After a four-season stay within the USPHL, Adam Brzezicki (‘02/Gurnee, Ill.) will begin the next chapter of his hockey career this fall at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis.
When he traveled from Illinois to New York to join the Utica Jr. Comets NCDC squad in 2019, Brzezicki was already familiar with taking his act on road with AAA stops in Milwaukee and Sault Ste. Marie the previous seasons.
He started a second season with the Comets, but a few factors helped him decide to make the move back to the Midwest.
“After about a year and a half [in Utica], it was in my best interest to go somewhere where I could be close to home,” said Brzezicki in an e-mail interview. “That place for me was with the Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings with Head Coach Marty Quarters.”
Brzezicki adding he was thankful Quarters and his new teammates helped him make a smooth transition.
“Coming in halfway through a season is tough for any player but I stuck with it and after our playoff run ended, I knew for the following season Wisconsin Rapids was the place I wanted to be if other options did not work out.
“The next season, I felt like I was able to take great strides in my game and development. Ironically, our chances at Nationals were shot down by the Hudson Havoc, whom I joined for this season.
The Havoc team has faced some adversity this season, but Brzezicki finds himself playing on the Midwest West division’s top team and a legit National championship contender. Coached previously by Brett Wall, who has moved on to Lawrence University as Head Coach, his advisor, former NHL player Dean Talafous, has taken over the helm of the Havoc this season.
“I think one of the biggest factors here in Hudson is definitely the coaching,” said Brzezicki. “I am blessed to have Coach Talafous guiding me and helping me advance my game even more. Of course, experience comes into play. I am now in my fourth year of juniors.”
That experience and the leadership of Talafous helped Brzezicki who is enjoying a breakout season with 16 goals and 32 points through 38 games, the best offensive numbers in his career so far.
Another factor is chemistry and consistency on his line where Brzezicki has had the same linemates all season.
“Fortunately, I have had the same linemates all season with Jack Kerich (‘02/Anchorage, Alaska) and Harout Torosian (‘02/Hoffman Estates, Ill.),” said Brzezicki.
That trio has connected on more than 100 points so far this season and Brzezicki said the connection was instant.
“From Day 1, there has been chemistry and we all complement each other’s game well. For sure it has been a dream season for our group. We have faced some adversity at times, but our group is resilient. It has been exciting for sure. My teammates really make coming to the rink more enjoyable.”
The players were aware of the task at hand and the goals were in place from the start.
“Over the summer, coaches set the expectations high,” said Brzezicki. “Aa a new player for the Havoc, that was appetizing to see, knowing the coaching staff thought I could add to their deep lineup with what they had returning.”
There are still a handful of regular season games and Brzezicki is hoping for a long playoff run as well. When it’s over though, he will begin preparations to play under Brett Wall, who was a big part of the young players’ choice of where to go.
“I decided on Lawrence because Coach Wall was a coach that had seen me play for the last two seasons and at some summer showcases. He really believed in me to bring me to Hudson and then along to Lawrence. It really meant a lot.”