Friday, September 28, 2012

Hartford a runaway freight train for Dogs

When Matt Hartford gets his skates moving, he looks like a runaway freight train.

At 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds, once Hartford gets ‘rolling,’ he’s difficult to stop and definitely adds some much-needed size to the Michigan Ice Dogs.

“He’s a power forward,” explained Ice Dogs’ head coach Tony Graham. “He has good size, although he’s not overly physical.”

Hartford pressures the play and his effort without the puck is notable.

“Hartford practiced most of the season with the team last year,” said Graham. “He worked hard and lost 30 pounds to make the team. He deserves his place on our roster. His size, work ethic and skills are a big asset to the team.”

“One of my favorite teams of all time was the Allen Park Huskies team I played on as a Squirt,” recalled Hartford. “Coach Kenny made it special and taught me so much about the game.

“Hockey has taught me so many things. I’ve learned what teamwork is, how important drive and determination are. I’ve gained confidence playing hockey. I love the feeling you get from winning. Hockey makes me happy.”

Best hockey memory: “My No. 1 hockey highlight was in the Canada Cup when I competed in the skills competition with my defensive partner and won. The excitement of having my name announced as one of the all-stars was great. When I got on the ice, all of the fans were going crazy and then going through the event and winning multiple competitions was by far my greatest hockey highlight.”

Hartford’s advice for young players: “Never give up on your dreams and never listen to the doubters.”

In the future, Hartford plans to attend college and major in engineering.

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