Amherst’s Woodford coming on at BG

TYNGSBOROUGH, Mass. – At 6-foot-4, Daniel Woodford has a basketball body. But it is hockey that runs through his blood.

A sophomore from Amherst, Woodford is making the climb as one of the power players in NHIAA hockey at Bishop Guertin in Nashua.

Not even halfway through his high school career, the 195-pound Woodford assures, he is exactly where he wants to be.

“The past history of the school, the championships, I loved it. I just wanted to be a part of it,” said Woodford. “I feel like this is a championship caliber team. We can win this if we work hard.”

With two goals and three assists in the Cardinals’ 8-4 start, Woodford is coming into his own during his second year of varsity hockey.

“It’s gone pretty well. I’m getting more playing time and that’s nice,” he said.

“Last year, it was only a couple shifts a night.”

For now, the big man pushes himself to be a physical presence, skating on the second line. Work hard, play tough and gritty on the boards and in the defensive end, and sooner or later, the goals should come.

“He’s a big strong kid, only a sophomore,” said Cards coach Gary Bishop.

“He works hard. He goes up and down the wall. He’s still finding it scoring goals, but he does everything else very well.”

Size makes Woodford immediately noticeable. At times, it puts a target on his back as feistier, overzealous foes look to take down the biggest guy on the other team.

He just plays his game.

“I don’t find pressure being 6-foot-4. I try to use it to my advantage,” said Woodford, a middie with the powerhouse BG lacrosse program in the spring. “Bigger body, longer strides, and I hit people. I like to do that. It’s easy to get into that role.”

Hockey is legitimately in his heritage, too.

Daniel’s dad Marty is a native of Newfoundland, Canada, who played in the famed Quebec Major Junior Hockey League growing up and as a pro in with the St. John’s Maple Leafs of the American Hockey League.

Marty introduced Daniel to the game eight years ago.

“Hockey is definitely my No. 1. I love it,” said Woodford, who also plays out of Skate 3 with the Islanders’ program in the non-BG hockey months.

“I’m just hoping I can go pretty far with it.”