By CHERYL A. BIER
For the Courier-Post
Michael Dwier came up big for the Bishop Eustace Prep School ice hockey team last Friday, assisting on two of the team's four goals in a victory over rival St. Augustine.
What was the secret of his success?
"I actually took my stick in the shower with me, and I washed it," Dwier said. "Maybe that's why my stick was friendly to me. I haven't been doing real well. I gave it its own bed, too."
Whether or not it had anything to do with a good night's rest and a shower, his stick was doing what it was supposed to do. This was why Dwier disagreed with a slashing penalty called on him within the first three minutes of the game.
"They called me for slashing. I think it was tripping," he said. "Questionable, but I'll give it to them."
Dwier sympathizes with officials, because he is one. He's been officiating area youth hockey games for six years.
"I can see it from a referee's standpoint," Dwier said. "I joke around with them. I pick the pucks up for them; I know I like that."
Dwier's attitude is one of the things coach Mike Green loves about him as a player.
"He raises the energy of everybody on the team," Green said. "He's very vocal in the locker room, then he comes out and he backs it up with gritty, aggressive play."
"He's real outgoing, gets us all ready for the game," said teammate Tyler Hancock, also a senior. "He brings intensity to the team."
Despite having played hockey for 10 years, Dwier didn't make the varsity squad until last season.
"Personally I feel I should've been on the team sophomore year," he said. "But there were a lot of older kids that played above me."
Said Green: "I discovered Dwier was a real high-level hockey player last year when I inserted him in the lineup. He's been nothing but a tremendous asset for our club."
By his junior year, Dwier had grown taller. He also spent some serious time in the gym and "came back a machine," he joked. His work ethic hasn't gone unnoticed.
Hancock said he's very dedicated, that Dwier comes early to practice to work on his skills.
Dwier says he and Hancock are always working on their passing. They have little games they play during practice and before games. It's no surprise that the two hooked up for the first goal in last week's game.
"I went around the net, and I saw Ty was standing there, so I figured he'd cut," Dwier said.
"Once he cut, I just passed it right over the kid's stick right to him. He's a finisher, so the kid finished like he always does."
"He sees the ice real well to give nice passes," Hancock said of Dwier.