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  • Writer's picturetgardner1167

Marauders Maul Quakers, Crozier Gets 250th Win

The St. Joe’s Marauders came away from Saturday’s 5-0 victory over the Orchard Park Quakers having fulfilled two goals.

The first was increasing their record to 16-1-3, tops among all Monsignor Martin teams in Division 1. The second was recording the 250th career win for head coach Richard Crozier.

Crozier, who is in his 12th season at the helm for the Marauders, was quick to assign credit for his success to the players and coaches who he’s worked with over the years.

“Let’s be honest, I’ve been incredibly blessed to have been a part of this,” Crozier said. “That number has nothing to do with me. There is an incredible team behind me, including hundreds of student athletes, supportive families and the athletic department at St. Joe’s that is incredibly supportive.

And my assistant coaches too – three of them have been with me since day one. I don’t know of any other coach who’s had that. Don Held, Mike Murphy and Sean Eliott – they have young families and they sacrifice so much and let me be the face of the program. They’ve done a ton of work behind the scenes in order for us to get here. So this isn’t Rich Crozier’s 250th win, this is the 250th win for the St. Joe’s hockey program.”

Tributes from both his players and former coaches came in after the game was over.

“It’s honestly a blessing to have a guy like Crozier as our coach,” goaltender Joseph Fronczak said. “You’re able to talk to him if you have any problems and he’s there for you. He’s a great guy and a great coach, and we’ve got a lot of respect for him.”

“With Rich, it’s always been about faith, family and student athletics in that order,” Monsignor Martin Chairman Pete Schneider said. “He played for me when I coached, so we had a relationship and he understood what it took to build trust between player and coach, and that’s why he’s been successful.”

Matthew Orlowski got the Marauders on the board early in the first period and Frankie Attea and John Armento both tallied goals to make it 3-0 midway through the second. From that point on the rout was on, as Armento and Orlowski each lit the lamp for a second time before the contest was over; Fronczak made 27 saves on 27 shots.

One year after winning a state title, the Marauders haven’t suffered through any type of championship hangover. It shows not only through the team’s stellar win-loss record, but also an abundance of selflessness that enables each player to focus on the task at hand and push for a repeat performance.

“We’re just playing simple hockey,” Fronczak said. “No one on this team has a big ego, and everyone here realizes that it’s about the logo on the front of your jersey and not the name on your back. We’ve all bought into that and that approach is working so far.”

Crozier agreed.

“All of these guys would be the best players on their team if they played for their local high school,” Crozier said. “These guys put their personal aspirations aside because they want to be on a St. Joe’s hockey team. I think that says a lot about the type of players who come to St. Joe’s because every player in that room has a role and it’s not the same. Sometimes they don’t love it but they buy into it because they want the team to be successful, and this year’s roster is a great example of that.

At the end of the day, these are high school kids. I learned a long time ago that if you don’t treat people well in anything you do, you’re in deep trouble. So I try to treat people well, care about them and support them through good times and bad, because I’ve had a lot of people in my life who have been really good to me. When they know you’re going to believe in them, even when they make a mistake, that goes a long way.”

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