by Coach Elliott on January 27, 2007

HIRSCHFELD COMMITS TO MIAMI OF OHIO

BOARDMAN, Ohio (Thursday, Jan. 25, 2007)- Alden Hirschfeld has had quite a week.

On Tuesday, the Mahoning Valley Phantoms right winger was named the North American Hockey League’s Sher-Wood North Division Player of the Week.

On Thursday, he accepted a scholarship to play collegiate hockey this fall for the University of Miami of Ohio RedHawks. On Friday, he celebrates his 19th birthday.

“I’m thrilled to play for the RedHawks,” Hirschfeld said. “I wanted to stay in Ohio and I’m very thankful to be given the opportunity to play here at the next level.”

Hirschfeld is the son of Glen and Traci Hirschfeld of Sylvania. Glen was a four-year letter winner in football at Miami from 1982-85. In his senior year, he was named co-captain and captured first-team Mid American Conference honors at tight end.

The younger Hirschfeld recorded eight points on four goals and four assists to capture the weekly NAHL honor, leading the Phantoms to three straight wins last week. On Jan. 15, he scored a season-high four points against the U.S. National Team by scoring twice and assisted on two others in the 7-4 win.

He followed up by scoring a goal and an assist in each of the Phantoms’ wins over Traverse City at home on Jan. 19-20.

Hirschfeld is the fourth current Phantom to commit to an NCAA Division 1 program for the 2007-08 school year. He joins goaltender Ryan Zapolski (Mercyhurst), left wing Chris Fairbanks (Alabama-Huntsville) and right wing Nathan Longpre (Robert Morris.)

Phantoms Head Coach Bob Mainhardt said, “Alden is a fine player and a fine young man. We couldn’t be more proud of him becoming a RedHawk.”

Hirschfeld, a native of Sylvania, Ohio, is a 2006 graduate of Northview High School. As a junior, he rang up 56 goals and 50 assists for 106 points. In his senior year, he recorded 99 points on 64 goals and 35 assists, leading the Wildcats to the state finals for the first time since 1990.

In 43 games this season, Hirschfeld ranks fourth on the Phantoms and 17th in the entire NAHL with 23 even-strength points. He is ninth in team scoring with 29 points on 12 goals and 17 assists, on a Phantoms squad that leads the NAHL with a 4.53 goal-scoring average per game.

“When the season started, I knew the amount of ice time I’d have would be very limited, but I wasn’t really looking to score goals or get points,” Hirschfeld said. “I was looking to be a hard, physical worker and to use my size and strength.”

A fourth-line forward in September, Hirschfeld has moved up to the Phantoms’ second line, and, on Jan. 13, Hirschfeld was included on the Phantoms power play for the first time this season.

“Since the beginning of the year, I’ve improved a lot,” Hirschfeld said. “I’ve become more confident in myself and I’ve had more opportunities on the ice.”

Phantoms Assistant Coach Curtis Carr, who first saw Hirschfeld play for Team Ohio last spring, which Carr coached, said, “Alden’s efforts are paying off. He incorporated his strengths from high school to this level and has adapted very well.”

He said Hirschfeld has adjusted well to a faster-paced game, At this level, once you have the puck, you have a lot less time,” Carr said. “He understands that you have to know what you’re going to do with the puck before you get it.”

Carr said that most players need a second year of junior hockey to gain confidence and comfort in their abilities. “You can already see that confidence and comfort building in Alden,” he said.

“Alden values his ice time and understands the rewards that come with hard work,” Carr said. “He takes pride in whatever he does on the ice, as long as it helps the team.”

Hirschfeld said he has improved certain parts of his game and continues to work on other skills in preparation for the college game.

Hirschfeld said, “Last year, I was more offense-minded. Now, I’m more involved defensively because the level of intensity and play is greater. I get as much of an adrenaline rush by checking somebody as I do scoring a goal.”

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

bobbymac1 January 29, 2007 at 9:39 am

thats my boy representing for 06!! alden if you get a chance to read this congrats and i’m incredibly proud of you. way to go man. as for those of you still in the black and gold sounds like things arent going to bad. you guys seem to be doin just fine and come playoff time im sure you’ll take it to em. things are going fine here. a couple booms here and there but nothin to get worked up over. its enjoyable to be honest with ya. anyway i wish you guys the best and i hope to see all of you in about three months. for you seniors i ought to be at prom so i’ll give you one last shot to out dress me. we’ll see :) good luck boys. give em hell and hell and never quit. im always pullin for you and you’re in my prayers.
love and God bless,
Bob

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