LAWRENCE — Measuring in at 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, Nick Gorski looks like a linebacker or burly MVC basketball power forward.
“I think my size can be a little intimidating,” said the Central Catholic hockey star with a laugh. “Going into the corner, a lot of people don’t want to be hit by me too hard. And sometimes I’ll line up next to a guy that’s maybe seven inches shorter than me and I’ll chuckle to myself a little. But I try to get over it before they drop the puck.”
His size may be his greatest advantage, but Gorski is far from simply a slow-footed enforcer.
Gorski has emerged as the captain and top defenseman and ranks No. 2 in points (6-16—22) for a Raiders team which, tomorrow, hopes to earn a berth in at least the Super 8 Tourney play-in round.
“There’s a reason just about everyone on the team voted for Nick for captain,” said Central coach Mike Jankowski. “He is a terrific leader and role model on and off the ice. He’s also always in the right spot, he has great hands and thinking ahead and playing the puck well. He has developed a LOT in the last three to four seasons.”
It been quite a journey for Gorski, who began his career as a member of Central Catholic’s lower-level JV “B” team. That’s a step below JV A. Now he’s starring and the team’s lone captain.
“I wasn’t the strongest skater,” said Gorski, a Sandown resident. “Skill-wise, I hadn’t developed. And I was shorter. So I was sent down to JV B, and I was a little rattled at first. But after a few days, instead of looking at it as a failure, I saw it as a challenge. And I’ve used that to push me though my career. I’ve never forgotten that feeling.”