Cindrich specializes in saves


Photo contributed by Michelle Zmuda

Tanner Cindrich (left) was selected to play at the PIHL All-Star game. The others were Paul Zmuda, Keith Reed, and Dylan Belack.

Victoria Di Cesare , Sports Editor

When he was in fifth grade, Tanner Cindrich was cut from a AAA youth hockey team. He had to move on to another team, but today the senior sees it as a turning point, the time when he found his passion to be the best hockey player he could be.

“After I got cut, I think that’s when I realized it I needed to stop slacking because I wanted to go somewhere with the sport,” Cindrich said.

Cindrich, Baldwin’s varsity ice hockey goalie, is a multi-sport athlete who also plays lacrosse.

“I played so many different sports growing up, but hockey and lacrosse really caught my interest,” Cindrich said.

Cindrich was first introduced to hockey when he was in kindergarten.

“I really found my inspiration for hockey through Marc-Andre Fleury, who was the goalie for the Pittsburgh Penguins,” Cindrich said.

In fourth grade, he began playing lacrosse after one of his close friends mentioned it to him. He plays primarily defense in lacrosse.

“I honestly wasn’t great at it when I began. I kind of just went out there to have fun with some of my close friends,” Cindrich said.

After I got cut, I think that’s when I realized it I needed to stop slacking because I wanted to go somewhere with the sport”

In ninth grade, though, Cindich began showing a lot of potential in both sports.

“After I started really putting time and work into lacrosse and hockey, I started to see very positive results. I also began working out, more which helped me as well,” Cindrich said.

Senior Justin Pollard thinks Cindrich is a hard worker who is a crucial part of the hockey team’s success.

“He really is just a great teammate. Whenever we are down in a game, Tanner is the guy to speak up and get us back on track,” Pollard said.

Over the summer, Cindrich received numerous offers from colleges for hockey, but he has not committed to a university yet. He has been offered academic scholarships as well.

“My family has always supported me in whatever I do, whether it’s academically or in sports. I have to travel a lot for hockey and I love it when we make a little family vacation out of it,” Cindrich said.

Recently, Cindrich organized a breakfast for Veterans at Harrison Middle School with the help of nine other players from the Baldwin hockey team. His vision for the event was to do a good deed for the veterans who protected our country.

“I really think it is a great thing to give back … It was a great event that projected the team’s appreciation towards veterans,” Cindrich said.

The ice hockey team got off to a great start this year, stringing together a series of victories.

“It is incredible to have this record my senior year. I am really proud of the guys and for all the hard work and dedication,” Cindrich said.

Cindrich hopes the team does not underestimate opponents and instead strives to keep the intensity raised straight through to the playoffs.

“No matter how good or bad you are doing, it is never over until the game is over. Continue to push harder through the game because you never know who is watching your performance and what opportunities lie ahead,” Cindrich said.