Joe Burcar highlights bright future of Finlandia men’s hockey programJanuary 12, 2018
Men’s hockey coach Joe Burcar stopped by Finlandia Fridays this week to talk about home games, new recruits and upgrades to Houghton County Arena. Burcar is excited to be back on home ice, mentioning that the team has not been at home since the second weekend in November. “Any time it’s game day, especially when it’s at home, it’s a great day,” stated Burcar.
The Lions have three home games within the next five days, playing two conference matches this weekend against Lawrence University and Marian University, and a non-conference match against University of Wisconsin Superior on Tuesday.
Houghton County Arena upgrades
The Houghton County Arena has seen several upgrades this past year. “As a board we went out to the community and asked for money, and the community responded in such a great way,” said Burcar. The money donated from the community went towards a new roof, a new dehumidifier, new lighting and a fresh paint job, all great improvements to the facility Burcar commented. The upgrades will continue in 2018, with the addition of better seating and a new ice plant.
New Copper Country talent debuts
Bringing in the new year, Burcar has also brought three new recruits to the team– Connor Hannon, Hunter Kero, and Cale Markham. All three recruits are from the local area, “their talent level is second to none,” stated Burcar. Having local players on the team is a staple for Finlandia sports. With the addition of an increased local fan base, these local players are hardworking and highly coachable, said Burcar. Hannon made his college debut last weekend with a goal and an assist. All three players will be taking the ice this weekend at 7:15p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Saturday.
First half leaders impress
Burcar also talked about the team’s lead scorers Bryce Mitzel and Blake Peavey. Both Mitzel and Peavey have six goals this season. Burcar commented, “they both bring a hardworking, blue collar style to the game. They’re not going to be fancy. They are going to score some dirty, ugly goals at times, but we are okay with that, and it’s been paying off for them. They are hardworking guys.” Along with Mitzel and Peavey, Burcar discussed freshman goalie Marcus Gloss. Gloss “has almost 500 minutes in the season so far, and has been able to put above a .900 save percentage,” stated host Michael Babcock. Burcar said Gloss’s commitment and work ethic are admirable, and he continues to improve as the season continues.
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