HAVERHILL, Mass. – Shaker Heights, like Ohio in general, is known for its football history. The hometown of Paul Brown would never be confused with a hockey hotbed, but two high school icers from the town might change that perception in the future.
Shaker Heights’ Connor Siwik and Drew Musser both skated for the Great Lakes team at last week’s Hockey Night in Boston Summer Showcase in suburban Boston. The nearly four-decade old tournament has seen some of the best American players ever lace up the skates for a shot at summer glory including hall of famers Brian Leetch and John LeClair as well as recent Stanley Cup champion Jonathan Quick.
This year’s tournament featured nearly 400 players from over two dozen states, a pair of Canadian provinces, and Germany. Playing in such a high-level tournament wasn’t lost on Siwik.
“It’s been great competition,” Siwik said. “I’ve gotten to meet kids from all over. I love it.”
Siwik, who wore the colors during the tournament, said he was proud to wear the Raider red and white.
“It’s nice,” Siwik said. “It’s nice to be able to showcase my hometown colors.”
Siwik finished last winter with 25 goals and 24 assists. Even with those sterling numbers he says that he is constantly looking to improve as an individual player as well as help to make the Raiders better as a team heading into his senior year.
“I’m just trying to improve every chance I get,” Siwik said. “I want to take everything I did in the summer and just build on it, work with my teammates back home, and hopefully go for a state championship this year.”
Musser, a rising senior at University School, played with Siwik up until high school before moving on to play at University.
Musser said that he enjoyed meeting players from across the country but that he had one goal for the tournament: improve on the ice.
“I want to get better skilled and try to get used to a higher level of hockey than back home,” Musser said. “[I want to] try to use that so I can be as good as I can be in the season.”
Even in pigskin-crazed Ohio; Musser said that the hockey community, especially in the larger cities, is growing and starting to produce quality players.”
“Cleveland, Toledo, and Columbus have developed a pretty good [hockey] scene,” Musser said. “I think it’s really developed into a really good game; a lot of kids are starting to play. It’s good.”