USA Hockey Magazine

March 2018

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MARCH 2018 USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM // 31 coaches with the Amherst Knights Pee- wee teams. Pete's father is Todd March- ant, the former Olympian and NHL player who is a Stanley Cup champion. Those two coaches laid the groundwork for our group on how to be hockey players, how to work hard and be good teammates. We worked harder than any team I've ever been on. We were very successful and that kind of made a good example that I continued to follow in my life. I'm hoping to talk to Ken soon so I can thank him for everything he did for me. ••••••••• Matt Gilroy | North Bellmore, N.Y. It was pretty cool to be able to reach out to people who are important to us, and I called Jack Parker at BU. If it wasn't for him I don't know where I would've been. He gave me a chance when no one else did. I've talked to coach a bunch but it was great to call him again and thank him for everything he did for me. To see how excited he was made it even more special. He thanked me for coming to BU. That's just the kind of guy he is. He's done so many amazing things all around the Boston area, and he is BU hock- ey. That was just a special phone call. ••••••••• Ryan Zapolski | Erie, Pa. I called my high school coach, Peter McCor- mick. I was a little bit of a late bloomer and never really wanted to leave home when I was younger so I stayed in high school. High school hockey in Pennsylvania maybe wasn't the greatest level of hockey, and they always say that you have to move away from home to get a better chance. But Pete was there for me when I was 13 or 14. I didn't re- ally understand the process of going to Ju- nior hockey and then on to college hockey. I don't think I would've continued playing if it wasn't for him. He introduced that to me and made me believe in myself and pushed me to continue after high school. So I owe him a lot and he was appreciative of the phone call. I never really got the chance to tell him how much he meant to me so it was a special phone call. ••••••••• Chris Bourque | Boston I called Bill Troy, the same guy that Broc [Little] called because we both went to same high school. He was my advisor and assistant hockey coach at Cushing Acade- my. It was a pretty emotional phone call. I just told him how much I appreciated him as a person. He helped me on the ice but off the ice he made grow up. Moving away from my house at 15 and living at school on my own he showed me what it took to become a man and mature. I still keep in touch with him and he remains one of my good friends. ••••••••• James Wisniewski | Canton, Mich. I called my uncle, Bill Day. He played 400 games in the NHL and was in the league for 50 years as a player, coach and scout. He was part of the Original Six. Growing up I got go to Red Wings games and meet Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay. I got to really see the greats. I remember when I was 5 years old him getting me into the Bill Gadsby Hockey School, who was one of his close friends. My parents were the biggest influences in my life, obviously, working two or three jobs to pay for my ice time, but my uncle was a big key to my success, showing me what hockey is like at the highest level. He's a man of little words, he's old school and 84 years old now, but he was very thankful to get the call. ••••••••• Jonathan Blum | Long Beach, Calif. I called Jack Bokus, my hockey coach with the California Wave. He was my coach for eight seasons down in Southern California, and at that time there weren't many pro- grams to play in or rinks to skate at. He was very hard on me at times and made me cry a couple times when I was young. Now that I look back on it, it made me a better player. I owe a lot to him for all the time and lessons he gave me and the belief he instilled in me that I could play hockey, especially being from a non-hockey market like Southern California. I think the call came out of the blue but he was happy that I called. "I've actually reached out to a bunch of people, college coaches, junior coaches, some youth coaches and goalie coaches. " —David Leggio

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