The Colgate Scene
May 2001
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Moving on up

Steve Poapst '91
"It's been a great year, an interesting year to say the least." While the NHL season ground to a conclusion for the Chicago Blackhawks, who had failed to make the playoffs, Steve Poapst '91 was nursing a groin pull and quietly celebrating his most successful campaign in a ten-year professional career.

     Poapst began the season with the AHL in Norwalk after leaving the Washington organization to sign with Chicago. He was playing well in Virginia when he was called up for a December game against Ottawa and had a solid outing. He went down and up and down until the Blackhawks' defense was depleted in mid-January, and he stayed with Chicago the rest of the season.

     "The NHL is definitely a different game," says Poapst. "The best players in the world are on the ice. They are faster, smarter and there is no room for error."

     Poapst, not unlike in his career at Colgate, has been steady and reliable.

     "He's come a long way and it's fun to see this happen," coach Alpo Suhonen told the Chicago Daily Herald in March. "Somebody plays more or less all his life for the farm team and now he's looking like a key guy out there. That should be a good learning experience to a lot of players that if you work hard, it might take a long time, but you might get there."

     Poapst, at six feet, 200 pounds, relies on his knowledge of the game, putting the savvy gained from all the years in places such as Hampton Roads, Baltimore and Portland to good use.

     "He plays basic hockey," Suhonen says. "He's very smart. I guess all the years he's been playing have given him a lot of good experience and confidence."

     Playing for Chicago has meant being separated from his family. Poapst's wife Kelly is in Virginia Beach with their children Braden, 6, and Mara, 4. Despite the hardships, Steve Poapst is upbeat and hoping to re-sign with the Blackhawks.

     "Hockey has been good to me. It's still fun to play, especially this year. It has rejuvenated me." JDH

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