Previewing the NAPHL: Lockport Express
August 28, 2015
Over the course of the next two weeks, the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) is proud to feature a new series that will preview each of the 38 teams in the NAPHL for the 2015-16 season. Each day, leading all the way up to the first event of the season at the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, MN, the league will feature a different organization and take a look at both their teams.
The 2015-2016 season will be the inaugural year for the Lockport Express in the NAPHL as they are a newly formed team within a growing program. Leading the way will be head coach Lyle Rocker.
Coach Rocker is no stranger to the NAHL family, playing 2 years for the Topeka Roadrunners under still current Head Coach, Scott Langer. Rocker received a D1 offer from Robert Morris University coming out of the NAHL but chose to play at SUNY Cortland, earning a degree in Communications. After college, Lyle coached with the Buffalo Junior Sabres organization and he is thrilled to now be a part of the Lockport Express family, whose Junior A team was the 2014-2015 Organization of the Year in the NA3EHL. Assistant Coach Joe Ash has been in hockey for the past 15 years as a player and trainer. He currently owns an off-ice conditioning and personal training gym and brings an offensive outlook to the team.
The Express team should garner some attention early on with some high-end players leading the way. One of them is Kyle Sroka, who is a creative and skilled forward that is looking to have a breakout year. Another forward to watch is Luca Mazzo. Mazzo is a young player for 18U but has a huge upside and the heart of a lion, and has a great deal of skill to go with his heart. Anchoring the back end will be two players the coaching staff are excited to watch develop . The first is Cal Moretti who brings strength and grit with an offensive flair as well. The other one is Dawson Garcia, who is a smooth, confident puck moving defenseman that will be relied upon heavily. Backstopping the team is goalie Antonio Szpara, who came into camp in great shape and is extremely focused.
Coach Rocker states, “We are extremely excited to compete in one of the premier AAA leagues in the country and look forward to seeing everyone in Blaine in September." Frank J. Vecchio, GM of the Lockport Express organization says, “We feel we are building our brand the right way and the 18U team and Lyle will be a great asset to our Junior program as well. The level of competition in the NAPHL can only benefit our players’ development and we look forward to watching them grow in our organization”.
Lockport's goals as a new program are to be a competitive team that adds to the depth and quality of the NAPHL, and to develop and advance players to the next level.
Next in Previewing the NAPHL: Madison Capitols