If Jake Crespi had been a star player at every step of his hockey career, the adjustment to playing a lesser role in college would have been tougher.
But Crespi, unlike many of his peers playing NCAA Division I hockey, wasn’t always the player who was ticketed for success.
It wasn’t until his two seasons playing for Brighton that Crespi became one of his team’s most dangerous scoring threats.
Before and after his time at Brighton, Crespi had to prove himself by contributing in ways that didn’t involve lighting up the scoreboard.
“Growing up, I never really was the guy to be counted on,” Crespi said. “I never really was a goal scorer. I wasn’t until high school. That’s where I found my identity as a player. It takes some time to develop. Once you get comfortable finding your role and what you see for yourself, everything starts to click.
“It’s definitely comfortable for me not putting up a lot of points. It was like that my first year of juniors. It’s a big learning curve when you take a step.”
It took until the 24th game of his Michigan Tech career, and fourth of his sophomore year, for Crespi to score his first college goal, which came Sunday in a 3-0 victory at Bemidji State.
Blais Richartz won a race for the puck to negate an icing and passed the puck through his legs to Greyson Reitmeier, who fired a shot from the left circle. Zach Driscoll made the save, but Crespi pounced on the rebound in the slot to bury the puck for Tech’s final goal with 12:30 left in the game.
“The rebound popped to me,” Crespi said. “I didn’t have to do much. It’s one of those that worked itself out.
“It’s been over a year since my last goal. It was super special to get that out of the way. I’m excited to hopefully score some more coming up.”