Marquette Wire

Gesior returns to hockey after getting cut

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Adam Gesior had never taken a full year off from playing hockey. He faced that reality last season after getting cut from club hockey.

“It was tough, I had never been cut before from any team,”  Gesior said.

Gesior said a big chunk of his life went missing last year. He played hockey almost his whole life, including two years of varsity hockey as a junior and senior in high school. After not making the team, Gesior had to come to a realization some things would be different his first year of college.

“I knew I wouldn’t be playing hockey for a whole year and that was difficult to come to terms with,”Gesior said.

Most players who get cut fail to return to tryouts the next season. Head Coach Will Jurgensen said out of his three years as coach, Gesior is the only player to return the next season after not making the team.

“I think it shows great character that he came back,” Jurgensen said. “He had something taken away that he loved and he persevered. Those are the types of guys you want on your team.”

Soon after not making the team, Gesior decided he would take the year off and do what he could to stay in shape. He said he would work as hard as he could to stay active, keeping the possibility open for trying out again.

Over the summer, Gesior competed in multiple competitive summer leagues with friends from home. The Downers Grove, Illinois native knew he would have to get his legs ready for the grueling tryouts in September. Knowing what to expect this year allowed Gesior to concentrate on playing his game at tryouts.

“It was nice to come in a second time, I wasn’t as nervous and I played well,” Gesior said. “There were a couple more openings this year and it gave me an opportunity to find a role on the team.”

Jurgensen said he noticed a difference in Gesior’s style of play when he returned.

“He was way more aggressive and stood out,” Jurgensen said. “He worked hard and he made us notice him.”

Gesior said he received encouragement from players on the team last year to tryout again. His roommate, Connor Coyne, made the roster last year and Gesior said it was helpful being surrounded by club hockey players while not on the team.

“They seemed to like me enough and told me to come out again, so that was a big encouragement,” Gesior said.

This year Gesior hopes he can help the team in any way possible. The team has loads of depth so finding ice time is something Gesior will struggle with. He said he is still adapting to being an undersized defender at the collegiate level.

“A lot of guys are bigger than me, its tough being a guy under six feet,” Gesior said. “I just have to roll with the punches, battle through and work my tail off to get ice time.”

In order to receive playing time, Gesior said he must build trust with the coaches.

“I got to prove myself to the coaches that I can play and build their confidence in me as a player,” Gesior said.

Jurgensen wants Gesior to focus on his game and what he can do.

“Adam needs to be himself and continue to improve,” Jurgensen said. “He should give 100 percent because we notice that.”

No matter what happens this season, Gesior will not regret returning to tryouts. He said taking that year off made him love the game even more.

His advice to others who are contemplating trying out again would be not to shy away. During his time off, Gesior realized what he could lose by not playing hockey, and that was a deciding factor in trying out again.

“I thought to myself, ‘How much more time do I have to play competitive hockey,’” Gesior said. “So it was definitely worth it.”

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