Hockey: All-Delco package, and more from POY Bill Swahl

There’s a distinct blue and gold feel to the All-Delco team this year, led by Player of the Year Bill Swahl, who has relished his role in a distinguished run for Springfield hockey. Swahl is joined on the All-Delco team by a triumvirate of other Cougars. Here are the capsules, and you can see the full list here.

Times Staff/JULIA WILKINSON

Times Staff/JULIA WILKINSON

Not all of my interview with Swahl made it into print. So here are some of the select highlights, the best of the rest.

On his new approach this season of being the stay-at-home defenseman:

I just had to be conservative. My coach is always telling me to be conservative when I’m out there, knowing when to rush the puck up or stay back and play D. It’s tough too to switch goalies back and forth. Playing D was a big part of what I do, and I just had to be careful of when to rush the puck up and make the right play.

On shuttling between two goalies this season:

It’s different. Some people are more comfortable with a certain goalie, so switching with a different goalie all the time is tough. But once we got a set goalie, we felt more comfortable. … I knew what Pete (Sabato) had. He played very well in the preseason and in the games he played for us. He just got outworked by Bryan (Biehl) late. They both deserve it, and they both could’ve still split time. But when it’s crunch time and we need to win games, the better goalie was in the net.

On learning from All-Delco defenseman Kyle Louhglin:

It did a lot. Actually before the Flyers Cup game, he sent me nice text and wished me luck and gave me some nice motivation. It was nice hearing from him. He was always there if I needed him to give me advice.

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