Thursday, October 04, 2012

Hounds' Schumacher has lofty goals

Bobby Schumacher says he’s comfortable playing at the junior level for the Hartland Hounds and said he’s adapted to the pace of the Midwest Junior Hockey League from the high school level where he played for four years.

Schumacher captained the Lakeland High School squad (pictured) to its first regional championship in 32 years last spring and wants to taste that same measure of success with the Hounds this season.

“I wound up playing for the Hounds through my old coach (at Lakeland, Tim Ronayne) telling me about (Hartland coach-GM Randy) Montrose building up a new team and I was interested. His teams (at Howell High School) were always powerhouses, so I had to try out.”

Playing high school hockey and then making the jump to the MWJHL is something Schumacher attributes to his work ethic.

“High school hockey prepared me for juniors because I was always skating,” Schumacher said. “We had hockey everyday and it only got me better. Also, the more I played hockey the more confident I was and it transferred over to juniors. My four years at Lakeland were a great experience. I loved being able to see my teammates in class and the chemistry we would build no matter what grade you were in.”

This season actually started off with a bump, quite literally.

In the Hounds’ second game of the season in Holland against the River Bandits, things got testy late in the game and Schumacher was on the receiving end of what most feel should be eliminated from hockey altogether and ended up at the hospital with a broken nose.

“The situation unfolded when I was chirping some player for running into my goalie and someone came up from behind me and sucker-punched me in the face," said Schumacher. "It was cheap, but I will have to learn better how to protect myself and understand that stuff like this can happen in junior hockey. As of right now, I'm not fully recovered from my broken nose and it's still vulnerable and easy to break."

Personal issues aside, all Schumacher wants to do this season is win and with a perfect 7-0-0 record so far, that’s all Hartland is doing.

“My expectations from a team standpoint are that we are accomplishing what we wanted to do,” said Schumacher. “We have won all our games and are in first place and that will be our expectation for the rest of the year. We want to be the best team in the MWJHL, win the league and be a powerhouse.”

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