Breaking the Ice With Horvath and Naida

By Angelo Velotta

PHOTOS: Barry Booher

This is the twelfth Breaking The Ice feature, a series that was started last year so FINatics could learn a little more about the players who take to the ice in double blue representing Mentor, Ohio. Today, we're catching up with an all-Ohio duo on the Ice Breakers, defenseman Dominick Horvath and forward Blake Naida.

Horvath, a Toledo native, has logged one goal so far for the Ice Breakers. He spent 19 games with the Elmira Enforcers earlier this year, picking up a pair of assists. The righty stands tall at 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds and played four seasons at the NCAA DIII level with SUNY-Potsdam.

Naida, who hails from Brooklyn, has a 1-8-9 scoring line in 28 games with Mentor. The mustachioed lefty stands tall at 6-foot, 180 pounds and logged 38 points (18-20-38) in 28 games with the Kingsville Kings in 2017-18. Naida played local high school hockey at Benedictine and previously played with the Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks 16U and 18U teams. He began his FPHL career with the now-defunct North Shore Knights, scoring a goal over a four-game stint.

Q: Both of you guys grew up playing hockey in Ohio, what was that like?

Dominick Horvath: Growing up and playing hockey in Ohio was great because there were plenty of opportunities to learn about the game and attend NHL and minor pro hockey games.

Blake Naida: Growing up in Northeast Ohio, hockey wasn’t the most popular sport, so for me it was kinda cool being one of the few hockey players in my school.

Q: What is like to now get to play hockey on the professional level here in Ohio?

DH: Playing professional hockey in Ohio is something that I never thought I would have the chance to do. It is exciting being able to play in a great city closer to home.

BN: For me, I would say it’s a bit of relief/achievement to be able to play on a professional level in Ohio.

Q: What are your favorite restaurants you have visited across Ohio?

DH: My favorite restaurant that I have visited in Ohio would have to be Applebee’s.

BN: Favorite restaurants I have visited across Ohio would have to be Panini's and Barrio.

Q: What are your personal and team goals for the Ice Breakers?

DH: My personal goals would be to make sure I am a consistent player every day. My team goal for the Ice Breakers would be to make the playoffs.

BN: My personal goals are probably to just be the best player and teammate on and off the ice. As far as team goals go, I think we all want to make the playoffs and make a run for the cup.

Q: Do you have a game day routine?

DH: My game day routine is to always make sure I take a nap at some point in the day.

BN: I actually do not have a game day routine, no day or game is ever the same so I prepare for each one differently. I tend to just go with the flow.

We thank both players for their time and wish them best of luck on the rest of their seasons here in Mentor!