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Macomb Township

December 12, 2012

L’Anse Creuse North hockey team hopes to compete for league championship

By Mark Vest
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
L’Anse Creuse North forward Gage Mazzetti celebrates after scoring a goal earlier this season. Mazzetti is one of eight seniors on the squad.

For the last two seasons, L’Anse Creuse North’s hockey team has finished second to only Marysville in the Macomb Area Conference White Division.

Marysville proved to be a challenge for everybody within the division, as the Vikings went undefeated in MAC White play with a 10-0 record last season.

While the Crusaders won’t have the opportunity to take another crack at Marysville this season, as the Vikings have been moved to the MAC Red, Coach Jon Nader is hoping that his team can walk away with a league championship and perhaps even take a shot at a regional championship, which would be a first in program history.

“I think we’re always in a position for that,” Nader said of winning a league title. “One of our goals every year is to win the league. There’s a couple of kids that have been on the team since their freshman year. They understand how significant it is to win a league title and how tough it is, as well, being (that) we’ve got second place the last two years, behind one team.

“That’s one of our major goals. The other major goal is to be successful in regionals,” Nader said.

If LCN is going to make this a special season, it is going to have to do so with a young squad. The Crusaders graduated 10 players from last year’s team, and although they have eight seniors suiting up this season, according to Nader, a couple of them were on the JV squad last season.

And with five freshmen and four sophomores also in the mix, Nader has an idea as to what role his experienced seniors can play to help try to lead them toward their goals.

“I have high expectations,” he said. “It’s a good core group of kids — (there’s) some talent there. It’s a matter of getting those younger kids to intermingle with them. They know that we’re young, and they have a major role in how the season goes. They’re mingling good with the freshmen.”

Although teams in the MAC White won’t have Marysville to contend with this season, it doesn’t mean the march toward a league championship is going to be an easy one.

“I think it’s going to be very competitive,” he said. “I think Romeo’s got a very good squad coming back. They were pretty good last year, and they had quite a few kids come back. I think anybody can win it. It’s wide open.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mark Vest at mvest@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1112. Twitter Follow Mark on Twitter.