We sat down with Mike Catenacci 05’ Mississauga Reps to get his take on the Motown Classic:
So tell me a little about this group, how long they’ve been playing together and how beneficial that is.
Yeah that definitely is one of our advantages. This group has been together for 4 years. We’ve made slight changes every year, we made 1 to 2 changes this year but our core has been together for 4 years. We have some kids that are 5 years reps, I took over 4 years ago. They’re a great group of kids, they’re a lot of fun to work with, They’re being successful right now. They were the top dogs last year so they’ve got to be ready to bring their game every night because everyone wants to beat them. It’s unfortunate and tough for the kids to bring it every night, but if you want to be on the top like we were last year that’s something we have to face.
Whats’ it like coming into this year coming in with more of a target on your back? And how that has changed from last year to this year?
I don’t think my boys have ever been through it. Last year was the first time we really had major success. We won the GTHL and lost in the All-Ontarios. Previous years we were in the middle of the pack and we could afford to not show up some nights and still win. but now as a top dog you gotta show up every night, even last place teams in our league want to beat you so they’re going to bring their A game to try to impress the top teams
Is this your teams first year at Motown?
No it’s actually our third or fourth.
Tell me about the experience overall and what keeps you guys coming back?
It’s been a great tournament. It’s ran real well. We like coming to one away tournament in the states and it’s an early tournament as well. It’s in October, obviously. But it’s ran real well, the LEGACY guys do a very good job putting this tournament on and it’s usually a deep tournament – you get some of the best teams from all over the world so its been awesome and it’s going to be a challenging one again this weekend.
How does this compare to some of the other tournaments you guys have done?
I think it’s going to be one of the top ones this year. So it’s already a deep age group, I think, in the GTHL that we play out of, but the american teams are strong too. It’s going to be a good weekend. I’m looking forward to seeing how we match up against some teams.
What do coaches look for when they start looking to what tournament to attend?
I’ve come to this one for 4 yeas because it’s always been deep and I want them to be competitive games. I don’t want them to breeze through Friday and Saturday and play on Sunday no matter what. I want these kids to have to earn to play on Sunday. Sundays are obviously privileges to play, and if it’s an easy tournament you take it for granted. But a tournament like this..you gotta bring it, we only got 3 round robin games and then you’re either out or you’re in..so we’ve got 3 tough games it’s going to be a good challenge..it’s exciting
Our team is best when we BLANK..
Our team is best when we work hard. We’re not a really fancy team. People like to say we’re ugly. we get the job done, but we don’t do in in a fashionable way. we’ve got a lot of skill, but we grind. Our kids work hard and for the most part when they’re on their game, they’re working hard and grinding down on teams. We’re a pretty big team, I think, but when we’re on our game we’re coming at you in waves. I think that’s our strong point.
Theres a huge ontario pretense at this tournament. Why do you think that is?
I think it’s because all the top american teams come to this tournament, and we don’t get to see them much. So it’s a tournament where we can see how we face against different teams, not always the same GTHL teams.
What is considered a success for you guys at this tournament?
Obviously I want to win, winning is the main goal. But if my boys play hard, if we’re coming to compete every game, I see us doing very well. We’re going to lose games that we deserve to win and we’re going to win games that we deserve to lose but if we come out and compete that’ll make me a happy coach by the end of this weekend…and it’s pretty hard to please me.
Whats the biggest challenge right now for you team?
I think the biggest challenge right now is that they’re getting into that grade 8 and grade 9 and they’re realizing different things in life, and it’s my job to jeep them focused and on track to play hockey. They’re starting high school next year and they’re going to have to choose the right group and right path, and it’s my job to be the role model to make sure and to choose the right one. They’re good kids, I already know that, but I want to keep them that way I want to keep them in hockey because I think a lot of these kids have a bright future in the game.
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