FOXBOROUGH, MA -- However, it’s always nice to win, and every athlete plays to win. In building their first National Collegiate Development Conference, the Kings went after a couple big winners.
Zach Tyson won the Dineen Cup, formerly indicative of the USPHL Premier championship, with the 2016 New Jersey Hitmen. A year later, Ethan Nitkin was a member of the Dineen Cup champion Islanders Hockey Club. With the Kings in third place, both players are hungry to raise the Dineen Cup for their second time.
“I got Zach a month into the season,” said Kings head coach John Gurskis. “We knew of him because he played on the Hitmen’s championship team. He has a wealth of experience, and we can play him in any situation. He’s a consistent junior hockey player who knows how to get it done.”
As of Jan. 18, Tyson was third on the Kings in scoring with 32 points in 26 games. Already committed to Hobart College for 2018-19, he had six points in the Kings’ first four January games. Nitkin was fifth in scoring at the same point, with 26 points in 27 games.
“[Nitkin] was more of a role player for the Islanders Hockey Club last year, because they were just so deep at forward,” said Gurskis. “I gave him the opportunity with my team, and he’s taken the ball and run with it. Whenever you get a chance to get a kid with championships at this level, regardless of how many points they put up, you get the best of both worlds – the championship experience and that veteran presence in the locker room.”
Representing well: The South Shore Kings sent six players to the NCDC All-Star game, in forwards Derek Osik, Michal Stinil, Jake Stella and Mitchell Walinski and defensemen Moritz Matzka and Austin Rook.
“I wish I could have taken more,” said Gurskis. “Kudos to all of them for being selected. All have had great seasons.”
Success across the board: The Kings are rocking the USPHL from the NCDC on down to the 16U Division. At the same time the NCDC team was third (23-6-4), the Premier team was third in their North Division (21-7-3). The 18U team (9-6-0) and the 16U squad (11-6-2) were both fourth in their respective divisions.