What a way to go out. Tommy Winn and his teammates exited the 2020-21 season as the Dineen Cup Champions, winning a 5-2 game that was closer than the score indicated against the rival Rockets Hockey Club on March 28.
Now, Winn gets to take those good vibes into his NCAA hockey career at SUNY-Geneseo, two which he committed in February.
“I’m beyond excited about my commitment to SUNY-Geneseo,” said Winn, a 2000-born native of Rochester, N.Y. “The hockey atmosphere throughout the school and town was a big factor in my decision, as well as the team’s style of play.”
Although new to the Hitmen this year, he had two prior years of service in the USPHL, playing for the former Rochester Monarchs’ 18U team (2016-17) and USPHL Premier squad (2017-18).
After two seasons in Canada, though, he wanted to find a true home and a hockey family with whom he could grow and develop and earn the NCAA commitment he had been working for.
“I joined the Hitmen right after training camp. With that being said, I’m very happy I ended up here. I’ve always known about the organization, as they have been a powerhouse in this league as long as I can remember,” Winn said. “Coach Toby Harris does a great job with recruitment, he’s an easy guy to talk to and does a great job highlighting what the Hitmen organization is all about. The Hitmen organization does a great job developing players. Since Day 1, they have preached about getting guys to the next level and that’s exactly what they do. Coach Jim Hunt has taught me a lot on the backnend and has really helped me break down the game.”
Winn became a go-to player from the start for the Hitmen, standing third in average ice time at 17:46 per game while playing 43 games. He was third in blocked shots at 41, and second in takeaways at 235. He also posted a pair of goals and 17 assists for 19 points.
“I believe I’ve definitely improved most in the D zone and just my defensive abilities overall,” Winn said. “Heading into college I’m going to continue working on my entire game but want to prioritize my abilities to skate with the puck and be more active in the offensive zone.”
He’ll get the chance to do this with a SUNY-Geneseo team that has built an excellent reputation for all-around potency, making five trips in the last seven years of the NCAA Division III tournament, between 2013 and 2020. He is excited about getting the Ice Knights back to their lofty status after the cancellation of their 2020-21 season.
“The coaching staff at Geneseo made the decision [easy]. Every conversation I’ve had with Coaches [Chris] Schultz and [Kris] Heeres have been great. They are both very down to earth guys. Everyone knows what kind of program they run and the success they have had with it. I can’t wait to get to work with them.”
The USPHL congratulates Tommy Winn, his family, the Jersey Hitmen and SUNY-Geneseo for his commitment.