By: Jay Ashdown
Canisius hockey head coach Trevor Large made it official on Monday that senior forward J.D. Pogue will serve as the team captain for the 2021-22 season. Pogue, much like the team’s record, saw a significant improvement last season.
In Pogue’s first two seasons with the team, he saw action in 69 games but only produced four goals and one assist for five points. Last season in 13 games, he scored five goals and three assists, including the most important goal in recent Griffs history, beating Army goaltender Trevin Kozlowski in overtime to send the Griffs to the AHA title game.
“I think J.D. really took ownership of his role last year,” explained Large. “He knew how valuable he was to the team, and once he found his voice and understood his value to the team, he started to play better.”
Throughout Pogue’s time at Canisius, he has had the opportunity to learn from three previous captains in Ian Edmondson, Matt Hoover and Grant Meyer. All three possessed different leadership skills and styles for Pogue to choose from, but J.D. knows in order for himself to be the best captain, he just needs to be himself.
“First off, they’re all great guys who are great in the community,” Pogue said about his former captains. “All three of them had different types of leadership. Edmondson was more quiet and community-oriented, always doing the right thing. Hoover and Grant were more vocal and high energy — and I think I fit more in that type — but I’m going to use what I learned from all three of them to play my part as being the captain for the guys this year.”
While the duty of captaincy is no light job for any hockey player, Pogue has another layer of added pressure this season with one ultimate goal for the team: getting back to the title game and finishing off what they just missed out on last year.
“Yeah, we even had the lead in that game, so a big slogan for us this year is ‘One more,’” explained Pogue. “We were one more win away from being western pod champions and we were one period away from winning the finals. That slogan ‘One more’ is sticking with us this year. It’s everywhere in our locker room, and we’re using that to push ourselves this year.”