Katsis fitting in well with Panthers
Steven Katsis has been a perfect addition to the Pelham Panthers.
In search of a veteran who was good in the dressing room and could also add some offence, the Panthers were only too happy to bring in the experienced centre from the Fort Erie Meteors when he became available.
“He’s a 20-year-old we brought in to help us along, to help us through the push here, and he’s really stepped up,” Panthers owner/coach Tim Toffolo said. “We love his effort and loves what he brings to the club. He fits it really well with the guys in the room and is a good all-around person.”
Katsis, a native of Toronto, began the season with the Meteors, where he had four goals and nine points in 11 games before being dealt to the Panthers.
“It played out how it did,” Katsis said, when asked if the deal took him by surprise. “I was looking to have more of a role and I feel coming here I had the opportunity to do that. The guys are good here so I’m happy.”
Katsis was more than happy to take on a leadership role with a young Pelham squad.
“You always need to have someone to look up to and get a feel for what you’re supposed to do and how you’re supposed to carry yourself, whether it’s on or off the ice,” Katsis said. “I know when I was younger it was good to have a few older guys around.
“It’s good they follow and they’re coming into their own in the second half of the season.”
Toffolo believes it’s crucial to have a good mix of young and old.
“I’ve always believed you need a good cross section of guys,” he said. “We really find a lot of the young kids we brought it at the start of the year are really starting to come along. A lot of them with different things, but a lot of them are starting to get the drift of being able to play junior hockey.
“We’re pretty excited about how some of them have developed and we’re looking forward to some big things from them.”
The Panthers, 11-18-1, have high hopes for their final 18 games in the regular season.
“I think we can turn in around. We’re sitting in fifth and we have a couple of injury problems now but we have the guys to do it. We have a solid top three lines and we all buy in and do whatever it takes to turn it around,” Katsis said.
Toffolo believes the Panthers are due a break.
“Where the hockey gods really haven’t given us maybe what they should have given us, I really feel at some point if you keep working hard and doing things right, you’ll get rewarded,” he said. “We’re a team that has a lot of potential and a lot of ability to go far. We’ll go as far as we’re willing to work.
“I think we want to solidify ourselves in the standings right now and move up and be in a solid position for the playoffs.”
The Panthers are home to the Niagara Falls Canucks Sunday at 2:45 p.m.
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