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Step-up Seniors

Tri-captains Place Emphasis on Leadership

By Ed Weaver

Troy Record, October 4, 2005

TROY - Brad Farynuk was one of the co-captains on the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute hockey team last season; as a junior.

Farynuk was as frustrated and confounded as any player - senior or underclassman - when the Engineers had long scoring droughts, long losing streaks, four straight one-goal defeats, an 0-4-0 homestand in which they were outscored 21-3 and eventually finished in 11th place in the ECAC Hockey League with records of 6-15-1 and (overall) 14-22-2.

The Enderby, B.C. native will serve as tri-captain this year with fellow seniors Kevin Croxton and Kirk MacDonald (currently battling cancer) but Farynuk is clearly the team's singular leader, even though the senior class is a large one.

The soft-spoken, hard-hitting defenseman, while not wanting to say specifically that leadership was lacking last season, did say that there were times when some players went their own way, weren't on the same page.

"You could say that happened a few times," he said. "We don't really like to look back on last season much; we're on to a new page in our book. Obviously, we didn't play very well as a joint unit for 60 minutes (too many) nights. When you do (play hard throughout each game) and have the talent we have, at the end of the season, your win column should be a lot higher than your lose column."

Farynuk promises the leadership will be stronger this year, and without predicting what level of success the team will achieve, promised better records, as well.

"We definitely have a senior class that is really on the same page," he said. "When you look at the captains, Crox, Mac and I will be representative of a whole senior class who are leaders. It's a joint unit. All 26, 27 guys have to be on the same page with the same focus, whether it be seniors, freshmen ... everybody."

"Everybody, even since the season ended last year, has taken big strides," Farynuk added. "Come the beginning of the ECAC season, we're going to be surprising some people."

Farynuk says one thing the team won't do is dwell on last year.

"We don't really like to look back on last season much," he said. "We're on to a new page in our book."

Farynuk wasn't happy with his own season last year, either, and did something about it.

"I trimmed down quite a bit, dropped 15 pounds," he said. "That was a big goal of mine to try to get a lot quicker, faster, more agile out there, which I think will improve my game."