By Andrew Hoyle
Sometimes it takes a bit of time for a player to figure out exactly
what his role is going to be on a hockey team. That’s not the case
with River City’s John Togiai. Quite simply, he’s here to stir the
pot, and that’s a role that suits John just fine. It’s the extra
amount of intensity and flair he does it with that makes him an
integral part of the Lancers’ attack, and has quickly drawn the
attention of opposing teams.
A native of the Tri-Cities Washington area, the 6-0, 185 pound
forward comes to the Lancers from the rough and ready WHL, where he
spent the past two seasons playing for the Portland Winterhawks.
After having a solid season last year (70GP, 12G, 15A, 27PTS, 113PIM
during the regular season)with the Winterhawks, Togiai garnered a
lot of attention and had many options available to him on where to
continue his junior hockey career. He chose to play for the Lancers
because he already knew the city of Omaha and felt the Lancers would
be a good fit with his style of play. Coach Mike Hastings was more than
happy to get Togiai, calling him “a prototypical forward”, and has
so far described him during the season as “bringing the intensity to
>all aspects of the game, empties his tank every time he’s out there,
giving 110%, and doesen’t back down”. All that is high praise for a
player who says he’s here to work on his puck handling ability.
While Togiai hones his skill, it’s everything else he brings to the
game that makes him an exciting player to watch. His every action
is done with such fierce intensity and concentration that one can’t
help, but be drawn to his performance. Whether it’s scoring a goal
from his knees, fighting on back-to-back nights, talking smack, or
just skating, Togiai brings his ‘A’ game every time. Although he
still likes to stir the pot just to see what will happen…
Togiai has aspirations of playing minor league hockey, or perhaps
Division III college hockey when his time in junior hockey is over.
Since joining the Lancers (12GP, 4G, 2A, 6 PTS, 30 PIM), he’s
demonstrated that he would be a definite asset to anyone interested.
Lancer Notes: In yet another move to add more to the offense, the
Lancers have traded forward Tom Kolar and defenseman Josh Williams
to the Capital Centre Pride of the NAHL. The Lancers got forward
Drew Miller (14GM, 9G, 9A, 18PTS) in return…. River City
Defenseman Grant Clafton is at least keeping a sense of humor about
the broken jaw that has held him out of play for several weeks now.
At the annual Lancer pumpkin auction for charity, the St.Cloud
recruit’s pumpkin had its own jaw wired shut. Clafton expected back
in the lineup soon… The Lancers are now 8-3-1 for the season.