By Derek Holtom
MJHL Web Correspondent
If the Waywayseecappo Wolverines are looking for a recruiter, they need not look any further than one of their alumni ─ Greg Harney.
The Wayway netminder has great memories of playing for the Wolverines and head coach Barry Butler. While it might have been a challenging season on the ice, Harney graduated Junior A hockey, having accomplished his goal of landing a shot at a college team.
The native of East Haven, Connecticut, has parlayed his Wayway experience to a commitment to play for Stevenson University, an expansion Division III school in Maryland.
“Wayway is a special place to play,” he said. “There’s a lot of history here, and a lot of pride in this area, and it was an incredible experience. This was a great place to finish up my junior career, even if things didn’t go as expected on the ice.
“Knowing everything, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
He also has a word of advice for other junior players who have their eye on college hockey. Don’t be afraid to travel.
“I think the biggest thing for Americans who choose to come here to Canada to play, it’s an attractive thing (to college coaches), because it shows you’re OK being away from home, and that you can handle yourself,” said Harney.
“That you’re not going to sit around and have a pity party because you’re homesick. I think that speaks volumes. And if you can follow that up with a performance on the ice, it’s an attractive thing.”
Making it easier, of course, is having a great place to play. And from that perspective, Harney has no complaints whatsoever. The Wolves clawed their way to a 10th place finish, and were ultimately swept out of the MJHL playoffs in the best-of-three survivor series by the Swan Valley Stampeders.
Still, no one ever accused the Wolverines of being a lazy team. Far from it – they’re considered one of the hardest-working squads in the MJHL.
That sort of hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. And just before the playoffs got under way, Harney announced his commitment to play for Stevenson University.
“I began talks with (Stevenson) coach Dominick Dawes when the season was starting up, as I heard they were starting up a men’s hockey program,” said Harney. (Interesting to note, Stevenson had a women’s hockey team before they had a men’s hockey team).
“I reached out to him, and there was already a connection there with (Wayway coach) Barry Butler, who helped get netminder Mitch Wiebe a spot on Neumann University, where Dawes was last year.
“They both knew each other well, and Barry spoke well about me to him, and it all worked out,” he added. “Barry has always been known about getting guys to the next level.”
Harney added playing on a team that isn’t perhaps getting as many looks as a top-end team is no excuse to not get noticed. In fact, playing through adversity is a trait scouts are perhaps on the lookout for.
“When I played midget AAA, we were not one of the better teams, and I was busy all the time (in goal),” he said. “That’s something I’ve been used to. You take your bumps and bruises, and get back to work. That makes me push ever harder.”