Saint Anselm Men’s Hockey Starts the Season Strong


Luke Sugar

On November 12, the Hawks tied Assumption 3-3. The next day, the Hawks beat Assumption 3-2 in the Dan Kelly dedication game.

Luke Sugar, Sports Editor

The men’s hockey team is currently 4-4-1 on the season and 1-1-1 in a very tough and competitive NE-10 conference. The Hawks next test will come on the road against Franklin Pierce on December 14. 

The Hawks are led by head coach, Larry Rocha. The team captains are seniors, Trevor Hott and Kilian Hammersmith, and Junior, Andrew Andary is the assistant captain. The Hawks roster is deep and has a solid mix of younger players and experienced players. The team is incredibly balanced with six seniors, six juniors, seven sophomores and seven freshmen. And the Hawks have really looked to the veteran players to help the younger guys adjust to the faster and more physical college game. 

“Since half our team has never played a college game before the season, the experienced guys have shown them the ropes. They’ve shown them the importance of details, team lifts and always being dialed in for the two hours a day at practice,” said Andary.  

“I think the more experienced guys have just been able to catch the newer guys when their confidence falters…the role of the more experienced guys is to just support the newer guys throughout the season so we can achieve our goals,” added Junior goalie, Nick Howard.  

The talent and work ethic on the Hawks roster is not up for debate. This is an extremely skilled group that gives it everything they have for each practice and game. As soon as the team hits the ice, they mean business. 

“Every guy has the ability to make an impact, which creates great competition in practices and gives our group confidence. The new guys jumped in and became part of our group right away, enhancing the team dynamic. We are a great team when we are on our game,” said Hammersmith.  

In just seven games, it is clear that the team has really bonded and gelled together thus far. This group of guys have a special team chemistry, which can carry a team far. Having a close locker room is so important for success.  

“The team is really tightly knit and the guys all love each other. We have a really fun time like it’s never a bad day together. We are always cracking jokes and having fun,” said Junior defenseman, Mark Leach. 

“Something that sticks out with our team is how close the group is. Everybody gets along great and loves spending time with each other,” said Hammersmith.

Practice is the most important part of any sport, and the men’s hockey team takes their practice very seriously. Practice is the place to put in max effort, make mistakes and clean it up for the game.  

“Some of the things we try and stress in practice are compete, focus and energy. Not one person can be perfect day in and day out, and you’re going to have off days. The one thing we preach though is to just empty the tank. Whatever you have in the tank to give, just make sure you give it all. Show up focussed and ready to go every single day. And when you’re there, energy needs to be high,” said Howard.

The men’s hockey team also stays united by keeping the same motto in mind. The team has a common message that they’ve lived by this season, which has helped them stay focussed.  

“A team motto we adopted was ‘burn the boats,’” said Hammersmith. Essentially this was a motto used by both Julius Caesar and Hernando Cortez. In both instances, they were sailing to battle and they were heavily outnumbered. Many of their men became scared for their lives. “To counteract this, the commanders burned the boats, saying that this is a point of no return, that they will be going home in the enemy’s ships. They gave their men no choice but to head into battle. There was no looking back. “We felt this fit our group because of a culture reset we began to implement last year when our season was cancelled due to the pandemic. We are headed in a new direction as a group, and we are not going to return to the way things were. We are looking forward and looking to build the program into one of the most elite among our competition,” said Hammersmith.   

Clearly the men’s hockey team has a very strong mentality, and they are all driven by one motto. The team also has a common goal for this season too. When you can get the entire team to buy into a goal, that makes for a very special group.

“Our goal this season is to be successful as a group. Individual accolades that are collected this season are a secondary desire. We want to win every game and ultimately win a championship as a family,” said Howard.