The Southern Tier Xpress, Jamestown's newest Junior Hockey team, made the final cuts Monday morning, and brothers Jacob and Justin Andriaccio of Mayville secured their spot on the roster.
The Xpress, playing in the North American 3 Hockey League, had more than 70 participants try out for the team. Twenty-six players made the team, with players from as far as Sweden and Russia locking up spots on the roster.
The team will be playing its home games at the Jamestown?Savings Bank?Ice Arena, with the home opener slated for Sept. 6.
Jacob Andriaccio will be playing defense while Justin will see time on the wing, with a chance to center the front line.
"They both made it off merit and earning it," Xpress coach Rylan Galiardi said. "It helps that they are from the area, but it had nothing to do with them making the roster. They fit the mold as far as culture we want to set. If you don't have work ethic and character, you can't play for us."
In order to play in the league, players must be between the ages of 17-20. With the twin brothers being 19 years old, Galiardi will look to the Andriaccios to provide leadership on and off the ice.
"They are committed to being here and their character is very good," he said. "They do things the right way. I see them as an integral part of our team. We expect them to be leaders off the ice and help do things the right way. I am happy about both guys being on the team. We are fortunate to have them. They will be guys the community can be proud of - not because they are from the area, but the way they handle themselves and the way they play."
According to Galiardi, the Xpress had the best turnout of players trying out in the entire league. During the tryouts, the Xpress had seven evaluators watching from the stands. When the last day of tryouts was over with, the evaluators, along with Galiardi, sat down and came to a consensus on which players would stay, and which players would not make the team.
With the final roster set, the fun begins for Galiardi as he has looked at his roster ad nauseum, trying to find the right combination of lines.
"We can roll four lines," he said. "I don't think teams will match up with us because we will be balanced across the board, whether it's our first line or our fourth line. Everyone will play a good part and that makes us harder to play against."
And while Galiardi is optimistic his team will be successful on the ice, he also plans on making the team and the players successful off the ice.
"We are setting a high standard for all of junior hockey and the way we operate," he declared. "This is a team that will be around for a long time. We have 13 local owners entrenched in this community, doing it for the right reason. We have the community in mind. Everything is done for a reason. We will help grow this league and get some role models for the young kids in this community. You will see us in hospitals and in schools. These players will be active in the community."