THE #ESHOW
THE #ESHOW

Episode 28 · 2 years ago

Team of the Week (Maryland) | Episode 28

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Josh Fusco is heading into his 2nd season as the Head Coach and General Manager of Team Maryland, and 5th year in the EHL. Prior to joining Maryland, Fusco served in the same exact role with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights. Overall, there are plenty of similarities between the Knights and Maryland, but also many differences. After helping lead the Knights to the 2018 EHL Frozen Finals, the program went away, and thus created a new challenge for Fusco. For the veteran coach, his main focus was staying in the EHL, and he took over a program that needed a fresh restart.

Welcome to the e show with Neil Raven with over onezero NCAA commitments, the ehl is the proven path to college. Turn it up and learn more about the college placement leader at the division two and three levels. Welcome to the east show presented by the penalty box foundation. The foundation's mission centers around their daily motto we take care of our own as they help out all of those within the hockey community who have experienced a catastrophic event. Learn more at penalty box foundation dot Org. Once again, my name is Neil Ravens, episode at Number Twenty Eight and coming on the podcast for the second time. Let's welcome in the head coach and GM of team Maryland. It's Josh Fusco. Welcome to the e show, Josh. They Neil, thanks for having me excited to be here and this is going to be upcoming. Your second year with team Maryland, it's your fourth consecutive year in the Eh Shell. For those that don't know this at home, you of course spent two years as the head coach and GM for the Wilkesbury scriend nights as well. So going into your fourth season in the League, how do you feel about where you stand right now, in July, compared to previous year's all right, off the bat, hit me hard there. It's it's been different. You know, obviously being the league four years now and also being a part of, you know, any hl organizations. You know I feel more comfortable with things. I feel more comfortable with the landscape of junior hockey and the the recruiting process and obviously, you know, the Spring and summer it's showcase season. So you know now that we're in a whole different situation and world. Essentially, it's been it's been challenging. It's definitely been a little bit more more avenues than navigate and kind of thinking outside the box a little bit when it comes to recruiting and capping into more resources and going going a different route, in different direction. But again, right, like being around now for four years, it hasn't been scary. It's not like I'm treading treading deep water with was unknown. You know, anything underneath me unknown? It's it's just been finding different ways to go about things and, you know, being a part of the League for four years, developing relationships throughout you know, the college drinks and Higher Level Juniors. That's been a major resource for me. I have a tremendous staff down here. You know, hired a couple guys on to help recruit and help help, you know, tap into their local youth programs and stuff. Obviously Brandon Gotkin and Clinton Lolli, mock of the black there's that helped me tremendously. Developing a couple relationships throughout the HLP has definitely been a help and I think you know, being able to tap into the youth hockey in this area, in this region, it's being in the ehl coach and showcasing that off has been a tremendous asset to me. So it's it's definitely been a little weird and a little a little chaotic, but it's been fun well, and to touch on what you kind of started to allude to their obviously it's a unique offseason compared to the previous three years. How much time have you spent watching video and on the phone? Man, that's probably every day I'm on video, you know, watching guys, you know, two three hours a day. Maybe. Phone calls seem to be much, much more longer now. You know, I definitely miss being at the rink seeing guys in person. And being able to communicate with guys in person. You know, you got hockey TV, so that's been a huge help. But you know, not everything is always not everything's always in high depth right or to you know, video quality is and always the same. Sometimes you get clips from guys that you know from from cell phones or their tablets and stuff. So it's been it's been tough and you know, I'm ready to I'm ready for it to be done and over it and start the hockey season. But you know, we've we've opened up down here two weeks two weeks ago, our rink is actually been the main rink that's been open. So km has had like all the you stuff. They've had a couple...

...clinics, they had tryouts last weekend with the black bears. You know, myself in the black bears, we've had a couple, like us, camps going on during the week. So it's been nice to finally get out into the rink. On the rink. Yeah, we have to wear Max and, you know, go about the whole guy lines and covid protocols with the rink, but which I have to tip my hat off to our rink staff, cary Krem and rink manager and Matt and some of the people that work at the rink. They're doing tremendous job. Mike Wife's tremendous job with the health and safety and following the guidelines and temperature jets and sanitation. But so it's just been good to finally be in a rink and and seeing kids skate live. But the phone calls and the phone conversations, I mean I can spend quite a bit of time on the phone talking to a kid, but now it's, you know, educating not just the kids, also educating the families right like I think a lot of especially youth kids, kids coming out of eighteen, you hockey, trying to learn the junior landscape, especially down here, you know, second year of having junior hockey in this area. So it's just been a lot of educating. So phone calls have been you know any of I've been on the phone sometimes for about an hour with a family, you know, going through the whole process word means to be a junior hockey player, you know, called the college process to approving process, obviously with the NA team from the younger guys. There's that conversation and talking about that and the opportunity there. But you know what that's that's why I'm in this position right that's why I'm the head coach and GM and that's my job. And you know, with with covid happening and not being able to be on the ice running clinics or doing anything or practices and training camps or anything like that, it's just been been able to fill the day with watching video and calling kids. So and and you touched on this before. You said, you know, the one big similar factor for you when you compare Wilkes Barre to Maryland, you've always had any team above your EHL team. That's been a consistent with it two years and Wilke spare your two years in Maryland. But I have to ask then, what other differences can you tell us about coaching and Wilke Speris in Pennsylvania versus Oh dent in Maryland? What's the difference? Location? Yeah, location, but I tell you what it's. You know, I love my time and Wilkes very obviously at a special, special thing going there and that came to a halt. But you know, I love the location down here. I think this is our arena. Offers so much to a junior hockey player. Like our facilities alone. The one thing in Wilkes Barre, like our facilities are a little super in the same building, but we were separate down here. Our locker rooms are really across the off from each other. We share the same weight room together, you know, laundry facilities and my office is right next door to Clinton Brandon's office. We even have our eighteen you team in there now. So it's literally we're one big family, one big group, and the access to everything right is all the same. Like you know, being able to help out with the black bears is easy. Being able for them to jump on the ice with me is easy. Brandon Gotkin comes out and works with you know my defenseman a lot, Christopher antied, eighteen you coach and director of j tpy for team Maryland. You know he was. He's a primary assistant coach for me and he's out there all the time helping out. Jason Wolf, goaltending coach, matter read, the skill development coach for us. He coaches the peewee's and does lost skill development stuff, player development stuff in this area. Obviously Jason wolfs connected with USA hockey goaltending. The list goes on on strength and conditioning staff with Ati Med stars are athletic trainers. But the big, big thing is our everybody in the front office. It's, like I said, it's one one family, one units. They make life so much easier. Robin Remick and Mitch and you know, Ben Lloyd, who does our play byplay. They're all the same people, whether they're doing stuff or the black players or doing stuff for the AHL team. You know, they're constantly doing stuff, marketing wise, social media, helping with ordering, whatever we need to do. Last year, transportation, you know, they set up our buses for us and all that stuff. I think that's the biggest...

...difference. I'm able to be a coach and I'm able to focus on my job as being the coach and running this team. It's made my life so much easier, you know, and it's definitely been a blessing to have everybody. I mean even it's kind of funny ask that because I sat there there the other day I was actually fishing with our I went out fishing with our rink manager. Then we were joking about it. It was the second day, my second day here, and so again right like I'm used in Wilkes Barre, like we pretty much owned the ice, owned the building and it was like go out there, do your thing, you know, and have to worry about much here. It's, you know, a public facility and there's other programs, not our thing. That's going on because my second day of training camp, obviously I'm going whole ready to go, you know, and excited and new place and new environment and dice was in for like maybe a couple of days. Hasn't really been beat up yet. Black Bear's practice rate after us. I tour that ice to shreds, just destroyed it. I mean I was not a good first impression. I remember Gary Kevin was ready to kill me. Brandon and Clint were ready to kill me. Yeah, cloth chaos, and we were talking about the other day. We're out, you know, without fishing and joining the weather a little bit and he's like you remember like almost you know, it's going to be a year ago and when we got off on the wrong foot. Now look at us and yeah, it's funny, it sounds, you know, it's weird, but it's one of those things that everybody down here is just been great. Everybody is welcoming, everybody's been helping hands and I think that plays a huge, you know, a huge factor and success us and building an organization and having those relationships. You know, I that's that's the big difference, besides our facilities, what we have to offer to our players and everything else. And hearing you tell that story and knowing kind of where you were falling the I think it must have been the two thousand and seventeen eighteen season, which was your second year with the Sperry, was the year that you went to the frozen finals. Obviously, I don't want to talk about the Games and I didn't go the way that you wanted to, but you were still one of the final four teams and I remember right when we were talking there it was kind of like, well, we know the team's going away. At the time we didn't know where you were heading. When I found that you were staying in the League, obviously I was excited to have someone with your background sticking in the League because I think that's always a, you know, a big way to help a team continue to grow. But looking back on that, you go from being a team that was in the frozen finals, look one of the finals, to taking over a team Maryland team that had really struggled in their first year. Where you excited about the challenge? Where you're nervous about the challenge, or did you get there, meet this family and realize I'm in the right spot? I think at first I was a little, a little nervous right because Wilkesbury was my home for five years. So, you know, I started coaching sixteens there and then we had, um was the nathree Atlantic League team, like, which was essentially the old net league, and then I was on staff with the NA team for two years when then obviously that coach the HL. So I was a little and it kind of just everything was like a whirlwind right, like it was just a huge, huge gut punch like it you go to the finals in that year. Was a tremendous year, I mean and just remember everything about that year and just day like, you know, I run into guys that are playing college hockey now or we stay in touch and we always talked about something during that year and a lot of times it's more of just talking about, you know, the development of the players and how far that team came and next thing you know we're in the finals. You know, I think shoot, at one time we lost like ten games in a row or something like that, and we went on tarrow on like thirteen, fourteen games are row, and next thing you know, or in the finals. And I think still though, at the finals neal, like I wasn't a hundred percent sure, and really what I think it was as I wasn't I didn't want to believe it, that it was coming to an end. Right, like we lost and everybody's saying the goodbyes. We get back to Wilkesburry and actually, when we got back to Wilkes for ad jump right on the bench with the ANA team. So I didn't even have time to really yeah, it was crazy, like it was. It was I didn't have time to breeze and think about it or process anything. And then that's the next thing. was that Monday. You know, that's when, that's when we had the conversation and...

...that's when I was told that, yeah, it's done, it's over. You know. Luckily, again right like having resources and connections in the Hockey Community Act. I believe it was actually Thomas Walkers, Father Randy Walkers, the one that connected me with the group down here, and it kind of just went from there. You know, I came down, had went through the interview process, met everybody, felt really comfortable, like I just felt like I was at home. Everything just felt right and I think the biggest thing for me I was just seeing that this is an opportunity, you know, something that I didn't had in Wilkes Bury, where I was the guy in charge right. It was like yes, I was that coach, but this was opportunity for me to come down and completely build something from the ground up. You know, I said it a lot last year and something that I really preached was last year was our first year as a program I don't mean that in a negative way for the year before. I don't mean that disrespectfully to anybody. It was just that was my first year and I wanted things to change. I wanted to do things the right way, to correct way. I wanted to get young talent in. I wanted to focus on the EHL and not have to focus on twenty other tasks, other other, you know, duties. I wanted to be the head coach and GM and and run the ship, and that I think is what made me comfortable. Ryan Scott, or vice president, and Murt and Murrie really just said, here's the keys, go right, we trust you. You're the guy that that's in charge. You have the background and knowledge. Take off. And I think something that called everybody off guard was of how in detail I was with everything, you know, from locker room to ordering equipment to how I was recruiting and what I needed and everything like. I think everybody was kind of thrown off like, Oh wow, this is actually the real deal, right, like the HL team was actually going to be a real team. This is going to be a real situation finally. So that was kind of you know, I think everybody again like another story. There is Robin Remick, our president. She's president for the black there's and not like she remember those early, early on I could come down on the weekends before I found a place down here and, you know, I get some work done, do this me with her and I'd always come back will and will spray. We did this, will spray, we did that. Okay, I think works great. And I remember one time she just stopped me and mid sentences is said, stopped, she does. It's not Wilkes Barre anymore. You're here. Tell me what you need to do the next time you say in Wilkes bare we did this, we're going to have problem come. So it was just really the only thing for me was just to kind of come down right. I was excited and everything. I just needed to take a deep breath and just know that everything was going to be okay. You know, I think it's just like anybody else. It's like a player, you know, they play for an organization for a couple of years and then they they go somewhere else. There's a lot of unknowns in the back of her head. But for me, I just I wanted to get here and I want to get to work right away and I knew once I can get here and get get straight to work and sign a couple guys that, you know, any any nerves I might have had would have went right away. You know, and I like to hear that too. It's no shot, like you said, at the two coaches that led team Maryland in their first year, but it was a clean slate for you going into the second year. And just to tell the folks at home what the numbers were so they understand what you did accomplished. Team Maryland their first year had a record of thirty five and one. You turn that team into above five hundred team, going two thousand three nineteen. And for this past year then, in terms of commitments, you went from two to seven. That's more than triple like that just to trip. Yeah, just something that's more than triple is is pretty unheard of. So I have to ask now, now you go into what you're calling year two of the program, what do you credit that success to? Is it your past history, and what goals do you have set for this year? I think you know really yeah, you were, I think all coaches right. We all rely on our past history and our successes and stuff like that. Obviously, I think you know, the success in Wilkes very definitely carried over. Another portion of that would have been the guys that followed me here right like you know, Dennis Arka, Panko, coody, Rumsey, Evan Green. There was a you know, even a couple guys I had back in youth hockey ended up coming here. Joseph Donny, who, Rory Gresham? I had a good relationship with Trispan Mok, with shooting him...

...over the past couple of years, and he actually came to camp. Who wokes Wilkesbury David Fostal. Can't forget him right. I coached him two years and Wilkesbury. So you know, the list kind of carries on and sorry if I miss any guys because there's so many of them. You know. I think that helped. I think that made other guys, you know, new guys, comfortable knowing that there was a good following behind me. Johnny Jackson right ends up coming in halfway through, you know, and I think the big thing was, and I go back again to that final four year team. Success, I believe, always comes from individuals success and when guys are being successful individually on and off the ice, as a unit, that comes together and that's where you get at this level. That's where you get the success from. I think I kind of have a knack for finding those hidden gems, you know, and I think I also have that knack of taken players that might not be the the highest quality player in the League or might not be the best skating player or whatever it may be. I've had success with developing them and move them on. You look back at somebody's guy like Joseph Donny Hue and Roy Gresham. They were on my sixteen. You team in Wilkesbury and and where those guys are at now. I mean they'll be the first ones to tell you. Their families will be the first one to tell you that. You know, back then they never thought junior hockey would you've been been the situation for them. You know, you look at other guys, Jay Peanatish and at Kings, Rep padget at kings and Josh Edwards. You know, all those guys put the time in, developed their games, listens, learned and and really gave effort and that's something that you know, you can you can get on guys and you can ride guys as much as possible. But I've been I've been fortunate to have kids that just they want to be here, they want to get better and and and that's, you know, going back to your first question with the recruiting process, you know, that's something that I miss is being able to develop that relationship right off the bat with a family or what a kid, you know in first and that a showcase or and try out or whatever it is, because you need them to trust you. Right and numbers don't lie. Obviously, numbers with the League don't lie. Numbers with you know, my previous season. Don't lie. There was all help, but being able to look at kid in the eyes and look a mom and dad in the eyes and tell them things are going to be all right. You know what's the ultimate goal at the end of the days? College hockey, and and we're going to get you there. I can promise you that right those are things that I relied on heavy this past year. I think something that actually flies into the radar, and we haven't announced the yet, is we've had a little bit more success than just the college numbers. David Postal signed with his hometown team in Italy, that's a third league pro pro team in Italy, and Jada ruter staying in Netherlands and he signed with his pro team, his hometown pro team, so you know their success there. Dennis Arcapanco played on in the world junior championships, were Ukraine. Jada router played with Holland and the UK in the world junior championships. So we had we had more success than we're really you know, if you really dig into it. The other thing that plays a factor two is, like I tried this lightly right because you don't want to lie to kids, but the opportunity to make an all team is real. Like I said, I you know, I've been around that league now for a while. I've developed a pun of relationships with coaches in that league and it's not just, you know, here in Maryland for these kids to have an opportunity to go to to the na Sol the younger guys. You know, that's something that, you know, we speak about and give them that education. Right, just because you're here doesn't mean that doors closed to other other avenues. I'm a firm believer that that door that opens up to our facility here at pint of your orchard, there's four hundred doors for you on the other out of the other side, and what you do with the tools and that toolbox I give you is up to you, you know, and I think that's that's been success in a nutshell, right going in the year too, obviously, I think you know now things are established here. You know we had a good year. So that's helped made the playoffs.

Obviously the success of the numbers. But you know, I think like any other coach, right as the college commitment list right, I think you know, that's the most important thing to me right, right now. I want guys that want to go to college and want to succeed and want to be here motivated and I want to make that dream come true for a kid. And, if you know, I want to be up there in the league, if not be the top team in the league this year. I think that's my number one boal, you know. and well, championships are great, right, and I think that's more the kids way on that, right, and they think about that more than we do. But I also, you know, let's let's throw it out there. Coaches were competitive to and and I think that's what makes these this league tremendous, right, like we're all competitive coaches, we're all buddies outside the rink and then when we get there and we're across from each other on the bench, you know we're it's like we're out there on the ice fighting just as the players are. So you know, they keeps you on your toes, makes it be a better coach. And and again, like, you know, you look at the ABS and the boss and you know junior rangers and some of these teams that you know, what would Chris have this year? One Thousand Nine hundred and twenty commits. The whole team. Yeah, you know. You know that and halfs off. You know that's a tremendous job. And but that, for me, motivates me to get there. Yea. And for me like having a guy like Chris, that's just you know, that those fuel on the fire for me to get there. And and you know, we have those relationships with everybody and I think you know something would me and Chris is like I talked to them all the time and it's like, you know, I'm going to get you some day. You know I'm going to get you, I'm going to give you I'm gonna, I'm going to beat you in the finals or I'm and I'm gonna. I'm going to beach in college commits this year, you know. So just competitive banner. That's all it is. But I think for me, and you're too, that's that's my number one goal. Yes, I do have a little, a little fire, I guess you could say, to finally get a ring. But you know, I was there two years ago and then the year before that we went to Robertson Cup in the NA lost the street porter who won the Robertson Cup and and you know, it's been three out of the last you know too, out of the last three years I've been to a championship. So there is that. But I tell you what that relates to. The kids to write if I'm not being competitive and if I don't want want it just as much as they do. So why am I doing this, you know, and why I'm not gonna be able to help the kids? Then right, because that's your goal college hockey and Ahl when a junior hockey championship. We got to have the same goals in mind and strive for those goals and it should always be a goal, and I think that's a great segue in what I wanted to ask next. Obviously you touched on a number of players that have climbed the ladder to college hockey, worked up to the NA or now signed pro back home. And I'm not sure if you've been and following these team of the week features, but I reach out to a lot of the alumni free story and I get some testimonials from the players. So I'm going to reive you one right now because this stuck out to me. This is Jake Fuss, who didn't play for you in team Maryland, but played for you in Wilkes Barre, and I'm not going to read the whole paragraph, but being around him help me improve my game and got me to where I wanted to be. This is him speaking about his experience with you. Even throughout this past season with coach Fusco, he would watch and a couple of our games to shoot me a text tell me what I could have done better on the ice. When you play for a coach that cares that much about you, it only makes you that much better as a hockey player. So in his first year at you and E you're watching him play while you're coaching team Maryland. Now I got to push you on the spot whether it's fuss or is it any of these other guys? Is there one commitment or one advancement story that you're really, really proud of? Wow, there's a bunch and I'm kind of you know that that touchs my heart because you know, obviously I spent a lot of time with buffs over the years, but you know, and Neil, I honestly these kids are special to me and I've definitely, like I said before, and I'll develop in those relationships and some of these guys I had for a couple of years. Yeah, it's tough to see him go, but I think we're like some of my quotes right that I send you when a kid commit it's like so sometimes it's tough for me to put a quote together because there's so much I want to say and there's so much I want to talk about with the kid. But Josh Edwards Kings College, that's a big one that sticks out to me. That kid, you know, was non stop. He never stopped putting to work...

...in he was a tremendous skater but he lacked the size and you know Dane and we did private lessons and early, more than six o'clock lessons on the ice and just, you know, over I think we're together for years. It was just every year you got better, better and better, and I remember after the first year, his first year they're in the Ahl, he was all about wanting to go school. You want to go to school, very good academics. Obviously he had a couple of decisions and a couple choices to make and I remember like he made a decision and it was kind of like after that, I remember he was playing in pre draft with me because he was still, you know, eligible still age elsible and he he made the decision to come back for another year and you know, he really wanted kings like kings is. You know, every kid has a special place or someplace they really really want to go to. I mean the program that he's in that King's you can eventually go to Notre Dame and do all these these amazing things and the kids can have a tremendous, you know, career outside of hockey and and all that stuff. And he wanted he wanted it so bad and he went through a lot of ups and downs that year, you know, and at the end of the day when I got that phone call and we discussed it and you know, the King's, King's college coach and staff called and that, I think, was the ultimate, the ultimate success story for me with a kid. You know, watching that kid literally go from the Second Level Sixteen you team all the way to division three college hockey and he had a you know, he had a successful freshman campaign as well. Another one who just recently committed was Johnny Jackson. You know, he's a tremendous success story. But you know, Jake floss that's again, yeah, and it's just not him that I watch. I watch all of them. I really try and keep tabs on everybody and follow them. And then obviously a lot of them play play each other. Right, so it's fun to to kind of like in Wilkes Buria and know, like kings was playing, was Alberta's. Yes, Alberta, so Zach and walks were there and I got to see them play against, you know, the three guys and from kings and just you know, Stevenson, and it's pretty it's pretty cool and it's like it's like weird too at the same sense, because it's like these kids has been with you. They were kids. Now they're they're freshman and sophomores in college right. It's so it's weird. But Jake boss, I mean that's he's a he's a success story. I mean alone like what he accomplished in junior hockey. And and I tell you what the success story for Jake Foss was that he he really just trusted the process, you know, he really just he trusted me and he listened to me and he spent his time. You know, it's two or three level and when he got his opportunity in the NA, he made it. He made a count you know, I think you know. He got called up there at tours the end of our season, just before playoffs, and he he was a tremendous part of that. Any looks great nights team going to Robertson Cop. I mean he had a tremendous playoff runch for them and kill some holes that they needed. And then next thing you know he's aging out in the NA for them and you know, the ultimate success and the ultimate goals college hockey and there he is. So you know that that's that's success in itself. You know what the what these kids. And again, like I don't want to give myself a whole the credit for their success, right, but you know they're successful because of what they did there, their work that they put in and, like I said, you know, I give them a toolbox. What they do, it is up to them. You know, htt padgets another one. You know, and I name and all. You said, pick one, but it's popped Meil. It Really Shit. And the reason I brought up Faus is that I wanted to kind of transition it into yourself as well. And Jake was an all star in our league the year before. You were a coach for the All Star Team and obviously you know that came following the frozen finals. Appear until we do as we invite the coaches that reach the frozen finals, and you were probably one of the easiest guys to text. You want to be involved. Yes, okay. Well, that conversation is going going back to this past October and getting that experience with...

Bill Zanna bony and Chris Cerella and Freddie Meyer and rich DiCaprio had a sub in one game. There's some of the top teams in our league and you touched on it just in terms of commitments. What was that experience like for you? It was. It was humbling. It was very humbling, not just to represent the league on that level and at that stage. You know, it's obviously that's something for for your resume always write and something that you can always be proud of, but it was awesome working with those guys, you know, and and you know, being a being a coach in the league, the players respect that I got and everything like. It just shows you what kind of quality guys we have in this league, whether it's coaches or players. Every you know, there's respect all across the board. So it was fun it was a ton of fun. Long trip up there and number I was kind of exhausted at first, but you know, once you got on the ice and started getting moving around and you know, you celebrate in but I think it was it was enjoyable being around Chris and Freddy and bill and obviously Richter on the bench, like, you know, the way everybody interacted, the way we talked, you know, on the bench during Games, you know, discussing things or, you know, just talking hockey afterwards or you know whatever. It made event. It was tremendous experience and something that, you know, I'll never forget, you know. And then again, like you think you have everything and you know everything, but then you get on the ice with thrill and he runs a couple drills and say, Oh, well, I you know, I picked up a few things, you know, and then bill run something and then you know, and then you know we're all intermingling with each other what to do. There was it was in and you know, Freddie Meyer, like the knowledge that guy has, like it was fun just sitting there talking hockey where we actually had time to sit down and be friends right like during the season we're playing each other, we don't have a whole lot of times to just get to know each other and share ideas and thoughts and talk hockey. So it was a lot of fun. It was definitely fun. It was an experience and history right. So, you know, that was it was. It was. Yeah, it was quite the experience. You know, whin in a game and the obviously the first game too, was was something else. And then, you know, I think we ran out some gas there the third one, but you know, and then Christan mock. You know, I think it was. I think it was even better for me to have a kid, they're representing our team, that actually played well. You know, he played well and he had a couple goals and really shined and it was fun sending those messages to our media staff. You know, hey, you know, Neil just posted this. It's, you know, mock. Get that up, retweeted whatever, you know, or he scored a goal, like let's get this out there. You know, it was it was fun to be a part of that whole thing and at the end of the day, yeah, we did have to focus on hockey stuff, but I know a lot of guys take the week off or whatever it was. Yeah, it was it was. It was a fun week, that's for sure. I still have and we sorry you guys. Yeah, I tell you what, not to cut you off, but I tell you what like Hass off to you, to you know, like be I don't think. I don't think we would have had the success in the schedule and everything that we had going on that week. It you made an easy me for us. Like you, you really made it easy for, you know, Freddy and Chris and bill and myself just to be the coaches and do our thing. You know, the meals that you set up in the college visits that you set up to it was a tremendous experience. I know it probably one of the been the same as it wasn't for you man, like seriously, well, I appreciate that. You know, I get a little goosebumps talking about I still have a tweet hint from that night when we beat Salem state. I mean, I don't have it on camera, but if you remember, I think I came running down the hallway and like almost broke through the locker room door to sell the team. But it's just one of those moments that that I'll never forget because it was just special to be a part of it. I'm sure the same was for you, and one of the yeah, one of the things that I always talked about when when people ask about different coaches in the league, and they asked about you, I always say that you find a way to put a pause this spend on almost everything. So from my last question it's going to feel like I'm almost going on a depressing path compared to what I just asked. But you know, the last time I had you on this podcast was around February twelve. A month later, if you remember, was March twelve, which was game three of your playoff series against the little fly. Oh Wow. And it's funny how things work out. And obviously that series doesn't end the way that you want it to. But I need you to tell me how you how you came to grips with the...

...way this season ended. Was it easier that you had lost and you did you see the season get canceled, knowing that you couldn't play in the next round? What positive spin did you did you find? When? Not, when it all can do an n and then, obviously this pandemic just took over our lives. Yeah, I I think it was definitely easier that we lost, and I know because listening to mark's you know, mark segment definitely flipped the squids. You know the script. They're like if you want, and all of a sudden the seasons done. Like, you know, I think that would have been we had closure, is what I'm trying to say. Yep, like we had closure to the end of our season. Yeah, there was part of it. We're like, and I remember clear as day, because I remember me and mark talking before the game during warmups, and it was like man, this stuff is crazy, because the NBA just canceled and just it was like what is going on, like what is happening here? And like you never even thought that our season would end right like me, at the end of the day, I know mark thinking like can't wait to beach you and go on to the next series, you know, and I'm thinking the same thing, can't wait to get back my locker room and celebrate team Maryland's you know, we were happy that we got game, won victory the first time franchise history. So that was a big to do with everybody in the organization. But you know, it was like it was it was like dam like wow, because it ended and obviously we were. You know, there's a lot of emotion. Guy's aging out and you know, a couple of those guys that I've had for a while, you know, and it's not the way you wanted to end. And really again like yeah, I get fired up sometimes and and you know we have our moments, but for me it was it was like yeah, like, yeah, okay, we made the playoffs and all that stuff and we have all the success, so let's be happy about this, right. Let's take these positives of the season, take positive of what some of you guys accomplished individually. Take Pauses, and I spoke about that, touched on that stuff, and you know, you walked around and shake everybody his hands and say, Hey, we're going to have exit meetings on Sunday. Right, give them a couple of days and, you know, relax a little bits. And my dad actually was in town. He came down, so he was here and my dad, my stepmom and I remember we, you know, hung out my office for a little bit and then we went to grab food before they left town. So, you know, we were eating dinner, early dinner, and I remember there was something there was something on TV and I want to say I want to see. It was something college hockey. It was either the big ten or one of them. One of the conferences canceled the remainder of their tournament, championship tournament, Conference Tournament. And then there was something else, and then that's when they made the final decision on that, on the NCAA basketball tournament. So it was like me and I were sitting there was then this is crazy, like what is what's going to stereo over this, like what is really going on here? And I remember say goodbye, he leaves. I'm driving down the road and it was like there's a there's a, you know, grocery shopping center next to where I live, and I mean Neil, like the cars were lined up on the street, like you couldn't even get in the parking on the splace, and I'm like, you know, like there's there's something crazy going on here. Yeah, I got home and then I'm seeing like people are calling me, families calling me, like everybody's I do, like it's like the apocalypse, like, you know, go load up on food and blow Blah. And I remember I was sitting here is like, man, the only thing I don't have right now is dog food. I here to go get dogs. That's the only yeah, I worried about and I you know, I'm just trying to take my mind off of the game. I'm kind of take my mind off the seasons over, like you know, because for us, I think, you know, you start reflecting on everything right away, and I'm a guy, I reflect my like you, with the Ahl, you know, all Star Week. You know, that was we be sound state. Yeah, I remember that layer's day and how happy we were and I remember, I think was Freddy was next to me and there was like five minutes left and I was tugging on his Jag like do we got them? Like we just beat a college seem like, you know, the sitement. So the same thing at the end of the year, you know, you start reflecting on things and I think something for me was just to know that we had a kind of success and shear, whether people know it or not. Yeah, and then there was that message. I was standing in line, I had a bag of dog food and one of my I can't remember who the player was, texting me saying his buddy on the REV just said that rogues game, McCall and said the seasons over when I have playoffs. Yeah, and...

...then like literally like maybe two minutes later, you sent them. That's the job, I think. Yeah, like the dress, or it was a it was on instagram or something. You send something out stating that the season was postponed or canceled, and I was just like wow, like no way. So then it was kind of like then I had a little bit of anger, like why did we play this game today, like why do we think? Are they like you know, like, you know right, right, just like it was like so many emotions going through your head. And it was even crazier for us down here because before our game started, the black there's were loading the bus to go up to Jamestown, New York. They're playing the rebels. Yeah, and like halfway up there is when the NA made the decision to cancel all games that weekend, like postpone at all the games that weekend. So the black bearers ended up, I believe they ended up going all the way up there and when they got out there is when the final decision was made. So they had to drive all the way back down to Maryland to get here, and then that's when like everything started. kind of the domino effects started happening, you know, like you know you have you go from your season ending to that emotion to being and I'll be the first one to admit it, like I didn't think this was that serious at first, you know, and a lot of people didn't right, like I just didn't know, you know what I mean, and I guess I just didn't pay attention to it enough to really understand what was really happening. So I was kind of one of those guys like this is domb, this is dom like why? Why? But you know, all of a sudden, that was a Thursday, Friday morning, the Canadian voice, you know, give me a call, Michael de Loria and Vince some Maurice, like coach, we have to leave now, like we have to get to the border by a certain time because there close in the border down. So I'm like, Oh my God. So then that's when, you know, we got with met star, who was highly involved. Amber, amber are main at down here, and Andrea. They they were on the front lines doing during this whole thing. But they kind of gave us information, like guys have to get out of town now, you know, and and obviously I spoke with Clinton mill mock and he was sending his voice right away, right when they got off the glass here, and finding like see you later, go home and I'll fill you in. It made season, happens or we stay back. You know, I'll let you know when to come back, but get out of town, go home, go your families. So that's when I got on the horn. was calling everybody like that. Actually, interviews are now. Get their rink now. I need an needs you here. We need to pack up, we need to get out of the building, you know. And then it is was more surreal because when he had guys like Dennis who was stuck here. Dennis couldn't fly home to the Ukraine. I think David Folstol was here for a couple of weeks after because Italy, Italy was completely locked down, so he was stuck here for a bit. Jaded Ruder was stuck here for a bit. So, you know, the the end of the hockey season was completely different than any other year. I think it was. It was crazy, it was it was definitely something that obviously you know. And then who knows right what the future holes like. You know, down here it's still still kind of it's open, right, but it's not the same, like wearing masks, and even for us, like on the ice, I got to wear a mask and can't blow whistle. It has to be a we have electronic whistles. You can only have twenty, twenty people on the Ice Right now, and you know, stuff like that. So that's when the whole process get guys out of town. Worry about the kids first. That was my main concern. Worry about the kids for first. Let's take care of them, do what's needed, and then we'll go from there. And that's kind of when you know, lockdown happened and everything else, and it was quite the experience and and knowing you went, when things do start to return back to a sense of normalcy, the way everything came to a close for you, you'll be be that much more fuel to make it back to providence in the future. Yeah, I want to thank you for coming, for coming back on the PODCAST. Sound son. Some great stories, whether it's your time in Wilkesbury or your time so far in Maryland, and and it shouldn't go you know, I noticed what you've done with that program in just one year and hopefully we can get back on the ice here very soon. For Games and if the folks wanted team to watch this year, it's definitely JOSS FUSCO and team Maryland. So thanks for coming on the PODCAST and stay safe for the rest of the offseason. Right man. Thanks me, I appreciate it and any time you want me on, I'm here all right. Thanks for listening to the...

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