Photo Credit: Charlotte Rush
This past weekend, the Rush played and finished their preseason with games against the Columbia Infantry. From these games we get a good sense of who is playing where and why they are at the Premier or Elite levels of the USPHL.
First hear from Premier and Elite Head Coach Troy Schwab on a few standouts.
“We had some very tough decisions this year as to who made the Premier and who made the Elite Team. We feel we are going to be very good at both levels this season and are excited to get started this upcoming weekend. Training camp was tough, and the players who showed up in shape and were consistent over the course of camp, got themselves off to a good start, and may have ultimately put themselves in better positions to play Premier this season.
Spencer Barrow is a player who will start the season on our Elite team that was very good over the weekend contributing with multiple goals.
A trio of returning players in CJ Bachman, Matt Lawhon, and MIchael Miller took the summer to put themselves in the best position to be full time Premier guys and over the course of training camp and exhibition games, they took more steps towards being full time Premier Guys.”
Associate Head Coach Trevor Kleckner talked about the culture of the Rush and what these games mean in a more general sense, along with how an Elite player earns a call up.
“Last weekend was our first opportunity to see our players in a game-like setting and we were very happy with our performance. It’s one thing to see players competing and executing drills during practices but at the end of the day what matters most is our performance in games.
Sometimes it’s hard for players to find the motivation to play their best hockey during a preseason exhibition, given that the regular season is ahead of us. We believe that every single player gave their best effort in these exhibitions which, as a staff, makes it that much harder to separate into both a Premier and a Elite team. There were some tough decisions to make, however, we understand that competition eliminates complacency, and we will not have either team be complacent in our goals for two national championships.
Throughout the course of the season, many instances can cause an Elite player to be called up to a Premier role. Whatever the cause may be, we believe it is most important that a player does not stray from his skill set when he is called up. In some cases, this player may try something new and flashy to make him stand out from the rest. The reason they have been called up is because of their specific style and play, and we want to see that translate onto the next level of hockey.”
The Rush open their season with two games for each team against the Infantry this weekend in a home and home matchup.
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