is sure to be an entertaining weekend with many talented teams and players on display.  

2012 Recap

The 2012 Golden Eagles had a great run led by head coach Mike Stevens, asst. coach Chad Stevens, and GM Lavern Stevens

Newtown's 17-1 regular season was led by a 64 point regular season from leading scorer Donald Stevens (30,34) along with 50+ point seasons for team MVP Linden Stevens (25,33) and jack-of-all-trades Preston Lay (29,21) who played both forward and defense.  The NGE offense managed 15.1 goals per game, tied for first. 

The rock-solid defense was anchored by stellar goalie play from veteran Clint Jones and young newcomer Craig Seneca who split time.  The NGE defensive unit, led by speedy team captain Justin Gill and defensive MVP Josh Kacprzak, allowed only 7 goals per game, low-enough for second in the league.

The playoffs arrived with Newtown as the number one seed.  As the CanAm playoffs progress lengths of the series do as well (Best of 3, Best of 5, Best of 7.)  Newtown swept 8th seed Buffalo Creek 2-0 in the quarterfinals on opening weekend which left them anxiously awaiting the winner of the Rochester vs. Tuscarora series.  The Tomahawks came out on top, besting Rochester 2-1.  

Newtown took the semi-final round 3-1, rattling off 3 wins in a row after dropping the first game at home.  It was a hard-fought series against Tusky with 3 of the 4 games being very close against a solid Tomahawks squad.  Onondaga closed out their series vs. Six Nations that same weekend, 3-1.

Hosting game one of the finals, Newtown fought through a back and forth game to tie it up with 8 seconds left in the 3rd and final period.  Unfortunately their efforts would come up short with a sudden-death victory going the way of the Redhawks.  With a few untimely injuries and a talented Onondaga team coming on strong at both ends of the floor, the series would end 4-0 in their favor.  

The Golden Eagles have not forgotten their bittersweet 2012 campaign and look forward to the road to redemption the 2013 season brings.  

A preview of the 2013 season is coming soon!