Wallington, NJ - The New Jersey Grizzlies tryouts came and went on Sunday and the two Grizzlies teams are brand spanking new. “We have a lot of new faces and a lot of new energy. It gets me excited to see new players coming out for the team; it means we are promoting the sport and the team very well” says General Manager Denis Jelcic. With new players comes the loss of others and veteran players and Jelcic was a bit disappointed when we asked him about that part of the team. Long time veteran players James Manganaro and Phillip Cocozzo have decided to retire…for now. ” We have lost a few players and they have moved on for one reason or another, however, losing Mango and Phil…well they can’t be replaced. Those guys ARE what the Grizzlies are all about – hustle, hard work and determination. That’s what this team will get back to” Jelcic said.
Camp brought talent from the Grizzlies youth travel team by adding younger studs Jake Rizer, Dylan Rizer and Jeffrey O’Connell along with Jason Bass, Patryk Wlazel and Ryan Hazlett, players who have played in the system before and know what the Grizzlies need.”The kids are ready for the big show, they work hard, try hard and most importantly want to win more than anything. Something we have been lacking” said Jelcic. Veteran presence now falls on the shoulders of newly elected co-captains Robbie Fulton and Chris Wolf, along with veteran goaltender Andrew Goworek and soon to be added Chris DeCandia who could not attend camp due to personal reasons. Let’s not forget the energizer bunnies in Jim Goodliffe and Timmie Fulton who are all over the rink all the time and know that they need to step it up now.” Tim and Jim know what they do for us, Andrew is our solid number one and “Candy” will be a formidable back up for Drew for some rest in net. Add that to Robbie, Wolf, Hazlett, Bass and Wlazel and we’ll be fine” said Jelcic.
Along with the recent signing of a new Grizzlies player in Ryan Sobieski, the Grizzlies are faster than before but much younger. “We will have our bumps along the way, we will work it out…but it needs to happen fast, we start in three weeks. Practice this Sunday!” said Jelcic. The Grizzlies will be ready for opening weekend, September 8 & 9 in Pottstown!