No contact, no fans, no score. This game was just for fun—and memories. The 18 alumni who joined the recent men’s hockey alumni game were continuing an annual tradition of staying in touch with their teammates and sharing the game they love.
As the players emerged from the tunnel, they were all smiles and laughs, happy to be back on the ice. They had a half-hour warmup, playfully shooting pucks at each other and stretching their legs.
Finally, it was time for their game to begin. They lined up for the face-off at center ice: black on one side, grey on the other. The puck was dumped into the corner and the teams were off. Though it was just a friendly scrimmage and many of the guys had not played competitive hockey in years, the talent level on the ice was still apparent.
Coach Ed Seney watched intently, enjoying watching his old players take to the ice in a friendly exhibition. As he pointed out, some of the best players in Saint Anselm hockey history were there, including Coleman Noonan who has played two years in Europe since graduating in 2011.
“We all try to stay in touch,” said Seney. “It’s definitely great to see the guys back here lacing up the skates again.”
Some of the current players also got a kick out of watching the older guys scrimmage, including their two assistant coaches, Mike Martinello and Mike Curtis. “It’s always the coaches hollering at us during games and practices, and now we finally get to watch them play for a change,” laughed sophomore defenseman Matt Buckley.
Some of the seniors on the team had played a season or two with the returning alumni. “It’s funny to see how out of shape they can get so quickly,” quipped senior forward Andy Kacz. He and senior Bryan Luther expressed their eagerness to play in the alumni games after they graduate.
Chris O’Brien ’08, who wore 21 for the black team, said, “We would have liked a better turnout this year, but it’s always fun seeing the guys and it’s something I look forward to every year.” O’Brien only had to travel from Watertown, Mass., but several of the players flew in from other places.
The previous night, the returning hockey players watched the men’s team play Norwich. Martinello ’02 said that the event gave younger alumni and current players a chance to network and make business connections. As an assistant coach, Martinello said that he always encourages his players to stay involved after they graduate and give back to the place that has given them so many opportunities. With an outlook like that, we can be assured that the Hawk tradition of excellence will continue for many years to come.
Editor's Note: This story was submitted by Tim Wirzburger '13.