BENSENVILLE — Junior defenseman Crosley Duckmann was selected to the all-state team this year and his play helped propel Maine to the varsity combined division state semifinals.
“The kid can do anything he wants from a defensive position,” Maine hockey coach Greg Mrofcza said. “If you’re looking to build your team with a solid defense, Crosley’s the guy for that.”
Mrofcza said Duckmann is an excellent skater who slows down the opposition’s top forwards through strong defensive awareness. He also can nab a loose puck in the defensive zone and carry it up the ice to the opposing team’s goal. While he creates opportunities for himself, he also makes his teammates better.
“He gets people open, he finds them,” Maine senior forward Christian Witek said. “He scores other [people’s] goals. It’s a special type of kid that can do that.”
What also stands out is Duckmann’s toughness. Mrofcza said that Duckmann gets bumps and bruises but never complains about them.
“If Crosley comes back to the bench and says that he can’t play, it’s probably because he left a limb on the ice,” Mrofcza said.
Duckmann said Maine’s agonizing 3-2 playoff loss to Glenbard in Sunday’s semifinals will motivate him to work even harder. After Maine tied the game with 21 seconds left in the third period, Glenbard won the draw, pushed the puck up the ice and scored the winning goal with 2.8 second left.
“Next year I know I’m going to want it more and more,” Duckmann said. “I’m sure everyone else in that locker room wants it more and more, too.”
Duckmann said he plans to train in hockey conditioning clinics in the offseason and improve his puck handling and leg strength.
He had seven goals and 12 assists this year and Mrofcza said he hopes that Duckmann can have even more of an impact on offense in 2014-15 because this season’s team featured several senior forwards, including Witek, Derek Dyball, Ethan Flynn and Danny Kasch.
“I’m sure he’s going to come back bigger, stronger, faster,” Witek said. “More goals, more points. He’s just going to be a beast.”