From pond to rink Tanczos brothers got their start in third grade
When they were younger, Chris Tanczos and his twin brother, Eric used to play hockey on their backyard pond.
However, one day that drastically changed. Jerry, their father, had spoken to an old high school friend who was involved with the Northampton hockey program. As a result, Chris and Eric soon became part of the program.
"That was in third grade," recalled Chris. "We had always played hockey on the pond. But one day, my dad came home and told us we were joining the (Northampton) program. We stayed with it and so far, it looks like it is working out."
Chris, the team's starting goalie, and Eric, one of the team's leading scorers, both have been integral players on the Kids' late-season surge that has propelled them back into the hunt for the final playoff spot after an irregular beginning for the defending Non-Pure league champions.
Over the past month, Northampton has won three straight games and has deadlocked itself into a tie with Freedom and Central-Beca. The Kids apparently will have the benefit of the schedule over the final weeks as they will face Liberty/Southern Lehigh and Quakertown/Pleasant Valley, both of whom are behind them in the standings.
"I definitely think we are coming together and getting better," said Chris. "We have been winning and I think we can continue on this roll. We have been finally able to make all of the adjustments we needed to make."
Chris has also made his share of adjustments. Starting at the varsity level for the first time in his four-year career, Tanczos had modified his game both physically and mentally. Through his team's first 12 games, the older Tanczos had an overall 4-6-2 mark with a 5.19 GAA.
"I had to deal with more pressure," said Tanczos. "There were more people at the games, and there was more expected for me playing varsity for the first time.
"Stopping the puck anyway I could was the main thing I had to work on physically. I also had to get used to how the rest of the game played out. It has been a number of things, but I feel good about everything right now."
Head coach Brian Ruff has watched his goaltender grow throughout the season. Ruff realized it might take some time for Tanczos, who took over for three-year starter Adam Orsulak.
"Chris (Tanczos) was a backup last year and really didn't get a lot of playing time," said Ruff. "We knew he would work hard. It took some time, but he looks more comfortable back there."
Faced with a new challenge, Tanczos worked out as much as possible in the offseason, and he also took a sports psychology course in high school to deal with the mental challenges.
Next fall, Tanczos will enter Mansfield University to study fish hatchery management, as he and his brother are avid fishermen and hunters.
"I'm an outdoorsman and have always been interested in environmental science," he said. "We have always fished and hunted. With my background, this major really seems interesting. They don't have a hockey team there (Mansfield), but I'll try to find an adult league to play in."
Yet, he wants to finish his high school career on a high note.
"We're starting to jell and come together," added Tanczos. "It may be a little late, but we feel good about getting to the playoffs and beyond."