HARTLAND, MI - Add Gabe Daavettila to the list of Hartland Hounds' players who came in knowing half the team and the coaching staff.
Daavettila, a 19-year-old Howell native, signed last week and made his debut on Saturday night with a four-point (goal, three assists) outing in a 9-1 win at home over the G L Lightning.
Not too shabby for his first game, eh?
"A couple weeks ago, Coach (Randy Montrose) called and asked if I wanted to come and play for the Hounds," said Daavettila. "I said sure. It's nice being able to play junior hockey so close to home. To be honest, I probably wouldn't be playing if it wasn't so close to home."
During the 2010-11 school year, Daavettila captained the Howell High School varsity squad, coached by Montrose, that lost in the Division I regional final to Novi High School.
Daavettila hadn't played hockey since then - until that fateful call from his old coach.
"I knew Montrose had moved from high school to the Hounds and I know most of the players on the team, but I don't know much about the league," said Daavettila. "I think it's been going good so far."
After just a handful of practices and one game under his belt, Daavettila said it's easy to see why the Hounds are 37-0-1-0 this season going into this weekend's rematch with the Lightning.
"No other team can match the talent we carry on our roster," said Daavettila. "We seem to have all the right pieces in the right places. For me, it's all about going out there and having fun."
Hartland hosts the Lightning Friday night at the Hartland Sports Center. Faceoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.