Jamie Russell was stunned.
He was in his first season as Director of Hockey Operations for South Kent Selects Academy after coaching at multiple levels of hockey, most notably 20 years as either an assistant or head coach at the Division 1 college level.
In other words, it’s hard to surprise him.
Russell was looking to recruit then-14-year-olds for the next season’s 15U team and Tory Pitner, a defenseman from El Cerrito, Calif., fit the bill. And even though Russell wasn’t a full year into the new gig, he knew how most conversations went with players who were that young — he could talk as much as he wanted, but the answers on the other end of the line were normally going to be short.