Area Male Athlete: Maucieri shooting Lightning toward success

Josh Maucieri lives on the ice, but it was work in his basement that may have paid off the most. The senior right wing for the Northern Lakes Lightning would spend hours after school perfecting his shot. As a seventh- and eighth-grader and even d...

Josh Maucieri

Josh Maucieri lives on the ice, but it was work in his basement that may have paid off the most.

The senior right wing for the Northern Lakes Lightning would spend hours after school perfecting his shot. As a seventh- and eighth-grader and even deep into his freshmen year, Maucieri would take hundreds of shots every night at a net his father constructed for him. The work has created one of the best shots in the area, according to Lightning head coach Craig Larson.

"We need goal scoring to win games and when Josh is scoring we're winning games," said Larson. "Josh is fast and protects the puck very well. He's got really good vision and ice awareness and he shoots the puck anywhere between 10 to 15 times a game. Whether they hit the net or not, he's shooting the puck at least 20 times per game. And at some point or another, I've trained all these players around here for quite a while in the summer and there is not many who have a shot like him. There's a few, but not many.

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Josh Maucieri


  • Year: Senior
  • School: Northern Lakes
  • Sport: Hockey
  • Position: Right wing
  • Highlights: Finished with eight goals and an assist in two wins last week

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"He's 6-foot-2 so he's got a long reach and he's got good hands. He's able to get good position over the puck and he's got a shot that's really hard and quick. It's a quick release and tough to track for goalies. He's always had a goal-scoring touch.

"He's hit the weights and he's dedicated himself to hockey. He's a hockey player and he's taken that next step."

Maucieri's week began with a five-goal, one-assist performance in an 8-1 victory against Wadena-Deer Creek Jan. 3. In a 4-2 victory Jan. 7 over Milaca/Mora, Maucieri scored a goal in each period helping the Lightning win their seventh straight.

"Everything was just clicking against Wadena," Maucieri said. "It seemed like the puck was finding my stick a lot and my shot was finding the net. It was a good feeling."

The two victories last week were the sixth and seventh straight for the Lightning, who are enjoying a 9-1-1 record.

"The biggest thing is our kids our buying in as a team and coming together as a group," Larson said. "They've bought into their roles, which is good. Good goaltending between Jaeger Reed and Matt Stangel is also a contributing factor. We've been playing good defensive hockey where our forwards and our defenders are taking pride in the defense and not allowing a lot of shots."

Through the team's first 11 games, Maucieri has tallied 20 goals and 13 assists, both of which are team highs, for a team-high 33 points. He's tallied three short-handed goals to go with three power-play assists and two short-handed assists. He's also netted three game-winning goals.


"I didn't think my season was going to be this good, but we're playing really well as a team right now," Maucieri said. "Our coach has been harping on us for the last few years and I think we all know our roles right now. We're playing with a lot of confidence. This has been a fun season. I think we finished with nine wins all of last season and we already have nine so far."

Maucieri's junior season was cut short because of injury. He still posted 17 goals and 16 assists in 21 games. Five of those goals came on the power play with two being short-handed. As a sophomore, he finished with 14 points (10 goals, four assists) and registered 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) his freshman season to put him at 94 career points or six short of the scoring milestone of 100 points. Should the senior reach the mark, he would be the first Northern Lakes player to secure the honor.

"It would be amazing to be the first," Maucieri said. "It would be nice to keep winning. I know we don't have the toughest schedule, but we're winning by big margins. I just want to keep winning and help put Northern Lakes on the map and show people that even though we're a small town (Northern Lakes is a cooperative of Pequot Lakes, Crosby-Ironton, Aitkin and Pine River-Backus) we can play and be successful.

"My goal is to play Division I hockey. It's been my dream since I was real little. I plan on doing whatever it takes to get there."


Other notable performances:

Basketball: Noah Ross, Wadena-Deer Creek, scored 30 points against Royalton.

Noah Gindorff, Crosby-Ironton, finished with 25 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots against Pequot Lakes and 23 points against International Falls.


Jack Silgen, Crosby-Ironton, finished with 27 points, eight steals and five assists against Pequot Lakes.

Gavin Smith, Staples-Motley, scored 35 points against Royalton.

Wrestling: Mason Snyder, Tyler Wheeler, Colton Knudson, Wadena-Deer Creek, finished the week 6-0.

Alex Erpelding, Staples-Motley, finished 3-0 with three pins to win an individual title at the Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa invite and attained his 150th career victory.

Caine Owens and Andrew Eklund, Aitkin, won individual titles at the Mora Invite.

Covering the Brainerd lakes area sports scene for the past 23 years.
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