Alumni hockey game scores some winning memories
>RSVP for this year's game (February 16, 2013) to Coach Rolli at firstname.lastname@example.org
By JENALINA SANTIAGO
On February 11, 2012, a hockey game at Hetland Arena in New Bedford ended with a score of 14 to 12, but there were no losers – only winners. The prize: priceless memories for the approximately forty UMass Dartmouth alumni that gathered on the ice that afternoon.
According to Paul Moran ’10, Coach John Rolli had sent letters to alumni regarding UMD’s first alumni hockey game. Moran had also posted the event on Facebook, which proved beneficial for spreading the word about the game.
In conjunction with the alumni hockey game, the UMD Alumni Association hosted a reception for all alumni in the upper conference room of the arena. Friends and family were invited to watch the game and the association provided complimentary hot chocolate, coffee, cookies and brownies.
The alumni were invited back to Hetland Arena to view the recently renovated locker room and jump on the ice for an all-alumni hockey game. “Many of the former players pitched in…and they were happy for us when they saw it,” Coach Rolli explained.
He describes the old UMD hockey locker room as being “below average,” but thanks to generous contributions, the new locker room is “absolutely beautiful.”
The Coach adds, “We thought what better way to thank them for [their donations] than to have them come up here, see it, and reconnect with players.”
Chris Dussault ’04 agreed. “The new locker room was very impressive,” he noted.
Coach Rolli has been at UMass Dartmouth for 28 years. At the event he saw two players from his first year of coaching. “It felt awesome,” Rolli recalled upon seeing them again. He then explained that one of the players has a nephew who is currently on the team – “that’s really amazing to me,” he said.
In regards to the game, Moran said, “It was awesome; it brought back some memories.” Dussault echoed Moran’s sentiments and described the game as being fast-paced. “It was great to be out on the ice, flying around; everyone was having an awesome time,” said Dussault.
Rolli described the overall event as “heartwarming” and “humbling.” He claimed, “I’m a very lucky man. I consider myself lucky to have coached so many players and to have met so many great people.”
Due to Rolli’s long-term coaching, one might expect that he has made an impact on many students over the years. “They’ve made a bigger impact on me,” Rolli insisted.
After the game, the alumni gathered at a local restaurant to continue catching up.
“I enjoyed heading over to Busters – the old TK O’Malleys – to have a few cold ones with my former teammates. It was just like old times,” Dussault recalled. “I almost went back to the 2004 ‘Hockey House’ to continue the fun, but then I realized it was 2012 and a family was now living there,” he joked.
The alumni are looking forward to next year’s hockey game, which is scheduled to take place February 16, 2013. “It was such a success,” Moran stated. “I look forward to doing this for many, many years to come.”