Black is back with Vengeance in NA3HL and thriving
September 23, 2014
By Tom Robinson, special to usahockey.com
Cody Black took his best shot at making a North American Hockey League team. When that did not happen, Black went right to work on making a major impact on the North American 3 Hockey League.
The Pittsburgh Vengeance forward shares the early-season NA3HL goal lead and is sixth in points with three goals and two assists through four games. He earned the first East Division Star of the Week award for his play on the opening weekend.
When Black was unable to make the Youngstown Phantoms roster in training camp, he came right back to Vengeance coach and player development director Dave Dorsey.
“Coach Dorsey has always been pushing me forward,” Black said. “The whole coaching staff here has been awesome toward me and helped me progress toward where I want to be.”
Black, who is hoping to turn his final year of junior hockey into a chance to play in college, shook off any disappointment quickly.
“Coach Dorsey talked to me a while about it,” Black said. “He told me to keep my head up and said he knew how hard I had worked.
“He said to keep moving forward with that and not let it be a letdown.”
Black was sharp right from the start. He had a goal and two assists in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Southern Tier Xpress in the opener. He followed that up with two goals in a 4-2 win over Southern Tier the next night.
The opening weekend culminated in Black’s first contact with a college coach.
While happy to have Black in his lineup, Dorsey would not mind losing him for the right reason.
“He’ll be our leader throughout the year,” Dorsey said. “He’s a very good hockey player. Hopefully he gets a chance in the North American League this season.”
Black is one of 11 returnees for the Vengeance. He produced 14 goals and 22 assists for the team last season. The large number of 1997 birth-year players on last year’s roster means the team remains relatively young even with the players returning.