#InFocus: Where the Puck Meets the Ice

Aston, Pa. (WTXF) Young hockey players with hopes of making it to the NHL are fine-turning their skills at the Ice Works Skating Complex in Aston, Delaware County.

FOX 29 Photojournalist Bill Rohrer shows us how the Aston Rebels are trying to turn dreams into reality.

The Aston Rebels are where hockey players get their start; grinding it out in the NAHL Tier II Junior hockey league.

Kids under the age of 20 grind it out for a spot on a top college hockey program before moving on to the NHL.

“There are a lot of choices that kids have on where they go to school but their outright goal is to get an education through hockey,”  GM of Hockey Operations Joe Coombs told FOX 29.

The team played two years in Rio Grande Valley Texas and now they are trying to hit their stride in Aston, Pennsylvania.  

“We are not the Broad Street Bullies and we are not the Oilers of the 80’s. I like to call it a mix,” Joe explained. “You are going to see a brand of hard nose hockey.  A little chaotic but the players play with a lot of energy and it is all physical.”

The one player who brings that energy is right winger Conner Wood.

"I am a pest. I am an energy guy, I like to go out and start things up.  If things aren’t going our way I will just go out and throw a hit, fight just do whatever I need to do," said Conner.

Conner is known for his tough play and long hair.

"There were a couple of signs in Fairbanks that congratulated me for being the first woman to be in the NHL.  I hear it all.  It is fun it makes me laugh," Wood explained.

His hometown is Buford Georgia,  usually not known, as a hockey hotbed.

"My goal to play in the NHL, I want to be able to say I made it from down south and prove to people prove that everybody can play in the pros," Wood explained.

Conner has already committed to the University of Alabama-Huntsville, but will spend two more years in Juniors.

"They want him to be as good as he can be leaving Junior. hockey. 44:09  This Junior level, they get that year away from home they grow up a lot a human being," Joe said.

Wood says he's a momma's boy at heart.

"I am a huge momma’s boy. When I left  I was worried cause she does my laundry, she does everything.  I will say  the older guys,the veterans,  who been in the league a couple of years really help you get a feel for everything and they lead the way."

 Momma’s boy or not Conner and the Rebels will sure be entertaining.

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