3View: New England Knights
August 29, 2019
The 3View series will feature an in-depth look into all NA3HL teams in preparation for the 2019-20 season, with two teams being highlighted daily, leading all the way up until the start of the regular season. 3View goes in-depth into each NA3HL team and will include interviews with all the head coaches in the NA3HL, as they provide fans with their expectations and outlook for the 2019-20 season, including taking a look at their potential roster and their strengths as a team for the upcoming season. It will also take a look back on the 2018-19 season and how each team fared and what they accomplished. Best of all, 3View will provide the fans of the NA3HL with an inside look at their favorite team and what to expect.
New England Knights (formerly Oswego Stampede)
2018-19 Record: 23-21-3, 49 pts (2nd in the Northeast Division)
2019 Playoffs: Lost in Northeast Division Finals
Head Coach: Joe Lovell
2019-20 Division: Coastal
Like the other newly-coined NA3HL teams entering the season with some history, but a largely blank slate, the Knights take the ice looking to move in a new direction. Building a program from scratch is no easy task, and expectations are hard to pin down. But Head Coach Joe Lovell knows that, at the very least, he can expect his players to put in the work required to be great.
“Being a new team in the league we look to hopefully compete this year in the league and make a name for ourselves. Try and surprise some teams and improve as the year goes on. My expectations for the team this year is for the kids to come to the rink and work hard everyday and improve, expectations for myself and organization is to move as many kids on to school as possible,” he said.
Part of the intrigue to taking over a refreshed organization like the Knights is the ability to craft a roster the way you see fit. In Lovell’s eyes, chemistry and comraderie are paramount to their success this season.
“I would like to build my team around great leadership on and off the ice. Players that want to play for one another and have a great team atmosphere so kids stay positive throughout the year, said Lovell.
But building in leadership and finding the right balance can prove difficult. Luckily, Lovell and his staff have built simultaneously from the ground up, and from the top down, adding NA3HL veterans and young up-and-comers alike.
“A few players we will lean on is Andrew Palmiter who played a year in the league last year and Alex Makarin from our 95 Giants program that has a good knack for the net,” said Lovell.
And at the end of the day, the goal is always to help the players develop their skills on and off the ice, providing the tools necessary to ready themselves for the next step. For Lovell, that means doing some virtual door-to-door salesmanship, reaching out to contacts at higher levels of hockey to promote his players.
“I will use our connections with schools to get them in the building and put the kids in a good position to succeed on the ice. Hopefully grow the players into a well rounded hockey player on and off the ice,” he said.
Part of that development includes providing opportunities for the players to extend a helping hand in their community, and Lovell says his team will focus on engaging the local area — after the team is actually built of course.
“I haven’t gotten that far yet with community involvement, been mainly focused on filling team but that will be on the agenda. My players will work with my youth hockey program at practices and skills though,” he said.
The Knights enter the season with a new look and new roster, but their sights are set high with hopes of a playoff run in their future.
Next up: New England Stars