I’ve been watching Albany attackman Tehoka Nanticoke for a couple of weeks now, and he is a tremendous talent but he also has an attitude problem.
The prized Great Danes freshman from Six Nations, Ontario, has little speed and quickness, but his skill set is amazing. Unfortunately, I’ve noticed a temper and some cheap shots he has taken at opposing players when the cameras aren’t on him or the officials aren’t looking.
In fact, he could have avoided a cross-checking penalty in the third period of Albany’s semifinal here against Yale, but that play turned the momentum of the game. Albany had pulled within 12-7 on two extra-man goals to open the third period, but Nanticoke was called for an unreleaseable one-minute cross-checking penalty with 11:36 left in the period.
Yale then scored two straight extra-man goals, one during Nanticoke’s penalty, and then three more in even situations to finish out the period and take a 17-7 lead.
Any momentum that Albany had was erased with the penalty.
This behavior from Nanticoke — from punching players in the face while in a pileups or hitting them with a stick out of bounds — has been on display for weeks . Every coach wants his players to have intensity or play with an edge, but Nanticoke has gone overboard.
It should be a concern for Albany coach Scott Marr because Nanticoke is a young player and these antics should not be tolerated. I’m hoping Nanticoke grows up because he could become a star in this sport and motivate young players.
As for the Great Danes, they go into a rebuilding mode next season losing a lot of prominent seniors, such as attackmen Connor Fields, Justin Reh and midfielder Kyle McClancy, and defenseman Stone Sims.
Nanticoke will be called on to fill those voids and lead, but is this the type of behavior the Great Danes want on display? The problem needs to be fixed before it gets worse.
Become a subscriber today to support sports commentary like this. Start getting full access to our signature journalism for just 99 cents for the first four weeks.