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Barons rookie Marcel Goc familiar with challenges
Making North American debut at age 20
1/14/04 - by Craig Haueter

Ever since Marcel Goc participated in his first organized game at age 4 or 5, he is used to playing against older, larger players. Raised in a hockey family in the tiny German town of Calv, Goc (pronounced Gotch) has developed into one of the players Germany pins its hockey future on, as they have historically had trouble developing domestic talent. Goc’s hard work and determination culminated in San Jose selecting him in the first round (20th pick overall) of the 2001 NHL draft. He became the highest-drafted German player edging out fellow Shark Marco Sturm (21st selection in the 1996 draft).

Idolizing Wayne Gretzky growing up, Goc was surrounded with a father who coaches amateur hockey in Germany as well as two brothers who play the game. Older brother, Sascha, was drafted by New Jersey back in 1997 as a defenseman and spent four seasons in North America including 22 NHL games with the Devils and Tampa Bay before returning to play in Germany. Younger brother, Nicolai, is 17 and currently playing in Germany as well.

In 1999, Goc literally was a boy playing against men as he signed at age 16 to play for Schwenningen in the German Elite League. He played the entire season on the third and fourth lines tallying a goal and four assists in 62 games. The following season, Goc elevated his game to one of the best players in the DEL recording 13 goals and 28 assists in 58 games. San Jose would draft Goc in June of 2001 but Goc chose to continue honing his game in the DEL for two additional seasons. This past summer, Goc finally signed with San Jose and launched his North American hockey career with the Cleveland Barons in October.

Goc brings a wealth of international tournament experience to Cleveland having played in two World Under-18 Championships, two IIHF World Championships and captained Team Germany in the IIHF World Jr. Hockey Championship played in Canada. Goc displays an amazing maturity on the ice and a well-rounded game. Although not known for blueline to blueline speed, Goc is very quick on his skates. Goc is an excellent passer and also surprisingly strong in the corners although not a big player.

Goc’s goal production in Cleveland has been slow thus far. Goc did not register his first AHL goal until December 13th against Manitoba. He has however chipped in with 11 assists thus far in 32 games and his plus/minus rating is dead even. San Jose fully expects Goc to make it to the NHL in time. For now, he will work on his body strength and keep playing the game he loves. The challenges he faces in the AHL are familiar to what Goc has gone through since he started putting skates on at a very early age—older and larger players are nothing new for Goc.

Marcel Goc vital statistics
Barons jersey #57
Ht: 6’1”, Wt. 190 Lbs.
Pos: Center
Shoots: Left
Date of birth: 8/24/83
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