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Albuquerque product Gretz a key component of Flint’s OHL future

 

Marcus Gretz of the Flint Firebirds. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Just seven months ago, Marcus Gretz was weighing his options – Major Junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) or keeping his NCAA Division I commitment to Ohio State University.

Once the decision was made to report to the OHL’s Flint Firebirds, the team that selected the Albuquerque native in the second round of the 2017 OHL draft, offseason preparations began in earnest.

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“This summer, I trained every Monday through Friday from 1-3 p.m.,” said Gretz. “I skated every day with various different coaches.”

During his youth days back home, Gretz played for the New Mexico Scorpions, New Mexico Renegades and Team New Mexico. He said his most memorable coach was Todd Ganshaw.

“He always let me play up on the team and show what I could do with the older kids,” remembered Gretz.

Gretz then left New Mexico at the age of nine to play AAA hockey in Colorado for the Colorado Evolution and then the esteemed Colorado Thunderbirds, where he played in the prestigious Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament in 2013-14, before moving to the Detroit suburbs to play for Belle Tire.

This year in the Flint area, Gretz is living with a host family – the Stolicker family – and said he’s not homesick one bit.

“I’ve known my billet family for a few years now and it’s like living at home,” Gretz said. “They have been unbelievable to me.”

On the ice, Gretz is excited to see what the Firebirds can do this season, on and off the ice.

“We will be very young, but also very competitive with a bright future ahead,” said Gretz. “As a team, we are determined to be the best we can be and as long as we keep working, the sky is the limit.”

The Firebirds love to be involved in the community and Gretz said “giving back is a great feeling.”

“Here in Flint, we treat others the way we’d want to be treated,” he said. “Being involved with the community is also amazing because we get to know our fan base on a more personal level.”

Photo/CHL Images

— Matt Mackinder

(Nov. 9, 2017)