People in the Oswego State hockey community — people in Oswego, N.Y., in general — won’t likely forget his name, but they’ll also remember all that David Titanic has done for them.

The senior captain is the kind of leader every team needs. He does it all for the Lakers on the ice, but his influence expands beyond his hockey team. He’s active in the community and a prime example of making those around him better.

“You couldn’t ask for a better leader in this year, a rebuilding year,” Oswego State coach Ed Gosek said. “He was in the shadow of 14 seniors the last couple of years. This year, for him to be out of their shadow and bring a very young team together, leading and showing the way with the culture here, you couldn’t ask for a better person. He’s a great leader, a great kid. He’s got a 3.86 grade point average. He gets it. He’s just a quality person. We’re very fortunate to have him work with the young guys. He’s done an outstanding job.”

The Markham, Ontario native knew he’d shoulder greater responsibility this season. As one of the team’s captains, Titanic knew a young squad was going to take some nurturing after four consecutive trips to the Division III Frozen Four.

“I tried from the start to lead by example and not do anything different than I’ve done in the past,” Titanic said. “I tried to get the guys used to our system and used to the way we do things.”

It wasn’t easy at first. The Lakers lost the first game of the season and displayed some growing pains as the year evolved.

“Early on, when things weren’t going quite the way we wanted, I was feeling a little pressure, just to get the ball rolling on the right path,” Titanic said.

Since then the team has put it together. They got past some injuries, and started gaining some momentum.

“We’re really excited,” he said. “We haven’t had an easy road to get here. It wasn’t the easiest road road, but we have a lot to be proud of.”

Titanic had eight goals and six assists in 28 games for the Lakers, but his impact often reflects in more than just numbers.

“He’s not going to wow you on the stat sheet with some gaudy numbers,” Gosek said. “He’s just a very good two-way player. He’s good  in our own end. He’s very good in the offensive end. He’s on our power play. He’s on our penalty kill. We used him in crucial situations. He’s an intelligent young man.”

Gosek says he sees Titanic as an extension of the coaching staff. He helps the fresh faces get acclimated to the culture and expectations while showing them what it takes to win.

Titanic also has a knack for big plays. He had two game-winning goals in the regular season and came up huge in the win over Bowdoin last week.  The Polar Bears were up 3-1. Titanic scored the next goal and then set up the game-winner late in the game.

“He’s certainly had the flair for scoring big goals at the right times,” Gosek said. “Last Thursday, we were playing okay but certainly not to our ability level. He literally carried the team on his back with his goal and an important assist. He had some blocks on the penalty kill and helped us get through against Bowdoin. We were ripe for the picking and he rode the team to victory.”

Titanic’s presence isn’t just felt on the ice with his Laker teammates. He’s active in the local youth hockey leagues. He works with teams and players, running drills and giving them lessons.

“It’s great to get involved,” said Titanic, whose grandfather, Morris, was a first-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres in 1973. “The community gives us so much support. We couldn’t be the successful program without the community and our fan support. Being able to interact with the young players in our hockey community and teach them a thing or two, it’s really rewarding. It’s nice to give back.”

The Oswego State team considers itself one big family, and being able to extend that to the fan base is a responsibility that Titanic takes seriously.

“Being able to reach out to them and spend time with them and get to know them, it’s great,” he said. “It links our team more with the community, and I can’t thank our community enough for their support.”

Titanic has been part of the past three trips to the Final Four, including losses in the final game in each of the past two years. Though nobody expected the Lakers to get this far this season, the disappointment of the past might be their advantage now.

“We’ll definitely fall on that experience from the last few years,” Titanic. “It hasn’t ended the way we wanted it to. We didn’t have the success we wanted. We’ll draw on that experience and use it to motivate our team.”

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