KEARNEY, Neb. – Storm head coach Jim Hulton announced the leaders of the Tri-City Storm team for the 2013-14 season on Monday morning, choosing defenseman Nolan Gluchowski as the team’s captain and defenseman Garrett Cecere along with forwards Christian Horn and Drew Mayer as assistant captains.
The four players combine for experience at multiple levels of junior hockey, along with experience at the collegiate level.
“I think this group offers a great example of leadership in the way they guide the locker room and the way they guide the other players off the ice,” Hulton said “They exemplify the work ethic that we want this team to be all about. To me, that’s what a leader does. He leads by example, not necessarily with words.”
“These guys are warriors on the ice, they work hard in practice and they work hard in the weight room. That’s the example we want to set.”
Gluchowski is in his second season as one of the leaders on the defensive end. A season ago the Wixom, Mich. native played in 48 games, scoring eight goals and 11 assists. In 22 games this year he is fourth in team scoring with nine assists, five of them coming on the power play.
“I’m very excited,” Gluchowski said. “I learned a lot from our captains last year and I’m looking forward to putting our own spin on it with my assistants this season.”
The defenseman, who turns 20 next month and is committed to play collegiately at St. Lawrence, has previous experience in a leadership role, serving as captain of his high school team before joining the Storm.
“You can’t always be very vocal,” said Gluchowski. “You have to lead by example and take guys under your wing because they’ll learn from you by watching.”
Cecere is also in his second year with the Storm, and will help to lead on the defensive side. A native of West Des Moines, Ia., Cecere accounted for three goals and 16 assists a season ago, and has eight more helpers from the back end this season.
“I think this is going to be a turning point in the season for us,” Cecere said. “We are trying to loosen things up a bit and make sure guys are having fun all the time. You’re not going to play the game well if you’re not having fun. I think that’s something that all four of us want and I think we did that this weekend.”
Horn, who began his season with the University of Minnesota, has a collegiate experience under his belt, differentiating himself from the rest of the Storm roster.
After joining the team a few weeks in, the forward has been a big help offensively, with five goals and eight assists in his first 16 games.
“It’s a big honor,” Horn said. “I wasn’t really expecting it but for the guys to look up to me like this already it really does mean something. They’re a great group of guys and I’m having a blast out here; I absolutely love it. To be named an assistant captain is just icing on the cake to what has been a great couple weeks so far.”
Mayer, also a 20-year-old committed to play at Ferris State, is another positive voice for some of the younger players in the locker room. He also accounts for a big part of the Storm’s physical presence on the ice.
“We’re excited to get going and take it one shift at a time,” Mayer said. “We can’t focus on a negative; we have to focus on all the positives. Our coach wants us to have an ‘Us Against the World’ mentality and I think the four of us can help bring that to our locker room.”
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)