PEMBROKE, Mass. -- Goaltender Kyle Moran was a key factor in Marshfield's run to a Division 1 state ice hockey championship last season. Moran helped to lead the Rams to their first state title since 2006, with a 3-2 comeback win over Wakefield.
With the Rams entering the season ranked eighth in our preseason Top 25 poll, the senior netminder and his Marshfield teammates have their sights set on the Super 8 tournament.
We caught with Moran after a recent practice at the Hobomock Arena:
Q: How does last year’s state title win affect the team’s goals for this season?
A: “We know that we’re coming in with a target on our backs. We’re alright with that. We kind of like having that ‘world is out to get us’ feeling. That’s only going to make us want to work harder. I think the confidence level is really high. We just need to make sure that we don’t get too cocky. For the most part, I think the whole aspect of having a hangover from the state championship, it’s overrated. We don’t have that. We have new kids to bring along into the team and we’re just ready to get going on this season.”
Q: You were a part of the team that recently represented Massachusetts at the Bauer National Invitational Tournament in Minnesota. What does playing in those kinds of national tournaments tell you about the game?
A: “That’s a real good experience. We played against a bunch of great teams like Shattuck-St. Mary’s [Sidney Crosby’s alma mater], that’s one of the best teams I’ve ever seen. That was of the best hockey experiences I’ve ever had. Going into a tournament like that with a lot of the country’s best talent, that’s a great experience.”
Q: Goaltenders are very much a breed of their own. Who do you work with personally to help you with your game?
A: “I work with Brian Eklund. He played with the Tampa Bay Lightning when they won the Stanley Cup. When I got back from prep school last season, I needed to find somebody around in the area. Before, I used to work with Mike Geragosian; he’s the goaltenders coach at BU. I needed to find somebody around the South Shore, so I found Brian and that’s been working out really well.”
Q: What kinds of things were you working on during the offseason?
A: “Lateral movement, I’ve been trying to work on that a lot during the last year. Two of the goals that were scored against me in the state championship, they were backdoor kind of goals. So I’ve been trying to work on my post-to-post movement.”
Q: So, let me get this straight, you won the state title and you’re still thinking about the two goals you let in?
A: “Well, it felt like I had 10 shots against me in that entire game, so they really stuck out more. That was a monkey on my back. That just made is something I want to work on even more. I’ve been trying to play the puck better, too.”
Q: There’s still a lot of hockey to be played, but where are you in your process of looking to play at the next level?
A: “I’ve talked to a couple of juniors coaches, to the Breakers and the Bridgewater Bandits. In terms of colleges, I’ve talked to Curry College, but I’m looking more to playing juniors next year and see if I might be able to get a little more D1 looks.”
Q: What’s the team’s pregame ritual before games?
A: “We all hang out at Mike Carbone’s house. He actually has a rink in his backyard. It’s pretty funny because he loves strapping on the pads and playing goal, and I’ll go up against him.”
Q: I’m sure you hold it over his head when you score on him, right?
A: “I love chirping at the guys when I score on them, or I go out and dangle on them, even as a goalie. I show them I can hang with them.”