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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Hockey team triumphs in championships

Published: April 25, 2014
Section: Sports

The Brandeis Club Hockey Team rose to victory recently, winning a championship they had coveted since the spring of 2010. This title was somewhat unexpected.

“We never expect to win any of our games. We knew that at our best we could beat any team in the league and had proven that through the season. We also knew that if we didn’t prepare to play our best in the championship game, any team could beat us,” said Gene Arciprete ’14, captain of the team.

But this championship was not only extraordinary; it was also a personal victory for Arciprete. Currently about to graduate, Arciprete has been captain of the team since his sophomore year.

“As my first championship with the Brandeis team, it’s a special one because I was able to win it during my only year playing with my brother who is currently a first-year,” Arciprete said in an interview with The Hoot this week.

Arciprete has extensive experience with hockey, and has been active in the sport since a young age. “I’ve played hockey ever since I could skate (youth leagues, high school, etc.), and became involved in leadership because I have not only been a captain, but also a coach for other teams in the past,” he said.

His brother, Joe Arciprete ’17, also began hockey at the age of five and played varsity hockey at their high school.

“Gene and I were always playing hockey as kids, but because he is three years older than me, we never played on the same team (as age groups only included two years of players). It was fun this year to play actual competitive hockey with Gene, an experience not many people have access to,” Arciprete ’17 said.

The team traditionally participates in the New England Senior Hockey League. Brandeis had not won a championship for four years.

“Our team hasn’t changed much, apart from the players over the years, and has always been open to anyone (students, faculty, alumni, community members, etc.), of any skill level, interested in playing hockey,” Arciprete ’14 said. The team is part of a general men’s league, and anyone can join, male or female.

Brandeis Allocations Board (formerly the Finance Board) funds the team, providing for equipment and one tournament fee right before the playoffs began.

“This semester we only had the resources for a weekly practice at the Waltham rink, so this extra ice-time proved pivotal in snapping our losing streak and propelling us into our undefeated playoff run,” Arciprete ’14 said.

During the championship game, the team’s center Ethan Fougner ’15 scored early on in the first few minutes of the game. At the start of the second period, the opposing team, Prestige Worldwide, tied the game via a penalty shot. The game remained tied for a tense, elongated period of time. Within the last few minutes of the second period, Brandeis went down 2-1.

“We rallied in the third period and had goals from Matthew Zuckerman ’14 and myself and won 5-3 on the game-winning goal by James Parrish ’14,” said Arciprete ’14.

“Individual skill only takes you so far,” Arciprete ’17 added. “Our entire team effort is a big reason why we were successful.”

The team enjoyed a large turnout for the final game, with many Brandeis fans cheering them on. Looking forward to the future, Arciprete ’17 expects the team to enter the same league again, and fight to defend their title.

“We have a lot to work out as a team next year as we are losing some big pieces of the team including both senior goalies, as well as Captain Gene … we are also constantly searching for other Brandeis hockey players to come out and join us!” he said.

Last time Brandeis won this championship, Arciprete ’14 was considering his college choices and wondering if Brandeis was a right fit for him. Now, he plans to pass off leadership of the Brandeis Club Hockey Team into dependable hands.

“I will attempt to fill his role as captain next year,” Arciprete ’17 said, of living up to his brother’s legacy. “We are looking forward to another successful season.”