Hockey: Ocean's Feathers earns Player of Week 1 honors

Hockey: Ocean's Feathers earns Player of Week 1 honors


Hockey: Ocean's Feathers earns Player of Week 1 honors


Robby Feathers (22) of Ocean earned APP Player of Week 1 honors.

Robby Feathers (22) of Ocean earned APP Player of Week 1 honors.

Robby Feathers (22) of Ocean earned APP Player of Week 1 honors.

Robby Feathers (22) of Ocean earned APP Player of Week 1 honors.

Ocean Township winger Robby Feathers has been competing in the Shore Conference for a little more than 10 days now and has already entered the conversation for top offensive force in the league.

In fact, the Aberdeen, Maryland, transfer has blown past every prominent playmaker, sniper and point producer Monmouth and Ocean  has to offer through his first three games and currently leads all local skaters in scoring and goals.

“This has been such a fun experience,” said Feathers, who earned Player of Week 1 honors after posting 10 goals and three assists in his first three games of this 2015-16 campaign. “There’s such a good vibe around this team. Everyone tries to pump each other up in the locker room before the games, and they play for one another during the games. It’s been a lot of fun.”

Your Shore Hockey Standings & Statistical Leaders (12/7/15)

Feathers, a senior, comes from a military family and was born in Germany, before moving around the United States to live in Oklahoma and Tennessee, as well as a middle school stint in Monmouth County, and the last three years in Maryland.

However, it was those initial ties to New Jersey that helped Feathers land a contract from local junior hockey program the Jersey Shore Whalers (USP3) — as the coaches recognized the senior from his previous competition with such travel teams as the Wall Colonials, Red Bank Generals and New Jersey Jr. Titans — and the winger jumped at the opportunity to return to the Shore.

“I was in a showcase in Massachusetts over the summer,” Feathers explained. “And the Whalers coaches saw me play and liked what they saw. They offered me a contract, and to have the opportunity to only play two hours from my home (in Maryland) with a group of guys I was familiar with, it didn’t take much convincing.”

Henry Cioffi (Whalers U18) is one of those familiar faces, and Feathers credited the pair’s great chemistry for his fast start, as Cioffi has delivered 10 points (2g, 8a) through his first three outings.

Hockey: Feathers, Ocean earn divisional win over Jackson Lib

The familiar faces surrounding him — including senior goaltender Spencer Reu (Whalers U18) —  has made living and playing away from home a little easier for Feather, though, admittedly, the experience is different.

However, according to the forward, his regimented upbringing and the support of his family has made for success both on and off the ice.

“You have a lot of responsibility on yourself,” said Feathers, who is the first person in his family to take up hockey. “You have to keep up with your schoolwork; that’s obviously number one. Then you have to make all your practices and workouts.”

“It’s a lot to keep up with, but my dad has been gone a couple of times in Afghanistan and Iraq, so I’ve had to be responsible for myself before. And we’ve been able to communicate in the past, so I’m still able to call my mom and dad regularly now so they can check up on ’em. Their support has helped me a lot.”

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Feathers’ on-ice performance and focused personal conduct outside the rink has allowed the winger to develop into a leader on this Spartans club, and with him leading the way, Ocean amassed a 2-1-0 record through the first week of play.

“Robby joined us at the end of the summer,” Ocean coach Dave Smith said, “and at the start, I think he felt like he had to stay in the background a little bit and not impose himself. And I respected that, but recently I let him know that it was OK to step up and take that role, and that his teammates would expect it. … He wants to be a leader — he is a leader — and his teammates have responded very positively to him.”

Hockey: Jeremy Connor, Max Allen help Vianney edge Point Boro

First Star — Jeremy Connor, St. John Vianney: The freshman goaltender recorded two victories in his first two varsity starts, stopping 67 of 71 shots faced for a .944 save-percentage and a 2.00 goals-against average. Connor was also 78 seconds away from delivering a shutout in a win over Point Boro on Dec. 4

Second Star — Ricky Napoli, Toms River South: The two-way defenseman spent a lot of time in the offensive zone in Week 1, delivering five goals and assisting on four more, while helping to create one of the top point-producing tandems in the conference with junior teammate Mike Caufield, who has 10 points (4g, 6a) through the Indians’ first three games.

Third Star — Timmy Clifton, Howell: The senior transfer from CBA has had an immediate impact, playing a pivotal role in the Rebels’ 2-0-0 start by recording eight points (4g, 4a) in two wins over Freehold Township and Marlboro.


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