Sacré-Cœur men’s hockey seeks to dominate face-offs


BRIDGEPORT – If hockey is a 50-50 win game, coach CJ Marottolo wants his Sacré-CÅ“ur men’s hockey team to dominate one of them.

The Pioneers were around 0.500 in faceoffs last year, Marottolo said, and he wants that number to look more like 0.570 in the new year that begins Saturday afternoon at Hartford against UConn.

“We want to be a team that has the puck, and it’s hard to play this game if you don’t have the puck. You have to really work hard to get it back, ”said Marottolo. “We just felt that this was an area where, looking at college hockey, our stats weren’t where they needed to be. “

So they talked a lot about it, said Marottolo, the whole squad, about winning possession on draws.

“I think at first glance a lot of people think a face-off is for crosses,” said graduate transfer center Troy Conzo, “but if you think about it more, a face-off involves all five. guy on the ice.

“It’s one thing for the center to win the clean puck, but a lot of times at this level the crosses are good, and there’s a lot of those 50-50 battles. Your wingers must come to the aid and your (defenders) must be available and have good outlets. “

There are set plays that teams can win net face-offs, but it’s not always easy to do. A coin toss victory often requires good communication and comes with a lot of practice.

“Individually it’s a skill you can definitely develop at the end of practice when you have some time with the other centers,” said senior Ryan Steele.

“It’s a lot of rehearsal, going out there and practicing, and watching videos. Every guy needs to know what he’s doing on these parts, otherwise it won’t work.

Junior Tim Clifton said he believes the training paid off last season and led to a better transition.

Everyone should know his missions, he said. And the centers have to do their preparation, until they check how their opponent is shooting.

“Every time I go to the point and see someone’s firmness, I know which way I want to attack the draw,” Clifton said. “Whether he’s out of his reach or on his strong side, it makes me think about what I want to do. I think if I know what my mission must be on point before I even get in, I’m more confident that I’ll get the draw.

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