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#4 Will Hoer (Captain)
How do you think the team will do this year?
I think we’ll be a playoff contender this year. We finished [the year] strong last year, beating some of the best teams in the league. I think we really showed our potential and showed what were capable of doing as a team, and I think we’ll carry that into this year.
You’re a defenseman. What do you think of the Defensive core this year?
Strong. We’re deep on the back end this year. I think we are solid up and down the lineup and we can produce offensively and shut down defensively.
What’s the locker room looking like this year?
The vibe in the locker room is good. The new guys are fitting in well.
What do you think of the upcoming road trip to play the University of Vermont?
It’s exciting, ya know. It’s not a conference team. They’re one of the stronger teams in the ACHA. It’ll be a good test to see how strong our legs are.
Pick a player you expect a breakout season from?
Rohan Ganta. He’s going to step into a different role this year and contribute key minutes and play some hard minutes.
Favorite flavor of doritos?
What’s the biggest obstacle to success this season for NJIT Hockey?
Staying disciplined and focused. Avoiding mental lapses because we’d take five minutes off during a game and teams would capitalize.
Coach Interview: Jason Anagnos
What do you think about the team coming up for this season?
“I’m really excited about the team. We’ve got a lot of returning players. I think we only lost a couple of seniors but our core guys are working the same system. We also finished really strong last year and there’s no reason why we can’t continue to do that. Earlier this year, we got a good schedule so we have time to work out the kinks [and] form some lines together. I am very optimistic for this year.”
So talk about the start of practices. How has the team looked?
There are always some over-achievers that I am happy with their performance of. The key is to get everybody up to the same speed. Summer is a time to take off from hockey but ideally we have guys who are training for camp, but that isn’t the case here. I like the effort. I tell certain guys, “It doesn’t matter where you are now, what matters now is that there is constant improvement from one practice to the next, to the next”.
What kind of obstacles do you think the team is going to face this season?
Well, we are kinda low on numbers. Here at NJIT, we tend to have slow starts. Fortunately, like I was saying about the schedule, it’s a lot better this year, which if we do have our traditional slow start it won’t cost us the league so that’s something I like. The overall goal of the program is to win from the start, ya know, not wait till halfway through the season to start heating up. There needs to be that sense of urgency right from the start. The other thing we need to overcome is injuries. It’s a long season, we play some tough teams that like to bang bodies, and we’ve got some guys that have injuries from that past which is something that we’ll definitely have to focus on the ice. Stretch, recovery, and taking care of your body.
Coming off a hot end of last season, the NJIT Hockey team looks to take a big step forward this year. While it may have started off slow, the team pulled away its last 9 games with a 7-2 record, including a 9-2 win over UPenn and a 16-2 win over Monmouth University. Jason Anagnos, who originally served as the team’s assistant coach before taking over last season, is confident in his team’s ability to produce positive results under his second year of management.
The captain of the team is Will Hoer, a senior majoring in Electrical Engineering, who aims to use his seniority to guide his teammates. As a defenseman, Hoer knows his defensive core will be able to perform at crucial times and keep the team’s mentality stable. Looking further into the season, Hoer has hopes in his eyes for a playoff run.
Starting the season off strong, the first home game of our Hockey Highlanders is against Stevens Institute of Technology here at Newark’s own Prudential Center. Games are hosted at the Barnabas Health Hockey House, located within the Prudential Center and are free. The Highlanders this year seek to make an impact within the Colonial States Collegiate Hockey Conference. Will the Highlanders be able to start off on a fresh foot, or continue the tradition of a sluggish start?
Photo credits: Tom Altomare | NJIT Hockey