This week Michigan takes a break from Big Ten Play to play the U-18 USA Developmental team at USA Hockey Arena this Saturday. It’s a program that Josh Norris is very familiar with as he has spent the last two seasons with the developmental program. “This is one of their bigger games of the year,” Norris said. “It’s always good to play those guys and it will be a big game for me and the guys who played for this team,” Norris said.
For the first time all season, Michigan got swept at home by Ohio State last week and the team has regrouped and is ready to go. “Getting no points on any weekend is very frustrating and we have taken a good hard look at ourselves and know that we still have a lot of work to do,” Norris remarked. “It was a big lesson for us that we needed to be prepared. It kind of opened our eyes a little bit that we need to get better and I think we will,” Norris said. The USA Developmental team is a team with a lot of talent and Norris says they will have to be ready at the get go. “We know they are a talented team,” Norris said. “We have to be ready right from the start and we just have to wear them down, get physical, use our experience, and wait for the opportunities that are given to us,” Norris stated. Norris says that he has had some friends on the team that he played with when he was on the team last year. Norris is also happy and thankful that he went through the developmental program in Plymouth, Michigan. “I had a great time,” Norris said. “I owe a lot to them for the opportunities that they gave me while I was there. The mentors that I had have helped me so much. They have all the resources available so it was a no brainer to commit there,” Norris said.
Norris is in his first year at Michigan and says he is enjoying every minute of it. “I think it’s great,” Norris remarked. “It’s a little bit tougher, guys are older, guys are bigger, but it’s something you have to adjust to just like anyone else. The older guys and the veterans have kept us set straight and it all starts with Tony Calderone. He has been a great mentor to me and it’s cool to have guys like that take you under their wings,” Norris said.