Hockey Preview: Change Between The Pipes
Parker Milner Moves Into Starter Role In The Crease And Leadership Position On The Defense
Published: Thursday, October 13, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
Venti, a native of Needham, Mass., has been with the Eagles for four years and hopes to put his work and practice to the test and be a contributor in the development of the freshmen.
"Right now I think it's big for me to help the two young guys, Brad and Brian, in getting acclimated to the program and kind of teach them how to train and how to play and just kind of introduce them to the whole culture," he said. "Especially where the goalies are on their own a bit sometimes and not really involved in the drills. I try to make sure I'm getting them involved, working on their flexibility, and all types of stuff like that. That's where I see myself right now and supporting Parker as much as I can and pushing him as much as I can, and then earning the minutes that I can."
Billett and Barone, both coming from successful careers in the Eastern Junior Hockey League, are faced with the task of adjusting to college and the trials of Division I hockey.
Both players have found that working with Milner and Venti has already made an impact on their play in practice. Competing with the veterans has helped the rookies bring their games to a new level.
"It's been awesome so far, just working with Parker and Chris," Billett said. "They're great leaders. They've given me tips on things they've seen in my game and I'm hoping to help them as well. Brad's a great goalie and the competition we give each other as the freshman guys brings really good chemistry, which I think is very important."
Barone echoes this sentiment when describing the early relationship of the goaltenders.
"They're all great guys and great goalies," he said. "We can learn from each other. We all have different styles. It was also good working with John Muse a little bit over the summer. That was good. If you watch you can learn a lot from these guys. And we have a goalie coach named Jim Logue, who does drills with us pretty often. The one thing I will say is that sometimes you would think it would be really difficult to get reps, but everyone is really fair with it and everyone shares everything equally, so it's been really great in that respect. Just because they're goalies, you can relate to them really easily. We're all really good friends early, so that's good."
This developing competition between the pipes has been helpful in focusing Milner on his play and continued development. Despite being slated as a starter, the junior looks at the competition as motivation.
"As far as in the net, I think we have a great goalie competition between me, Brad, Brian, and Chris, so that's only going to help all of us," he said.
It apparently hasn't left any doubts in York's mind as to Milner's preparation for his new role.
"We feel very confident," the coach said. "He's ready to step in."