Western Herald – sports
The idea that with absence comes opportunity constantly rings true in sports, and for Grand Rapids Griffins’ rookie forward, Dominic Turgeon, and recent call up from the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League, defenseman, Filip Hronek, player movement has given them an opportunity.
At the beginning of the season, the 21-year-old Montreal, Quebec native was on the fourth line, and even a healthy scratch at times. He’s worked his way up the depth chart, and on Friday’s win against the Rockford Icehogs, he was on the top line along side Evgeny Svechnikov and Griffins’ leading scorer Matt Lorito.
“Once I first got here, I think the biggest thing was taking as much as I could in and playing the best I could,” Turgeon said. “Players being called up makes our lineup change a bit and guys play in different situations. You just have to be ready for the call.”
One way to work your way up the lineup is to catch your coach’s eye, and the Griffins’ coaching staff has noticed Turgeon’s progress. “His progress has been great. He’s earned the right to be in the lineup on a nightly basis,” head coach Todd Nelson said. “He’s playing good hockey and we have the confidence to move him up with our top line guys.”
Hronek’s night got off to a bad start, as on his very first shift, a puck bounced off of him and got by Griffins’ goalie Jared Coreau, which gave Rockford an early 1-0 lead.
“Junior hockey is different, you play with a lot of younger guys,” Hronek said. “Players [in pro hockey] are so much better. My teammates are good and they help me a lot with my game.”
Hronek has been with the Griffins for less than two weeks, and Nelson noticed his progress throughout the game.