Steven Kozikoski signed a tender with the Stampede on March 1st after Kozikoski and his team the Center State U-18's defeated the Warwick Wildcats of Eastern, Pa. 3-2 in tournament play. "My main reason for attending the National tournament was to watch a few guy's from the Center State team and see how they matched up against the other competition. I was very impressed with a few players and thought that Koz played very well." stated Stampede GM/ Coach Mike Beavis. "I had some good advice from Jason (Lefevre) that has worked with Steven in the past and recommended that we should take him this season if he was ready to make the move to juniors." added Beavis
Kozikoski the 6'3" 175lb 99' birth year resides in Liverpool, NY. For the past two seasons he split time between the Center State Stampede U-18 tournament bound team and Liverpool High School. While playing for the Center State program Kozikoski was scouted and received two offers to move onto the prep school leagues as a sophmore. The Center State team particapated in the USA Hockey Tier ll National tournament the past two seasons. Kozikoski in his sophmore season was named first team all section and this season once again received honorable mention in his section with his high school program. During this season with the U-18 team Koz recorded (2) shutouts during state sectionals including one VS the number eighth team in the country sending them to the State Championships (Which they won) then onto the USA Tier ll National tournament in Amherst, NY.
"Koz has a huge upside, he is not only a good size kid and still very young but is a great reaction goaltender. He battles hard and has very good focus for a young tender." Stated Beavis. "I think this kid will get some attention from NAHL teams next season if he maintains his work ethic and plays to his potential each night." added Beavis. When Kozikoski was asked how he felt about the opportunity he has with the Stampede next season he replied, " I have a lot to look forward to and I am very proud to say I am to be a part of the Syracuse Stampede of the NA3HL."
The Stampede would like to extend thanks to the Center State coaching staff and Head Coach Pat Gaffney for access to their players during the tournament. "It's kind of funny that I had to travel three hours to see players that skate out of our own rink… But schedules do not always gel and at times the closest players can be the hardest to see !" stated Beavis. "It was a pleasure to meet Pat and see his kids play. He should be very proud of his group, as I know he is. I will also mention that I spoke to a few other Center State players and have great interest in at least one, Sean Gaffney. (Not a clue he was actually related to the coach at first !)" Other players that were spoken to at the event were, Jameson Simmonds (Oswego, NY), Zach Cole (New Hartford, NY.), JoVan Mucitelli (Utica, NY). The Stampede also spoke with players from several other organizations including the Howard Huskies Jacob Cutter and Matt Cremen.
The Stampede will be attending the High School showcase in Pittsburgh, PA (America's Showcase) in two weeks and holding their Pre-Draft tryout on Saturday May 14th and Sunday May 15th at the Ice-Plex on the campus of Morrisville State College in Morrisville, NY. For information on the Stampede tryouts please contact Mike Beavis @ firstname.lastname@example.org or register online.