By Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public AffairsDecember 12, 2018
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Dec. 12, 2018) -- The Watertown Wolves supported the All Army Hockey program for a second year with a friendly scrimmage Dec. 5 at Cerow Ice Arena in Clayton.
The minor professional hockey team provided the Soldier-athletes their last competitive contest before they departed Fort Drum for Finland. According to All Army Sports, the team will compete against Finnish military hockey teams and the Finnish NHL All-Star team Dec. 12-14.
"They did a really good job adjusting to adjusting to the Wolves' neutral zone play, which is something we hadn't talked about in practice before, said Lt. Col. Darrin Janisch, assistant coach. "The guys picked up on it right away on ice, and we were pretty successful."
Janisch said that he was proud of how the players are always ready to compete against any team and at any arena. This is an attitude they take with them overseas.
"Our boys are always going to step on the ice, no matter where, and play their hardest for three full periods," Jansich said. "Every single one of them has a 'never quit' attitude and that comes from being a Soldier. I mean, they don't waste any opportunity to compete at a high level, and to get better. Even when something isn't going their way, they stay resilient."
Sgt. 1st Class Sean Harjala said that the team was looking forward to international competition.
"We've been coming together more and more as a team every time we hit the ice," he said. "It's definitely going to be a blast getting to play in Finland."
Harjala, assigned to 1st Special Forces Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, has the experience of being a two-year starting forward on the All Army team.
"There's a lot talent on the team, and I saw that last year too," he said. "The dynamic might have changed a little, obviously, with the different personalities but it is still a good group of guys playing great hockey."
Janisch said that the team was grateful for the support they received during the two-week trial camp.
"Fort Drum and the Watertown communities, once again, have been outstanding to us," he said. "We just love coming here. We show up and everyone from the commanding general on down have been so welcoming and helping us accomplish what we need to do."
Representing the All Army Hockey Team are:
Pfc. Michael Antoniou, Fort Hood, Texas
Capt. John Hubbard, Fort Benning, Georgia
Capt. Matthew Milley, Fort Benning, Georgia
Sgt. Jeremiah Desrosier, Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Spc. Tre Gubelman, Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Sgt. 1st Class Sean Harjala, Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Staff Sgt. Matthew Jimenez, Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Cpl. Evan Joyal, Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Spc. Jordan McInnis, Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Spc. Connor O'Leary, Fort Carson, Colorado
Capt. Joseph Spracklen, Fort Gordon, Georgia
Capt. Colby Burling, Fort Carson, Colorado
1st Lt. Richard Metcalf, Fort Richardson, Alaska
1st Lt. Timothy Houston, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington
1st Lt. Luke Jenkins, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington
1st Lt. Joseph Kozlak, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington
1st Lt. Joshua Roberts, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington
1st Lt. Juan Perez, Minnesota National Guard
2nd Lt. Curran Reuschlein, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii
Pfc. Tye Berger, Vicenza, Italy
1st Lt. Jonathan Hearn, U.S. Army Garrison-Italy
On staff are:
Head coach/player Capt. Jeff Fearing, U.S. Military Academy at West Point
Assistant coach Lt. Col. Darrin Jansich, Minnesota National Guard
Trainer Maj. Christina Hylden, Fort Greely, Alaska
Equipment manager Pfc. Brendan Taylor
To learn more about the All Army Sports program, visit https://www.armymwr.com/programs-and-services/sports-and-fitness/all-army-sports and follow the various teams' activities at https://www.facebook.com/TheAllArmySports/.