Hockey runs in blood for Thomas Jefferson’s Crousey family

Saturday, January 27, 2018 | 12:07 AM

Brendan Crousey and his dad, Bill, have a special bond.

Brendan has played hockey for most of his life, including the past four years with the Thomas Jefferson hockey team.

Bill has been involved in the sport for most of his life, including the past eight years coaching the TJ hockey team. He played hockey in high school at Steel Valley, as an amateur for the Pittsburgh Stars (now Esmark Stars), then in Pitt's club program.

Brendan, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound senior defenseman, was one of three TJ hockey players selected for the PIHL All-Star Game. He was named to play for Team White in the Class A game along with Jaguars forwards Matt Krieger and Hayden Hintemeyer.

“I have been invested in the sport since first grade and haven't slowed down since,” Brendan said. “My father has always been my No. 1 mentor for hockey and continues to push me as a coach as well as a dad.”

Brendan also was an all-star selection last season. In 12 games this season, he has a team-leading 16 assists to go with seven goals.

“It has been extremely gratifying to have had the opportunity to coach Brendan the past four years,” Bill said. “I will definitely miss him next year as a player. It has been pretty special to be able to share in some of his high school memories.”

Following high school, Brendan, who also plays in the 18U program in the South Hills Amateur Hockey Association, plans to attend Community College of Allegheny County. Part of his college selection process revolved around staying close to home and to his family.

The PIHL all-star games took place Jan. 28 with four games at Robert Morris' Island Sports Center.

After that, the TJ hockey team looks to winning and make noise in the PIHL playoffs.

With one game remaining (Jan. 25 against Beaver, results of which were unavailable for this edition) prior to the all-star break, the Jaguars were tied for fourth in Class A with Indiana with an 11-3 record — behind Bishop McCort, Meadville and West Allegheny.

“I fully expect my teammates and I to excel throughout the rest of the regular season and into playoffs,” Brendan said. “Our game has only gotten stronger since first coming together as a group, and I don't think we are done yet.

“We have put ourselves in a good position to potentially get a high seed going into the playoffs.

“The only way for us to achieve that goal is to play our game, which consists of hard work, skill and speed. If we can be efficient in all three (facets), I feel like we can beat anyone in the league.”

Ray Fisher is a freelance writer.


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