Skip to main content

Elba junior hockey player goes onto national championships this weekend

By Joanne Beck

When Elba high school junior Addison Warriner was six, he pulled on a pair of skates and gripped a hockey stick for the first time.

He comes from “a big hockey family,” and his favorite team is the Boston Bruins, with Czech professional ice hockey right winger David Pastrnak as his preferred player.

Before Addison’s grandmother died, she had set aside money for him to play the sport. Addison, 16, quickly glided in line with the family's passion.

“I fell in love with it,” he said Wednesday to The Batavian. “It’s fun, and I love playing with the guys, it’s the bond you share over the years.”

And now, a decade later, in addition to having spurred her grandson on to enjoy hockey as a youngster on the Ramparts and now on the Batavia Notre Dame United team, which plays at the McCarthy ice arena in Batavia, Grandma Diane has invested in a member of the Power City Bruins 16U, which is playing in the five-day USA Hockey National Championships beginning Thursday.

The tournament begins with three round-robin games and then goes on to elimination matches.

Addison joined the Niagara Falls-based Bruins two years ago when they were looking to replace a couple of players. He decided to try out and was selected as one of about 20 players from Western New York and the only one from Genesee County that he knows of.

It was a step up on the competitive front, he said, and will lead him toward another goal.

“I would love to play in college, that’s my number one dream,” he said.

The team has been putting in the heavy lifting, some of it literally — with weightlifting and practices two to three times a week and playing games one to two times on the weekends to prepare.

Addison feels confident in the team’s chances of ending on top, given that it already beat the best-ranked team in the nation, the Wheatfield Blades. “So I don’t see why we can’t beat the rest of them,” he said.

“When the team was formed, the goal was formed to make it to this tournament,” he said. “I’m a little nervous but pretty confident overall. For the last two years, we’ve been preparing.”

The first game is at 5:50 p.m. Thursday in Buffalo, and Addison, a 2022 Wayne D. Foster Award recipient, expects his family to be in the crowd cheering him on. And he thinks Grandma Diane would be smiling in her seat.

“I think she’d be really proud,” he said. “I don’t think she ever expected that this would happen.”

Submitted photos of Addison Warriner with the Bruins on the ice, and above, receiving the Wayne D. Foster Foundation Award in 2022 for "his ceaseless display of good character, including his wisdom, determination, and his fortitude and for his achievements both on and off the ice." 

Authentically Local