Thanasiu brings big assistanceWritten by Chris Kozak | | firstname.lastname@example.org
If the Northview High School Wildcats hockey team hopes to make it to its first state championship appearance in 14 years, the team will need an assist from Adam
Thanasiu recently set the school record for assists, besting Bob Napierala’s mark of 135. Thanasiu, after four years of varsity play for the Wildcats, surpassed that in early December, and stands at more than 150 for his career.
”I’ve always been able to see the ice that way,” Thanasiu said. ”My game is jumping up into the play where I can, but I’m also surrounded by a lot of great talent that can bury the puck.”
Playing with scorers such as senior line-mates Erik LaVoy, Tim Hurst and Alden Hirschfeld, Thanasiu swoops down the ice from his defensive positions, harking back to offensive-minded defenders such as Boston Bruin great Bobby Orr, who also wore black and gold.
”My favorite spot is the transition, through the neutral zone. I can find people really well going up the ice,” Thanasiu said.
”I know my role. I always look to pass before I shoot.”
Statistics back the talk. In his freshman season, Thanasiu had 24 assists and two goals; sophomore numbers were six and 40; his junior season, Thanasiu upped his goals to eight while dishing out 57 frozen dimes.
While he excels at passing pucks, handing out head-ringing, ”can-you-hear-me-now?” body checks is the part of the game he loves.
”It’s my favorite thing,” he said, laughing, when asked about laying the lumber. ”It’s a physical sport. You definitely have to keep your head up.”
The Wildcats sit alone atop the Red Division of the Northwest Hockey Conference with a 22-3-1 record, 6-0 in the conference, including back-to-back overtime victories this past weekend over St. Francis and St. John’s Jesuit. The strong, senior-led team has been running toward its goal of a state championship since this summer.
”Our goal this summer was to run 146 miles, which is the distance from here to Columbus,” Thanasiu said. ”No team from Sylvania, that I know of, has won a state championship, so that’s our ultimate goal.”
It’s an ultimate goal that would cap off a career that began with 5:30 a.m. practices as a 3-year old that turned him into a rink rat. He plays about 10 months a year and works at Tam O’Shanter Ice Arena. Following the back-to-back overtime victories, you could find him back on the ice … refereeing a game.
”Whenever I can get on the ice, I’ll take the opportunity,” he said.
Thanasiu’s next opportunity comes Jan. 29, as the Wildcats play Dublin Coffman in Dublin. Northview returns to action at Tam O’Shanter for the annual battle of Sylvania facing off against Southview on Feb. 4. Puck drops at 7 p.m.