Talking hockey

By on October 5, 2011

Bruce Morgan

Record Express

Sports Editor When the news broke this summer that the Flyers had traded both Jeff Carter and captain Mike Richards in a matter of mere hours, I have to admit that I was pretty excited.

As long as I can remember, the Flyers have been my favorite NHL team, but Carter and Richards, for all the goals they had scored and the great run to the 2010 Stanley Cup finals, couldn’t get out of town soon enough. Maybe it’s their surliness with the media or the fact that they showed so little heart at times, but Philadelphia will be better without them.

Watching the new-look Flyers and having this year’s Winter Classic come to Philadelphia aren’t the only reasons that the upcoming season holds a lot of excitement, though. In fact, I’m sure a lot of Warwick hockey fans will be paying close attention to how the Adirondack Phantoms fare this winter because they have a certain defenseman on their roster — 20-year-old Tyler Hostetter — who just happens to hail from Lititz.

Hostetter, a 2009 Warwick grad, was signed by the Flyers in 2009 as a free agent and played four seasons for his junior team in Erie. Of course, no one could have guessed back in 2006 that he would end up signing a professional contract, but I remember watching him play at the Hersheypark Arena against Hershey for the CPIHL’s Bears Cup. Even at that point in his career, he was among the best players on his team, finishing second on the squad in scoring.

I had the privilege to watch Hostetter play later in his career before he went to Erie and he was like a man among boys. His skating ability and skills were so much more superior to his opponents.

It’s a little bit funny that we’re talking about a player from Lititz playing professional hockey. Generally, you think of athletes from Lancaster County going pro in baseball, and maybe less so in football. But for Hostetter to make it in hockey, a sport normally dominated by Canadians and Europeans, that says a lot about him. My only experience in that area was in 2002 when Glenn Woolard was drafted that year by San Francisco, just a few rounds after current big league star Matt Cain went to the Giants. And that was a neat time being invited to the Woolards’ draft day party and then going to Hagerstown, Md. to watch him pitch for the Suns, who at the time were the Single-A affiliate for the Giants.

Adirondack comes to Hershey on Jan. 7 where Hostetter should be wearing the Phantoms’ sweater playing not on the Hersheypark Arena ice this time, but on the Giant Center ice. In a news release on the Flyers’ website on Sept. 24, Hostetter was listed as one of 17 players who were assigned to the Phantoms’ team.

I know that I’m going to have Jan. 7 circled on my calendar.

*****

In the next year or two, Hostetter might not be the only Warwick grad playing professionally. Andrew Wenger, a 2009 WHS grad and one of the most decorated athletes ever to come out of Warwick, is still ranked number one among underclassmen on the professional soccer draft list.

Currently a junior at Duke University, he is continuing to add to his resume while playing for the Blue Devils this year. It was announced last Thursday that for the second week in a row, Wenger earned ACC Men’s Soccer Player of the Week honors. He was also selected to the TopDrawerSoccer.com Team of the Week for consecutive weeks.

At that time, he led the nation in total points with 23 and was ranked second nationally in goals with 10. More MORGAN, page B-8

About lititzrecord