By Jack Leech
Special to the Clarkston News
BLOOMFIELD HILLS — Clarkston Varsity Hockey skates into a new season with their home opener against Flint Powers this Thursday at Detroit Skating Club.
The Wolves are coming off of one of their most impressive performances in the history of the program with a 21-3-2 record during the 2022-23 season.
Under the skilled guidance from Nathan Bryer, a Clarkston High School graduate and fourth year head coach, the bar is set at an unprecedented level and if the current roster is any indication, 2023-24 will be a season of very high expectations.
Only days ago, 40 hopeful skaters took to the ice at Detroit Skating Club to see if they had what it takes to form this year’s varsity hockey team. Only 22 skaters emerged as members of this year’s squad. Six new players were added, complimenting the 16 returners from last year’s team.
The true test of what kind of team you have, as the season begins, is how well they execute as they adapt to the coaches plans and instruction.
The Wolves butted heads with a mature and skilled Lakeland team and lost a close scrimmage game, 3-2.
A new addition to the roster, senior Cole Moysin, an AAA player, netted the Wolves first goal. Three of Bryer’s four lines have been intermixed with newcomers. New juniors include Kyle Lynch, John Walker, Ronan Howell and Gavin Anderson, all AAA and AA players. Maturity is the hallmark of this year’s team with AAA Brendan Wegnar rounding out the new members, as the lone freshman. Quinn Farrell added the other score in the scrimmage.
Behind the bench, a coaching addition is Adam Krefski, handling the forward lines and the power play assignments. He brings a deep head coaching background for Romeo and Lake Orion as well as a staff coaching experience for Total Performance Hockey, a nationally recognized skill improvement program for elite players, of which five players on the current Clarkston crew have participated in the past year.
Bryer shared, “Coach Krefski brings a very calming influence to the bench, having lead championship teams in the past.”
Returning defensive coach and CHS All-State standout, Adam Larkin, is back to mentor the defensive crew and penalty killing duties.
Within the OAA, Rochester, Lake Orion, Stoney Creek, M-1 Griffins and Birmingham all returning deep rosters.
Bryer mixes with the OAA schedule games against teams in the top 10 and previous state champions.
“We are moving in the right direction and want to be in a position to win every game,” Bryer said. “We will definitely be harder to play against and I am encouraged by our new players, who are buying into our system.”
The Wolves host Flint Powers this Thursday, 6 p.m., and Rochester on Saturday, 5 p.m. Both games are at Detroit Skating Club in Bloomfield Hills.
By Jack Leech