Crane will assist Flames in containing opponents' top scorers
April 29, 2015 | Lynchburg, Va.
When they watched Kyle Crane participate in his second Liberty University Men's Hockey Recruitment Camp over College For A Weekend earlier this month, Head Coach Kirk Handy and Associate Head Coach Jeff Boettger were convinced that the 6-foot, 3-inch, 194-pound defenseman could meet an immediate need as an incoming freshman for the Flames.
"They were looking for a role guy that would step up physically in the back end and be able to shut down (opponents') top scorers," said Crane, who handled similar responsibilities for the Philadelphia Revolution's Junior "A" team over the past two seasons. "Defensively, I like providing protection in front of the net, doing anything I can to allow as few shots as possible."
Crane, who comes from a "big-time hockey family," graduated from Calvary Christian Academy, where he went to school with former Liberty ACHA Division II player Bobby Cervone.
He has four sisters and two brothers, including Jamie, a right winger for the Revolution who attended the Recruitment Camp with Kyle.
"I'm looking forward to the higher skill level (at ACHA DI) and the step up in the speed of the game," Crane said. "My goal is to be able to make an impact right away, regardless of the role — be it on the power play or the penalty kill or in other defensive situations."
He started playing hockey at age 4, once he was old enough to skate, and has thrived ever since on the adrenaline rush the sport produces.
"I love the intensity of the game," Crane said. "It drives you to want to compete, just to be better than the guy next to you. I not only want to be better than the players on other teams, but to help players on my team grow in their skill levels as well."
He plans to stay on the ice as much as possible this summer, training for his first season with the Flames.
"I'm able to adapt pretty quickly to the environment of the game and I'm definitely excited about the atmosphere of playing in the (expanded LaHaye Ice Center)," Crane said.