Potential is there for Flyers, now it’s all about execution

By: Mike Moore | Farmington Press | Published January 12, 2011

 Ken Anderson and his Farmington Hills Unified hockey team were 3-5 at press time.

Ken Anderson and his Farmington Hills Unified hockey team were 3-5 at press time.

Photo by Andrew Potter

FARMINGTON HILLS — Ken Anderson isn’t worried about talent, depth or potential.

The Farmington Hills Unified hockey coach hasn’t lost any sleep wondering how good his team could be or just how far this season could go when the playoffs begin.

Instead, his thoughts and focus have, well, focused on one main objective.

“We have to get back to basics,” he said before a Jan. 4 practice at the Farmington Hills Ice Arena. “If we work a little harder and play with a little better attitude, the wins will take care of themselves. That’s what we’re working towards right now.”

The Flyers finished last season 16-6-2, but had to deal with the graduation of seven players and the loss of two more to different hockey leagues prior to the 2010-11 campaign.

Loaded with youth and much less experience, this year’s squad was 3-5 at press time.

“We’ve played a pretty tough schedule so far, and we’re still learning how to play a complete game,” said senior forward Caleb Wright. “The confidence is still there, and we know we’re not a bad team. It’s just a matter of putting things together.”

To Wright’s point, three of the team’s five losses have been by one goal. The other two setbacks were a 6-4 defeat at the hands Plymouth Salem and a 9-3 loss to Farmington High, a 9-0 squad that sneaked past the Flyers 5-4 in their other meeting.

“I guess I wouldn’t say I’m satisfied with where we are right now as far as the record is concerned, but we’ve been in so many games where one break here or there would have made things totally different,” Anderson explained. “Aside from the one against Farmington, we’ve been right in every game and had a shot at winning.”

And moving forward, that’s the goal for the rest of the regular season.

“You look at January, and we have seven games we feel like we can win. Then you look to February and map out what you think you can do there,” senior center Scott Newel explained. “The important thing is, we have enough guys on this team that know how to win and know what it takes to get it done. One game at a time, we’re going to attack this as best we can.”

Anderson echoed his player’s sentiments, saying he expects his team to be in the thick of the Oakland Activities Association’s playoff tournament later in February.

“Farmington will likely be the favorite, but if we get our act together in time, we’ll have something to say, too,” Anderson added. “Then, you turn your focus to the pre-regional and see what happens there. We still have a lot to accomplish yet. Right now, it’s just a matter of turning that corner.”