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Troy

December 11, 2013

Troy hockey team hits the ground running, starts season 6-0

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Troy captains, from left, Andrew Urban, John Hunter and Mitch Thomson, are pictured before a Dec. 7 game at home against Bloomfield Hills. The Colts were 6-0-0 at press time.

TROY — Everyone is chipping in.

Different players, on different nights, are finding different ways to contribute.

The sample size may still be a bit small, but thanks this formula, Tim Zimmerman is working with an undefeated hockey team right now.

“It’s a fun team to watch,” the Troy High coach said of his guys, who were 6-0-0 following a 9-2 victory against Bloomfield Hills High on Dec. 7. “It’s a fun team to coach.”

Winning is always enjoyable, but it has also done something else for a young team that finished last winter below the .500 mark.

“You can see the confidence really growing,” Zimmerman added. “We haven’t played the most difficult schedule, but we’re finding ways to win, and we’re getting contributions from everybody. You love to see that.”

The victory against Bloomfield Hills was convincing, but Zimmerman also noted a Nov. 29 game against Sterling Heights Stevenson, in which his team trailed 2-0 before battling back to win 3-2 in overtime.

“These guys are young, but they’ve come together pretty quickly,” Zimmerman said. “They’ve picked things up right away.”

“A lot of it has to do with the chemistry,” junior defenseman Mitch Thomson said. “This is a group that enjoys coming to the rink and working together to get better every day.”

The six wins in six tries are already more than half of last season’s total.

A team with just six seniors closed out the 2012-13 campaign with an 11-12-4 final record, falling to the University of Detroit Jesuit in a Division 1 regional final.

Youth remained as the roster transitioned, though, as the current group has just five seniors.

“The youth is something we kind of enjoy,” Thomson said. “We’re 6-0 and younger than most teams. We’re gaining experience and building every day, and you can see it pay off.”

While the nine goals scored against Bloomfield shifted the average a bit, the Colts have totaled 36 tallies so far while allowing just 12 against.

“It’s about us finishing our checks and cutting down passing lanes,” Thomson said of the defensive effort. “But the forwards and the way they’ve back checked has been huge. It’s a total team effort.”

The win against Bloomfield was the lone game played at press time in the Oakland Activities Association White Division.

The Colts faced Auburn Hills Avondale Dec. 11, after press time, and renew a city and division rivalry at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 14 against Troy Athens at the Troy Sport Center.

Birmingham Unified (2-0-0 in league play) is likely the favorite in the White, but one of the Colts’ main goals is finding a way to be in the conversation for a division crown.

“The emphasis we had this year is to greatly improve in our league,” Zimmerman said. “We lost three or four league games by a goal last season, so we decided to make one of our goals being more competitive in the division.”

“This is a team with a lot of potential — a team that could be very good,” Thomson added. “The league is the main goal to start, and then we’ll take things from there.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mike Moore at mmoore@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1038. Twitter Follow Mike on Twitter.