Powers is first college commitment of season
By Joshua Boyd
Roger Powers loves the junior game in hockey.
After all, since 2015, the Pittsford, N.Y., resident has been playing junior hockey. After a couple of seasons in Michigan and in Syracuse, the ’97-born Powers signed on with the New England Wolves this season for the final stage of his development – and for college advancement.
He’s getting both, as Powers officially committed just after New Year’s Day to the State University of New York (SUNY) at Canton.
“He was a good player with a good frame, and he brings a lot of experience, strength and he can skate well,” said Wolves head coach Andrew Trimble. “When we brought him in we thought he would make a good college placement. In September, he identified the schools he was interested in, and most were SUNYAC schools.
“He talked to those coaches and sent them video. He went for a college campus tour in November and he really loved the facilities in Canton, and the direction in which they’re taking the program,” Trimble added.
Powers is a true defensive defenseman, and he’s sharpened his game from working with Wolves assistant coach and former pro hockey player Tim Kunes.
“He is a smart player. One of the benefits of playing here is that he’s worked with Coach Kunes and developed his game to where he plays a good total game,” Trimble said.
That total game helped the Wolves to a 4-3 mark through their first seven games in January, which in turn helped the Wolves to remain in the hunt for the sixth and final playoff spot in the North Conference.
“We have not had a ton of roster turnover, so all the players have stayed committed to getting better,” said Trimble. “A month ago, we were not in a playoff spot, and now we are.”
The Wolves were tied for sixth in the conference with the Valley Jr. Warriors as of Jan. 24.
“We play the Warriors four times over the next month, so how we play against them will largely determine if we’re in or out,” said Trimble.
Wolves welcome Coach Bates: The New England Wolves recently added former Manchester Monarchs player Connor Bates to the junior coaching staff. He played for the former Laconia Leafs as well as with Johnson and Wales University.
“Connor knows what it takes to make it from the junior to the NCAA level,” said Trimble. “He identifies with our players, and can give them recent, first person perspective. On a personal level, he’s hard-working and a great role model. He’s a welcome addition to the staff.”