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Sterling Heights

November 19, 2013

New Stevenson hockey coach to stress getting stops

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
The Sterling Heights Stevenson hockey team opens the 2013-14 season against Troy High in a matchup set for 8:30 p.m. Nov. 29 at the Great Lakes Sports Center in Utica. Pictured is Titans senior Kenny Wurth (10) during a game last season with Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse.

STERLING HEIGHTS — First-year Sterling Heights Stevenson hockey coach Dave Koons Jr. said his philosophy when it comes to how his team will play this year is fairly cut and dry.

“We’re going to be a defense-first team,” said Koons Jr., who takes over a Titans team that went 10-15-0 in 2012-13.

Koons, taking over a squad that went 1-7-0 in the Macomb Area Conference White Division last season, said he wants his players to go into each game prepared to battle. He said Stevenson will be a well-prepared team and that he thinks the Titans can improve as the season goes along.

Last season, Stevenson allowed 138 goals while scoring 112. That comes out to about 5.5 goals against per game for the Titans in 2012-13, versus 4.4 goals scored. In MAC White contests last season, Stevenson gave up six goals per game while tallying 2.37 goals in eight league games.

Koons Jr. said his top-tier players, including senior defenseman Joe Gurak, junior defenseman Nick Paige, senior forward Kenny Wurth and junior forward Kenny Casper, are all solid. Those players will have to be at their very best most nights, Koons said, as Stevenson doesn’t have a lot of depth with just 15 players on its roster.

“Everybody’s got to cover their own zones before they can do anything else, so we’re going to be a defensive-minded, physical team,” Koons said Nov. 14. “We’re hoping we can come out on top and win some games with our approach.”

Koons said his team — in a division with Macomb L’Anse Creuse North, Romeo High, Utica High and Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse — is looking to compete with some of the better squads in the MAC, such as Utica Eisenhower (MAC Red) and Romeo, which went undefeated in winning the MAC White last season.

The first-year Stevenson coach also said one of his goals is for his team to win the MAC White.

“We’re trying to go show we’re a team that’s getting better,” Koons said.

The Titans open the season with a matchup against Troy High, set for 8:30 p.m. Nov. 29 at the Great Lakes Sports Arena in Utica.

For more information on the Stevenson hockey team, check www.machockey.com.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jason Carmel Davis at jdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1107. Twitter Follow Jason on Twitter.