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Irish Prepare for Home Opener

10/13/2020, 9:00pm EDT
By Staff

Coach Dennis Boomer

The Detroit Fighting Irish have spent a few weeks getting ready to get the USPHL Premier season underway as the team prepares for this weeks home opener on Saturday Afternoon against the Metro Jets Development team at 2:00 pm at Southgate.s Civic Arena. The team has gone thru several changes since it last took the ice in Southgate last March and has actually gone thru a couple of changes over the last couple of weeks since the team went 1-3 in the leagues opening showcase in Fraser Michigan October 2,.3, 4. 

New Tandem in Leadership

The Irish recently named Coaches Dennis Boomer and Sam Shaheen to co- coach positions of the team and named Jacob Gorzelski as assistant. Both coaches seem to have a unified vision on player development and are focused on putting the Irish in the position as  one of the top contenders in the Premier Division although it is easy to be focused on the season at hand, the staff of the Irish know from the past that they have to continue to create and develop opportunities for the teams young players and for future prospects.  Boomer brings 40 years of experience, while Shaheen represents the new wave of talented young coaches in the game this could be a partnership for success for the Fighting Irish. 

Pandemic Focused Recruiting Strengthens line up

In what can be summed up as a very strange new world in the game of hockey from youth to pro the prescence of the Covid 19 pandemic limited the amount of scouting to basically regional and instate events and actually gave the Irish scouting staff an opportunity to focus more on grass roots and home grown players. The team actually went back to old school tactics and begin holding its own scouting events inviting local players to impromptu skates dedicated to the staff spending more one on one time with each recruit. Of course with most arenas closed the staff was creative and found themselves skating in areas which were new territories but deemed essential to rebuilding of the brand. Before the limitations of the pandemic we were prepared as an organization to begin going out of our comfort zone and bringing more players from out of state and from Europe which in many ways was not in harmony with the goals of our program to provide opportunity for Michigan players.What we have learned from this experience is that as an organization that our product our league has grown and our reputation for developing players has expanded, the USPHL is no longer that other league stated GM Dan Vasquez. The results were remarkable as the team has nearly every position filled by a Michigan home grown player with the talent bar raised to a level in which the Irish will compete every night no matter whom the opponent is.

Team adds Skill at Every Position

From back to front the Fighting Irish have added skill and speed at every position a talented crew of retuning veterans which included top goal scorer Clay Hightower and forwards Jay Kostecke, Lane Stewart and Drew Wooten as well as multil position players such as Oliver Allen, Guiseppe Pizzo, and Carter Schuclbeir .The team added some very talented veteran forwards  Seth Robbins 2000  Rockwood MI,  Matt Martin 2000 Muskegon MI, Wylie Nunn 2000 Gaylord MI ,Bradley Scott 2001 Dearborn Hts MI and CHase Burges 2000 Westland MI all bring experience , character and veteran presence to the Irish line up. The team also added several forwards whom were top players in theie organizations last season such as Brendan Miles 2001 Fenton  and Ben Kozar 2001 Milford both whom were captains of their High school programs.   Stefano Mini 2003 Richmond MI,  Noah Bigelow 2003 Brighton Mi and Jake Perinito 2004 Macomb MI represent the teams youth movement all 3 players are big game players and have the capability to fill any spot for the team.  On Defense Chris Hawkins 2002 Muskegon,  Jager Kelly 2001 Muskegon , Shane Romback 2001 Macomb MI, Guiseppi Cracchiolo 2000 Westland MI bring  experience and high skill levels. They are joined by very talented young Blue liners Nick Goldie 2003 St Clair Shores, Kollin Leduc 2003 Macomb MI and Perry Fereabend 2004 Lapeer MI . The team also recently acquired 2001 forward Garret Benoit from the Metro Jets organization whom brings a reputation as a goal scorer to the teams line up.. In goal Derek Antol Jr  2002 Muskegon MI returns and is supported by veteran goaltender Dan McCarthy 2000 Tamp Fl,  Caleb Swanson 2002 Mesa Az and Colin Guelchner 2002 Madison Wisconsin.  McCarthy and Swansom both bring experience as McCarty spent last season in the NA3HL with Elmira and Swanson last season with Yellowstone.

Highly Explosive Offensive - Responsible Defensively

Both Boomer and Shaheen both agree that their ultimate task is to mold the Irish team to play a high level of offensive that has become the moniker of the USPHL However the real challenge will be getting every player to accept responsibility in the defensive zone. Frem early showings the team has began to embrace the offensive philosphy averaging 5 goals per game, however on the defensive side of the puck Boomer and Shaheen have some work to do. We have the personnel that has demanded a sense of accountability and enthusiasm that is needed to improve as a group it is just going to be about putting in the time and buying in stated "Boomer.

The Detroit Fighting Irish open up their 2020-2021 USPHL home schedule Saturday October 17th at 2:00 pm vs MJDP at the Southgate Civic Center tickets will be sold at the door. For more information on the Detroit Fighting Irish go to the team's website


Coach Sam Shaheen

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