Deciding to come back home was not difficult for Johnny Ulicny. "When it was time to make a decision and I found out the University of Windsor was interested I was super excited." The Tecumseh native said.
Ulicny is part of an 11-player recruit class that includes former Soo Greyhound Dominic Mufarreh and Aaron Chiarot who played for Hamilton of the GOJHL (The Kilty B's were knocked out of the Sutherland Cup tournament by the eventual league champion Leamington Flyers this spring.)
"It is a big jump from the North American Hockey league to USport but one thing he's not afraid to do is roll up his sleeves and get to work and he competes as hard as anybody." said Lancers head coach Kevin Hamlin. "That's the equalizer."
The Lancers made it to the national tournament this past season but never fully recovered from a triple-overtime loss to UQTR in the Queen's Cup final. They lost in the quarterfinals 7-0 to Alberta.
With captain Mason Kohn, USport goaltender of the year Nathan Torchia and others coming back, Hamlin says competition for roster spots will be fierce when camp opens later this year. "It's gonna be an earn what you get environment." Hamlin said.
With four starters missing from the lineup to start the OUA schedule Hamlin feels many of the newcomers like Ulicny will have a big chance to make an impression at camp. "Guys have to send their fitness reports every week and they've been off the charts." said an optimistic Hamlin. "If we hold our own in the first month then you'll know right away what kind of team we are."
For his part, Ulicny is working hard to be ready for his chance to play and contribute. "My summer training has been going really well and I have to give a lot of thanks to the Windsor CrossFit coaches and team." Ulicny said. "I plan on taking a good summer of training into camp with a mindset of competing and regularly contributing to the sucess of the team come the fall. My ultimate goal is to help bring a National Championship home to Windsor.