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Indiana Tech hockey's international roster finds success in Fort Wayne

By Eric Dutkiewicz, 02/24/17, 3:00PM EST

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. - The international flair of the Indiana Tech hockey team has provided a foundation of success for the program to grow.

Of the 25 players on the Tech Division I roster, 6 hail from outside of the United States.

“You get to build a lot of new connections,” forward Adam Jonak says. “You really get to know people from where they’re from and how different it is.”

Jonak, a sophomore from Praha, Czech Republic, says he always dreamed of America as Disneyland, not thinking he would have the opportunity to play college hockey in the United States.

Now that he has come to the United States, Jonak plans to stay. He is studying sports management and human resource management with hopes of landing an American job after he graduates.

“It’s very sprawling,” head coach Frank DiCristofaro says of the attraction of the Summit City. “There’s a lot of things to do. I think a lot of guys—especially coming from the foreign nations—enjoy that.”

Completing his 3rd season as coach, DiCristofaro says that Indiana Tech’s commitment to the hockey program also lures players from around the world to play for the Warriors. In addition to the Czech Republic, players come from Sweden, Canada, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Fort Wayne.

Defenseman Felix Kronwall of Stockholm, Sweden, is the nephew of Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall.

“I love the downtown,” sophomore forward Ryan Attwood says of living in Fort Wayne. “It’s a big city, but yet it still has a small feel.”

Attwood, a Toronto native, says he likes the small, private school feel of Indiana Tech versus some of the other colleges he explored.

Indiana Tech will compete this weekend in the Great Lakes Collegiate Hockey League.

Next season, Indiana Tech will become charter members of the NAIA’s Varsity Division, a 5-team league that was created through an agreement with the NAIA and American Collegiate Hockey Association. The NAIA hockey will return after a 34-year absence next March.

Player Hometown Miles from FW
Quentin Holmes Gahanna, Ohio 162
Chad Frost Clarkston, Mich. 209
Dylan Grant Victoria, British Columbia 2,366
Nick Papandrea Chesterfield, Mich. 195
Kyle Cobb New Boston, Mich. 145
Jace Childs Savage, Minn. 584
Brian Skillicorn Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. 2,122
Zack Morlock Buffalo, N.Y. 392
Ryan Attwood Toronto, Ontario 392
Matt Walton Upper Sandusky, Ohio 104
Taylor Jones Detroit, Mich. 162
Jarrett Pfeiffer Ypsilanti, Mich. 140
Joe Molfetta Bath, Pa. 585
Ryan Theisen Fort Wayne, Ind. 0
Brett Lervold Victoria, British Columbia 2,366
Anthony Passarelli Downers Grove, Ill. 178
Jimmie Kotilainen Oxelosund, Sweden 4,248
Chet Tooker Rumson, N.J. 679
John Slavik South Lyon, Mich. 153
Zach Larson Roseville, Minn. 567
Dominick Manochio Stewartsville, N.J. 605
Nick Denice Fort Wayne, Ind. 0
Felix Kronwall Stockholm, Sweden 4,253
Alex Gregorich Berkley, Mich. 178
Adam Jonak Praha, Czech Republic 4,492
Average 1,011.08