Seattle’s Tom Ignatovich has almost as many points in the first six games this season as he had in 42 games last season with the Totems. Now the Israeli-born left winger is on pace to score 105 points in the regular season.
Ignatovich is Seattle’s leading goal scorer with 10 goals (he also has and 5 assists) as of October 9. But its rookie center Michael Shippee who’s been serving the rubber to the Totems left winger.
“(Shippee) is an extremely talented play maker and he’s been giving me the puck,” Ignatovich said. “I’ve been lucky to have a linemate like him and I’m fortunate enough to put the puck in the net.”
Shippee, who has 14 assists to compliment his four goals, is the team leader in points. But it’s playing together in the past that prompted Seattle coach Mike Murphy to put the pair on the same line.
“We’ve been really good friends since we were little kids and have played together for years,” Ignatovich said. “We have some chemistry that we’ve built over our hockey careers, so playing with him has really helped me out and given me the boost that I’ve needed.”
Seattle was a point away from postseason play in 2016-17 so starting this year at 5-0-1 has given the Totems a boost, Ignatovich said. That’s lead to excitement in the locker room.
“We’ve been working hard in practice on and off the ice,” Ignatovich said. “The boys have a lot of confidence.”
Ignatovich was born in Haifa, Israel to Russian parents and came to the United States when he was two years old. He and his family live in Bothell, a suburb of Seattle.
Finding an NCAA college hockey team to call home is Ignatovich’s goal after his time in the WSHL, save for a stint in Europe. But the 19-year-old envisions a time when he’ll teach his favorite sport.
“My ultimate dream is to become a hockey coach when I’m done playing,” Ignatovich said.
Right now winning a Thorne Cup championship is his dream!
The Seattle Totems’ impressive start to the season continued with a three-game sweep of Bellingham on the road. The Totems had to fight for every win, but they came out on top in three close games, including two one-goal contests.
Seattle now sits all alone at the top of the Northwest Division with 11 points, three more than second-place West Sound.
The Totems recently swapped goaltenders with the El Paso Rhinos, trading Filip Krasanosky in exchange for Daniel Yockey.
Krasanosky, 19, did not appear in a game for Seattle this year. He has played well for the Rhinos so far, stopping 38 of 39 shots through three games for a sparkling .975 save percentage.
Yockey, also 19, is a rookie who has yet to appear in a WSHL contest. He will be the third goalie on the roster in addition to Garrett Wills and Naoki Onodera.
Seattle also signed Canadian defenseman Josh Schur from the Oklahoma City Blazers. Schur is a veteran with 80 WSHL games under his belt, 78 of which were with the Whitefish Wolverines. He will add depth and experiences to the Totems’ defensive corps.
The Totems will play one game this weekend, a Saturday night matchup at home against West Sound.
A pair of wins over Bellingham has pushed the Seattle Totems into second place in the division with seven points and a 3-0-1 record. Coach Michael Murphy pointed out a few reasons for his club’s early success:
“A lot better play in goal so far with both of our goalies giving us a chance to win every game, and our veteran guys have really stepped up so far along with good contributions from all our newcomers as well.”
Netminders Naoki Onodera and Garrett Wills are the goaltenders Murphy was referencing, and both have been solid up to this point.
Both goalies have started two games so far, and Onodera owns a perfect 2-0-0 record and a .901 save percentage.
Murphy thinks his team has turned a corner and moved on from its losing ways of past seasons.
“Guys are sick of losing, and I think we will find ways to win close games this year instead of finding ways to lose them.
“Also, discipline and trying to cut down the stupid penalties is helpful as well.”
The Totems will play two more games against Bellingham on the road this weekend.
The Seattle Jr Totems are looking for Host Families for the upcoming season. The Host Families are the backbone of the organization and provides a unique opportunity for you to be an integral part of the team.
If you have the room and are interested in hosting a Totems player please contact the Totems Head Coach/GM Michael Murphy at email@example.com
Thank you for helping make the difference.
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16/17 Seattle Totems
Totems Forward Tom Ignatovich will be traveling to Dunedin,New Zealand January 16 - 22 to play for team Israel in the U20 World Championships!
Best of luck to Tom!!