Before I start my post on my recent interview with Ryan Daugherty and C.J. Ludwig, D/FW Natives and Omaha Lancer Teammates. I would like to think Omaha Lancers Head Coach Bliss Littler and Dan Fremuth who's the head of communications for the Omaha Lancers.
I asked them questions ranging from the early season success, Omaha Lancers Head Coach Bliss Littler, the college plans and so much more when I got a chance to speak with both of them last Friday.
On the Fast Start to the Season.
With the Lancers currently at 15-2-0 so far this season and having the best record in the USHL right now. Both players didn't expect to get out to this fast and a start to the season and both players think it's taken Coach Littler by surprise a little bit as well. Ryan and C.J. were expecting great season after a rebuilding year last year.
But right now, the team has no reason in the locker room that the Lancers can have a shot at contending for home ice and the Clark Cup Championship during the playoffs.
Ryan also told me that individually, he was looking for a big improvement in his scoring totals this season after having 16 points in 46 games last season. So far this season, he already has 11 points in 14 games so far and he's fells great about his play, he doesn't have any personal goals regarding how many goals he can score this season.
He mentioned he wants to have a shot of getting the critical goals that can change the flow of a game, put the game away, or that are a part of a come back when they are behind.
On Coach Bliss Littler
Both Ryan and C.J. mentioned that you see both sides of Coach Littler as he's a quiet guy when mentioning player to coach issues off the ice. However, when they are on the ice. However if you make a mistake, Coach Bliss Littler can expect to be very demanding during practice or a game to magnify the mistake and make sure you don't make the same mistake or do something else again.
They told me that Coach Littler plays more of an offensive style of play, but he expects the defense to support the offense. On the other hand, he expects one of the forwards to get back on defense, kind of similar to what Marc Crawford does in Dallas. But, everyone on the team has a lot of faith in his style as the team won the Clark Cup back in the 2007-2008 season and is a regular in the USHL playoffs.
Ryan Daugherty and C.J. Ludwig being Teamates
Both Daugherty and Ludwig have been teammates when they in the midget ranks and they got interest as a duel package when the Lancers were recruiting. Ryan told me "They were interested in both of us playing for Omaha". Since arriving in Omaha, both players were targeting this season to make a big impact both for the Lancers and the hopes of playing D1 College Hockey.
Speaking of NCAA, both C.J. Ludwig and Ryan Daugherty have both signed with the Northern Michigan Wildcats. Just like the recruiting for the Omaha Lancers, they were recruited as a duel package and they are excited to continue being teammates in the NCAA.
They were wanted because the coach thought they would be a great fit for the system and they needed to fill some holes, which will allow both them to penitential get some more playing time then what they would get at most schools.
I asked C.J. about updates from the team, and he told me that when he gets chances to check out news items and scoring updates. He wants to make Northern Michigan a winner when both Ryan and C.J. arrive next year, the team has been has been struggling recently.
Just 7th in CCHA right now, but both players are not worried about that as he focused on contuine to play well during the Lancers season, then think about playing for Northern Michigan when both Ryan and C.J. arrive next season.
Growing up on and off the Ice
Both players mentioned that you learn a lot more off the ice then on it at this level. From living far away from home, the work habits from the weight room and conditioning. However, the bigger part is how you spend your little off time you get, anything from taking care of your selves to doing charity work with kids in the area.
Both C.J. and Ryan mentioned that the team tries hard to match them up with the same host families throughout their junior careers. Both players mentioned that the billiet families play a huge part of the junior hockey experience. They are a big part of the junior hockey experience from attending nearly every home game, to promoting the team in the Omaha Area.
The Teams don't deal with the media that much, maybe something like a couple of newspapers after the game, but that's about it. Both Ryan and C.J. told me about how they wish they would get more to help promote the team and bring awareness of junior hockey to those that don't know that much about the level of hockey.
What you miss from Dallas:
C.J. His Family Ryan: The Warm Texas Weather
Best and Worst Roadtrip:
Best: Both said Lincoln
Worst: Ryan said Youngstown Phantoms C.J. Didn't say
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