HOWELL, MI - The Hartland Hounds concluded their two-day tryout camp Saturday night at Grand Oaks Ice Arena and head coach Randy Montrose is inching closer to filling out the Hounds' roster for their inaugural season in the AAU-sanctioned Midwest Junior Hockey League.
With three games pitting prospective players against one another over the course of the two days, Montrose and assistant coaches Gordie Meisel and Marty Passino took in the action from their respective benches. When all was said and done Saturday night, the coaches were excited to say the least.
"This was a very competitive camp," said Montrose. "It was everything you want in a tryout camp and we had guys step up that maybe we as a staff were on the fence about. It's still summer, but the intensity these guys showed on the ice made you think it was mid-season."
Forward P.J. Krystyniak was among the camp participants and has already signed a player tender with the Hounds. Like the coaches, Krystyniak was impressed with what he went through in the 24-hour time block.
"Camp was great and I think the guys bonded and got to know each other a little bit," said Krystyniak, an 18-year-old Howell native who played at Howell High School under Montrose. "There was a lot of chemistry out there and I think with so many local guys, we have all played against or with each other or know of each other, so we shared common stories from games in the past. It was a fun camp and I think we'll have a pretty good team this year."
Hartland goalie prospect Myles Grix hopes his play earned a favorable look from the Hounds' brass. Grix, a White Lake native, played high school hockey at Waterford Mott, graduating in 2010.
"There were a lot of guys here in camp and you can tell how competitive this team is going to be this year," said Grix. "I think this team will be a contender for sure."
Next up for the Hounds will be decisions as to which players will be offered contracts and which players the Hounds will keep an eye on for the future.
Hartland and the rest of the MWJHL open the season the weekend of Sept. 14. The full Hounds' schedule is forthcoming.