Men’s hockey names assistant captains

Brooke Smith, Sports Editor

  Just before the Robert Morris University men’s hockey team set off for their game against Air Force, head coach Derek Schooley announced over twitter that the team had chosen seniors Brandon Blandina and James Lyle to be the assistant captains for the 2011-2012 season. 

  “Team choose Asst Captains today…players did a good job in choosing Srs Brandon Blandina and James Lyle,” read the tweet from Coach Schooley.

  Blandina and Lyle will now join senior forward, Trevor Lewis who was named captain at the end of March, as leaders of the team.

  According to Blandina, some of his new roles include, “acting as a leader on and off the ice, working with both the players and the coaches to make decisions for the team, as well as communicating between coaches and refs on ice.”

  Lewis believes that both Blandina and Lyle posses great qualities that will make them effective assistant captains.  “Brandon is a good leader by working hard and showing leadership through his play, he is also not afraid to speak up and be vocal which isn’t easy to do. James leads our defense and has a lot of respect from our guys,” explained Lewis.  “He is able to show leadership through his play as well and will be vocal in the right situations. They are both great assistant captains.”

  For Blandina, he is honored that his teammates selected him to this role, but he realizes it will be a large responsibility.  “I was honored, a sense of joy came over me with but at the same time I knew it is a big responsibility,” recalled Blandina.  “It really means a lot to me and it is great to know that the guys see me as a leader.”

  Lyle is also honored that he was selected to be an assistant captain. “I’m obviously really proud,” said Lyle.   “Anytime your teammates select you to this type of position, it’s something that makes you step up and value the position very highly because of getting the respect from your teammates.”

  Schooley also thinks the team did a very good job picking Blandina and Lyle as assistant captains for many different reasons.  “Both Brandon and James Lyle are very good people and that’s what you look for when you name captains,” remarked Schooley.  “I think they know the right way of playing and they know the way we want to play, they’ll both do a great job in helping Trevor Lewis lead this team.”

  Coach Schooley also wanted to note that there are a lot of great leaders on the team.  “That’s not to say that we don’t have a lot of other very good leaders and all of our seniors lead in different ways,” said Schooley.  “We had a lot of people get votes but I think the team ultimately chose two very good people and players.”

  After splitting a two game series with Quinnipiac, the Colonials now find themselves 2-3 overall.  Up next for the Colonials is a two game series at Michigan State on Friday, October 28 and Saturday, October 29 before they return home on November 4 and 5 to face American International.