As the fall sports season draws to a conclusion this weekend and the winter sports commence, the PIHL season has already been under way for months. In recent years, the league has produced an array of players who have competed at the college or professional level. Among that group is Ian Wood, a former Hampton skater who now plays at Morrisville State College. He is this week’s feature for the WPIAL Alum Q&A.
Wood played two campaigns with the Talbots, from 2010-12. In his first season as a sophomore, he appeared in 17 regular-season contests, netting nine goals and 16 assists. He helped Hampton reach the PIHL Penguins Cup playoffs, where he produced at an even better pace. In two postseason contests, Wood contributed four goals and an assist. Hampton enjoyed its finest season in program history to that point, finishing as the runner-up for the title.
The following season, Wood played in just 11 contests, but made the most of his time on the ice for Hampton. He scored 11 goals and 19 assists, averaging nearly three points per contest.
Following that campaign, Wood joined the Three Rivers Vengeance for a season, and then played two seasons with the Dell Ducks.
After those stints, Wood took his talents to Division III NCAA hockey, joining Morrisville State College. In his first season with the Mustangs, he played in 23 games, registering three goals and four assists. Morrisville State finished just 5-17-2 that season, and was in last place in the State University of New York Athletic Conference.
Last campaign, Wood played in 25 contests, contributing six goals and five assists. Morrisville State compiled a mark of 5-16-4, but made strides in conference play, going 4-9-3.
In his junior season, Wood has appeared in 13 games. He has produced two goals and three assists thus far, and also serves as the Mustangs’ captain. The team has been much improved, compiling a record of 4-6-3, including a pair of wins over the weekend.
Ian took time from his schedule to answer questions about his role as a captain, how the PIHL prepared him for higher levels of hockey, and who he’d choose to play himself in a movie about his life.
Q: You serve as the captain for your team this season. What added responsibilities have you taken on as a result?
A: Lead by example, and try to bring the best out of every guy on the team night in and night out.
Q: How have you grown as a player during your three seasons of collegiate hockey?
A: Each season, I have developed more confidence. I have learned to play a faster game and make quicker decisions on and off the puck.
Q: In which area do you still need the most improvement?
A: I need to improve my speed, and my puck possession skills.
Q: What individual goals did you set for the season?
A: An individual goal that I sent for myself this season was to be more offensive and produce consistently throughout the year.
Q: What is the team’s outlook for 2017-18?
A: The outlook for the 2017-18 is very positive. We are a young team that is working hard to establish our identity as a group.
Q: What led to you continuing your career at Morrisville State?
A: After graduating from Hampton High School in 2013, I spent two seasons playing for the Dells Ducks – a junior hockey team located in Dells, Wisconsin. The experience of playing for the Ducks was fantastic. The exposure I received from playing for the Ducks led me to committing to play for SUNY Morrisville.
Q: What is your major and ideal future profession?
A: I am a business administration major. My ideal future profession would be a sales and marketing position in the medical device field.
Q: You had great success in your few seasons at Hampton. How did the PIHL prepare you for a career in hockey?
A: Playing in the PIHL was great preparation for my hockey career. I was able to play in all different situations every game. These experiences helped me to develop as a player.
Q: What was your fondest high-school memory?
A: My fondest high-school memory was playing in the Penguin Cup playoffs.
Q: Do you have any specific traditions or superstitions before, during or after a game?
A: Every game before I get dressed, I like to run three laps in or outside the building that we are playing in.
Q: If you could face any NHL goaltender for a shootout, who would you choose?
A: I would choose Marc-Andre Fleury. I am a huge Fleury fan, and would love to shoot on him.
Q: What is your favorite sports movie?
A: The Fighter.
Q: What is your favorite holiday?
Q: If your life was made into a movie, who would play you?
A: Steve Carell.
Q: What is your greatest life achievement?
A: Winning the Bush Cup with the Dells Ducks.