GREENSBURG, Pa. — For Franklin Regional forward Jamie Mauro, speed is an integral part of the game.
Mauro, a Murrysville native, is a naturally fast skater and the young but experienced forward utilizes his skill to generate scoring chances and beat opponents to loose pucks, and he’s used his spectacular skating to become an imposing offensive threat for his team.
Franklin Regional’s head coach Brian Kurtz, who has seen Mauro develop over the years, has been very impressed with what the speedy forward has brought to the team this year.
“Jamie brings a great scoring touch for our team and really has a knack for the net,” said Kurtz. “Secondary to that is his leadership. The guys really seem to rally around him and look for him in tight games to provide a spark and produce a goal for us.”
Mauro has definitely provided a scoring touch for the Franklin Regional Panthers. Leading his team in goals (21) and points (38), Mauro has helped push the Panthers to the top of the Eastern Conference in the Single-A standings. The Panthers are currently undefeated in their conference, much in thanks to Mauro. Mauro has contributed to almost half of the total goals his team has scored this season.
LEADER ON THE ICE
“[Jamie] shows leadership both on and off the ice” said Kurtz. “He’s not one of the most vocal leaders in the locker room, but his work ethic, his work in the classroom, and the example he sets on the ice during both games and practices is what makes him the leader that he is.”
In reward for all of his hard work, Mauro is currently an alternate captain for the Panthers. Mauro is a quiet and humble young man, and while he might not seem like an aggressive player, he continues to control the tempo while he’s out on the ice.
Despite having a natural scoring touch, Mauro works hard for every goal he contributes to. This isn’t a player who simply waits for the puck to come to him or lets his other teammates retrieve the puck. Mauro works hard in the corners to gain possession, and when he’s not working in the corners, the puck-hungry forward is constantly surveying the ice to give himself the best positioning.
“Defensively, puck retrieval is my main focus,” said Mauro. “Our team has great chemistry and always knows where each other are and where we’re going to be. We’re quick to move the puck to each other and try to push up the ice.”
Despite the gaudy goal-scoring numbers that Mauro possesses, he is still much more of a playmaker than a scorer.
Any coach would love to have a right-handed player with a hard slap shot on the power play. But despite Mauro’s strong shot, he finds himself closer to the net during a man advantage.
“We have so many good guys out there and can really rotate around the ice,” said Mauro. “I think I’m good at tipping the puck and sort of redirecting shots from the point.”
Thanks in part to how well the team plays together, Mauro generates much of his offenses from behind and in front of the net. The Panthers’ power play has been a dominant aspect of the team’s game, and with a playmaker like Mauro behind the net, the team has a stable foundation for running the cycle.
“We like to work the cycle and try to break down the defense,” said Mauro. “We try to get the puck in the middle of the zone to score goals.”
STUDENT OF THE GAME
As a senior, Mauro is enjoying a successful final season with the Panthers. Kurtz has seen his forward prodigy develop over the years and has worked with him individually to help improve his game.
“His skating is something he’s been working on over the past year, and while talking during our one-on-one’s, I noticed that was one aspect of his game we wanted him to work on,” said Kurtz. “He’s been working very hard to create more speed to generate scoring chances, and as his recent play has shown, his work is really paying off.”
Mauro also looks to set an example for the rest of his team on the ice. He has developed into the player he is today because of his hard work and dedication and hopes that his work ethic is something his teammates will model.
“Jamie is a true student of the game and is constantly trying to improve himself,” said Kurtz. “He has developed to a level now where he really can succeed out on the ice.”