Alum Austin Oravetz currently completed his first year in the USHL while playing for Dubuque Fighting Saints. Austin is a former captain and member of our 2019 16U National Championship team.
We caught up to chat about his time in the Pens Elite program and how he has adjusted to the USHL.
My favorite memory was winning the National Championship our 16U year. It was a great team and brothers for life. That year will stick with me forever.
My favorite teammate right now is Mikey Deangelo from Chicago. He is a great locker room guy and you can’t say one bad word about him.
The adjustment was tough and quick. You get thrown right into it right at the start of training camp and you have no time to think. So at the start it took a little to get comfortable with the speed of the game but after awhile it’s just hockey again.
During the season we would have practice 10-11:30 every morning. We would have to arrive at 9 and have a team meeting for the day. After the skate would be a 45 minute workout. Once done with that the other high schoolers and I would have to do school until 3pm.
Pens Elite prepared me perfectly for junior hockey and the whole experience. Everything my coaches have coached me comes into play everyday. Even though the transition was tough I was prepared for it and ready.
Every game day I have chicken and rice for pre game.
My favorite rink is definitely UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex to play in. It feels like home and nothing else is like it.
My least favorite rink to play in is Youngstown Phantoms arena. They get no fans and the boards are awful there.
A great way to start is to listen to your coaches in every situation. Even when you are mad at them you still need to listen and learn from your mistakes. Another great thing to do is to work your butt off everyday. Hard work will always pay off and just trying to get by will not get you placed. Lastly just have fun because triple A hockey only last so long and there is nothing quite like it.