Wednesday, October 26, 2016


Here's the first Brockport Stylus hockey article of the 2016-2017 season. In it, Alison Muarer looks at new assistant coach Kris Horn and the team captaincy 

The first few practices of the men’s ice hockey season have been underway. New players meld with old as the season begins for the Golden Eagles. With three 2016 graduates going off to play professionally, several freshmen and sophomores who have joined the team have some big shoes to fill.

As does the new assistant coach, Kris Horn. Horn is taking the place of Coach Steven Mallaro, who is now the head coach at King’s College in Pennsylvania.

Horn was hired just a few weeks before the start of the season, and was thrown onto the ice to handle conditioning training with the boys, whose names and numbers he has not yet had the time to memorize. Thankfully, the new coach is taking it in stride.

“[Head Coach Brian Dickinson] and I have had a good start, splitting the work,” Horn said. “The practices are longer, we’ve got a lot of conditioning. I’m handling more of the first half, with the drills and he’s doing more of the locker room stuff.”

Horn has plenty of coaching experience. Most recently, he worked at Union College, a Division I school. He has also been an assistant coach at Hamilton College, Oakland University, University of Massachusetts and Michigan State University, his alma mater.

The players are also getting to know the new coach well. Freshman forward No. 23 Hunter Laslo has bonded with the coach and especially feels he will be a good fit with the rest of the team as the season continues on.

“Coach Horn has only been here for a few days, but he’s already made a pretty big impact. I think everyone can say the same thing – we’re enjoying his presence around the locker room and on the ice,” Laslo said.

Not only is there a new coach, but a new captain as well; Aidan Verbeke is a junior who plays forward for the team. He majors in Journalism and Broadcasting.

Many of his teammates are very excited for his captaincy. His attitudes toward the game are strong and focused, as well as infectious. He is a playmaker and has the kind of strong leadership that will be good for the team’s morale.

The captain choice was made all the harder by the fact that last year’s captain, Jeremy DeFazio, made such an impact on the team. The transition between captains has been smooth and easy, since the two have many of the same favorable traits.

No.12 Zac Sikich is also a junior forward on the team. He and Verbeke have been friends for many years, dating back to when they were roommates playing for the Granite City Lumberjacks NA3HL team in Minnesota.

“He’s definitely the right pick and he’s going to lead us to something good this year,” Sikich said. “The team has been working well together, and Aidan has helped a lot with that.”

Horn also has good things to say about the captain. “Aidan’s been great.’’ Horn Said, ‘‘He’s made my transition a whole lot easier the past couple of days, and helping me fit in, and help me figure things out. He even showed me where my office was.”

Alternate Captains are senior defenseman No. 2 Rob Hall and junior forward No.19 Dylan Shapiro. All three captains are expected to be in the starting lineup.

The Golden Eagles have their first game on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 4 p.m. at Bill Gray’s Iceplex against the Nazareth Golden Flyers.