Photo and graphics credit: Chicago Cougars
When you talk about the USPHL on the ladder of development, you often hear stories of players like Blake Bennett. The AIC star forward first began to show his skills with the Charlotte Rush, earned a chance at the NAHL with Corpus Christi, and then got seen by AIC. For kids like Bennett, the USPHL is often a stop on the way to Division One or Three Hockey and beyond and that is superb.
For players like Kasmier Moncheck (Kaz) it serves as a place to get noticed by colleges. There are far more quality players playing college hockey than division one, two, or three have spots for. The USPHL exists and is played by over 100 teams between the premier and elite levels to provide a stop on the ladder of development. For players who want to do something academically that’s not offered with an NCAA roster spot, there is ACHA or club hockey. Those players compete just as hard as division one players do, and often get a scintilla of the coverage that those playing NCAA hockey do. For Moncheck and so many others, who make up the vast majority of direct commits to college in the USPHL,if there was not ACHA hockey available, he would have had a lot tougher time finding a place to continue his dream on the ice, while earning a degree off it. For those who e it, club hockey is college hockey and top teams often have the ability and wherewithal to beat division one teams on occasion. The ACHA has also sent players to division one hockey like Ellijah Barriga, who went on to have a stellar career at AIC.
His assistant coach with the Cougars, Cory Schwarz, took the time to chat with us about Kaz, and more on what Adrian us getting as a player and person. First , he talked about his passionate play of the game, saying , “some of my favorite things about Kaz is his passion to be the best he can be. Bleeding for the team. Always trying to do whatever he can for his teammates. He is an all around team guy.”
Kaz is a team first player who is solid in his own end with offensive upside to his game. With the Cougars look for him to help lead the team this year as they are fighting to make it back to Nationals this March.
Schwarz added for Kaz “like all our players is awesome to see succeed and continue to play hockey. I am honored he trusted us for two season to help him reach his goal of playing college hockey. It has been an absolute pleasure to Coach Kaz and have him wear the Cougars uniform!”
For the season Schwarz said “We hope Kaz continues to develop and be a great teammate this year. He is fun to be around and we hope nothing but the best for him the rest of the way!”
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