Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hartland's Krystyniak has winning mantra

The Hartland Hounds are a team with numerous local connections on the ice and forward P.J. Krystyniak is one that should bring a strong offensive impact to the team this season.

An 18-year-old Howell native who played for Hounds’ coach Randy Montrose the past two seasons at Howell High School, Krystyniak had his pick of teams for the upcoming season and was very comfortable in choosing to stay local.

“We had a fun camp (Aug. 3-4) and the guys really bonded and got to know each other,” said Krystyniak. “We should have a good team. It’s basically the same fan base I’ve played for the last couple years and to play again for Randy will be pretty exciting, too.

“Randy is so well-connected in the hockey world that we all know that if we work hard, he’ll do what he can to move us up.”

Krystyniak admitted that off the ice, he can be a quiet person, but on the ice, where he transitioned from defense to forward just two years ago, he’s far from quiet.

“Most the time, I go out have fun and do my job,” Krystyniak said. “I can bring an understanding of the coaching staff and help other players to buy into what systems we plan on running. There has been an overall sense of excitement in the locker room lately.”

“He’s just 18, but P.J. has already started to emerge as a leader on this team,” Montrose said. “He knows how to win and that type of mentality will rub off on the rest of the players.”

Even though he wasn’t a member of the two Howell teams that went to the state championship game in 2009 and 2010, Krystyniak practiced with the team everyday and said he “felt as if I was part of the team.”

 Krystyniak also went to the state finals in 2007 with the Pee Wee AA Kensington Valley Rebels, a team that also featured current Hounds’ forward Jared Vincek.

Knowing what it takes to get notches in the win column is one aspect Krystyniak hopes he can contribute this year with the Hounds.

“My expectations are the same as most guys on the team,” said Krystyniak. “We all want to play well enough to move to the next level and as it is on most teams, the team goal is to win everything possible.”

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