Traverse City Record-Eagle


July 4, 2013

Hounds hot on trail of local talent

TRAVERSE CITY — The Traverse City Hounds could turn out to be a class reunion for Traverse City West.

With the signing of goalie John Posler, the Hounds now have four Titans from the 2009-10 squad that advanced to the Division state semifinals.

Posler left not long into the season to play Midget AAA in Lansing, but spent the preseason and first several games of the season in a Titans jersey.

The Hounds also recently signed forward Jake Gillis, who was already on that team, and could have ex-Titans Tyler Thirlby and Alex Grizzel back from last year’s squad, when the team was based in Hartland and played in the national championships in Las Vegas.

“The hometown atmosphere of Traverse City — it’s all hockey,” Posler said. “Some of the other places I played, it was like nobody was really that into hockey. You know in Traverse City, you’ll get all hockey. You’ve got the (Detroit) Red Wings coming in, now we’re getting a Junior team and you’ve got all the high-level high school teams.”

And the list of other places he’s played is a long one.

He started out in New Mexico until age 13, then moved to Phoenix for a year to play Bantam AAA and then to Traverse City at age 15. It was then that he played for West briefly before moving on to Lansing and then returning to Traverse City for two years in a Bay Reps uniform.

Posler played for five different teams last year — including three in the Midwest Junior Hockey League, where two teams traded for his services for playoff runs.

“After moving so much last year, I think it would be awesome to just stay home a play Junior hockey,” Posler said. “I know (Hounds owner) Scott Gardiner moved their goalie on last year to play NCAA D-3, and that’s where I want to play. ... I trust in him that he can do that with me this year if I work hard.”

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