3View: Atlanta Capitals | North American Tier III Hockey League | NA3HL
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3View: Atlanta Capitals

August 22, 2023

The 3View series will feature an in-depth look into all NA3HL teams in preparation for the 2023-24 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 2023-24 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 2022-23 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.

Atlanta Capitals

Head Coach: John Bowkus (3rd season)

2022-23 Record: 47 GP, 24-19-4, 52 pts. (5th in South Division)

2022-23 leading scorer: Nick Jameus (97 points)

2023 Playoffs: Did not qualify

2023-24 Division: South

The Capitals improved on their previous season’s record by 11 wins last season and strung together a dominant first line in the South Division, however were a few points shy of making the playoffs. For a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in the past two seasons, being prepared for every game and having a strong mindset is key to returning to that playoff form.

Despite falling short, there were plenty of positives to look back on for John Bowkus, heading into his third season as bench boss and 11th year overall as a college or junior head coach. “As a whole, our season had lots of positives.  We excelled in the offensive categories, having the leading scorer in the NA3HL, Nick Jameus, leading goal scorer, Anthony O’Neal, and the leading defense scorer in Austin Micale.”

Nick Jameus and Anthony O’Neal were two of the many integral parts of Atlanta’s success last season. As Jameus moves on to play college hockey and O’Neal advances to the NAHL, Bowkus reflects on his program developing players for the next level.

“It is in our job description that we take the responsibility in developing all of our players to get them ready for that next level, whether that be higher level junior leagues or college hockey… many of our first year players are now coming back and hoping that they get the same opportunity. We are happy for them but understand that we can keep getting better at moving players on.”

Austin Micale, the Capitals’ leading defenseman in scoring and All-South Division Player, is a name that will remain on the roster this upcoming season, along with many of those former 1st-year players. Bowkus keyed in on some important names to look for and what they will bring on the ice.

“On the ice, we will rely heavily on our defensive core of players to make sure that we are good in our D-zone. Austin Micale, NA3HL All-Rookie Robbie Aranos, Brett Phillips and Jazek Terrill will all be returning on the blue line. Up front we will have Isaac Fuller, Jacob Bartholomew, Briggs Beam, Nick Refine, and Marcus Bornowski to replenish the offense that has moved on. In goal, we will have the opportunity to bring back 2 goalies, Alex Croy and Damian Vandanacker, to backstop our team.”

Those returners got a taste of a playoff push and how to bond off the ice. “Off the ice, our locker room was really good last season, and we expect the returning players to make it even better this year,” said Bowkus. He is looking forward to the leadership coming from that 11, and with combining them and the group of new faces to put on a Capitals sweater, the bar will be set high.

The Capitals will begin their quest for the Fraser Cup with a six-game homestand against the Mid Cities Jr. Stars and the New Mexico Ice Wolves. :We have an early home schedule and must take advantage of this opportunity. Our players have to have the mindset that we are a Championship contender,” said Bowkus. “Our main goal for the season is to not only make the playoffs but contend for a chance to go to the Fraser Cup.”

Next Up: Austin Ice Bats

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