Crossman boasts record few can come close to

Wallie Sears
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Ethan Crossman is know throughout the region and beyond as an unbelievably talented hockey player. PHOTO SUBMITTED

SACKVILLE, N.B. – Hockey fans across Atlantic Canada are wondering how far a 15-year-old Sackville athlete might advance in his hockey career following a season in which he stocked his trophy cabinet and dominated with four separate teams.

Ethan Crossman enjoyed a campaign like few others have experienced. Playing with the Moncton AAA Blue Water Hawks he led the N.B. league in scoring with 39 goals and 28 assists for 67 so managed to score points at an average approaching 2.5 points a game. For this, he was named to the league all-star team as well as being proclaimed as the top playmaker with his 28 helpings. He also kept his time in the penalty box to just 44 minutes.

After winning the playoffs, where he was the top scorer, the Hawks advanced to the Atlantic championship tournament in Newfoundland where they brought home a silver medal. Crossman was again named the tourney’s top forward and to the all-star team.

But the young man continued to meet challenges. As a bantam player he was allowed to affiliate with his Tantramar Titan teammates and has been described as “the best player on the ice” when he skated with his school team.

During all this time he was also a member of the provincial Under 15 team and is currently in the process of making the Under 16 team that will represent the province in the 2015 Canada Games. 

Most recently Ethan was selected to play with the Andrews Growth team in the World Selects International tournament in Chicago. At this event, won by one of the European entries, he was selected to the North American all-star team and led his squad to victory over the All-Europeans.

So what does he have ahead of him? Will he continue to move up to the Major Midget ranks with the Moncton Flyers or will it be off to a prep school in the United States?

“I’m not sure yet,” he said recently, “but in the meantime, I am working out five days a week with Liam Conrad in order to be ready for whatever happens.”

Working with a program laid out by Michael Bohan, Crossman has built up his frame and checks in at close to 170 pounds at 5’9”. He had previously been considered a little on the small side and a growth spurt has given him the size needed to compete with the bigger boys.

Crossman has been described as a pure scorer by various coaches and his former mentor, Davis Richardson, says he has always had all the tools – ability to hit full speed in two strides and a special knack around the net. Richardson always felt that a lack of size might be a handicap but that problem appears to have been overcome.

He proved his skills at an early age and currently holds an awesome record – the top scorer in the history of the huge SEDMHA tournament in Halifax. As an Atom A player for Sackville, he led his team to the championship by notching 26 goals in six victories. As an example, with his team trailing 3-0 early in the game to Bedford for the title, he used his speed to notch five consecutive goals and ended with six in their 8-5 win.

Records indicate he hasn’t slacked off, continuing to improve on his overall skills, as evidenced by his playmaking ability at the top level of bantam hockey.

Crossman said he chose to go the AAA route over high school as it offers much stronger competition and an opportunity to determine just how far he might go in the game.

But Ethan Crossman is far more than a hockey player. Like the late Ral Tracy, he is a multi-sport enthusiast who has proven he can compete at the top level in a variety of games. He has long been sought by soccer teams in Amherst and Moncton to bolster their lineups, was a hit in baseball with the local bantams, proving to be a fleet centre fielder, strong hitter and dynamic base stealer. He was a member of the provincial finalist Tantramar Titans in soccer competition last season, was forced to decline an opportunity to compete with the provincial under-16 lacrosse team this year due to other commitments, has a victory or two in tennis on his resume and has proven he can be tops in almost any sport.

In order to have been able to do all of these things, it has required a total commitment by his parents, Kent and Cindy Crossman. They decline to even hazard a guess but the costs involved over the past season alone run well into the thousands of dollars. But they provide unconditional support and leave the final decision on his future mostly to Ethan – whether he goes for the prep school route or the major midget program.

Regardless of his final choice, the young man has a future, if not in hockey then in university. He carries a 90 percent average in Grade 9 at Tantramar, often taking his books on road trips to keep up with class. 

During the past year, he has demonstrated his many skills in such diverse places as Chicago, Boston, throughout the Maritimes and in Newfoundland. He estimates he has played nearly 80 games over the past 12 months but agrees it is necessary to have a few weeks away from the rink. However, he will be working at the Andrews Hockey Growth Camp in Charlottetown this summer as a junior instructor. He says he will be responsible for off-ice “stuff” while also providing on-ice instruction.

“Most players dream of a professional career,” says Ethan, “but my immediate goal is either prep school or making it in Major Midget and ultimately be drafted into the Q League. If a professional career is or isn’t in my future I will definitely receive a university education along the way.”

And so, hockey fans across the Maritimes, his is a familiar name in rinks from Saint John to St. John’s – where people continue to wonder if there is another Nathan MacKinnon in the making. Certainly until this point in time he has lived up to expectations but only time will tell.

Certainly Ethan Crossman will have thousands of fans cheering him along the way.

Organizations: Moncton AAA Blue Water Hawks, North American, Andrews Hockey Growth Camp

Geographic location: Atlantic Canada, Newfoundland, Chicago.At United States Halifax.As Bedford Amherst Moncton Chicago Boston Charlottetown Saint John

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