Laurier men’s hockey season preview with forward Anthony Sorrentino
Hockey is something that unites us all together. Specifically in Canada, hockey allows people to unify in a space to cheer for our beloved teams, have fun, and watch a sport that has deep roots and traditions.
Sadly, the pandemic had to interrupt the tradition that we have all come to love and share as a community and fans of Laurier hockey.
However, that will all change this year with preseason well underway and the Golden Hawks kicking off their season one week from today, Nov. 4th in Guelph – a rematch of their last time on the ice back in 2020.
On Nov. 11, Laurier will be facing their rivals, the Waterloo Warriors, which will for sure be an iconic and remarkable game as they welcome fans back into Sun Life Financial Arena after a long overdue return to the ice.
“We’re really excited to get it going and start preseason. Having that excitement and energy is something that we’ve been really emphasizing in practice recently” Golden Hawk veteran student-athlete, Anthony Sorrentino said.
Sorrentino, a fourth-year forward has been a part of the Golden Hawk hockey community in the past as a leading piece of the nationally ranked Golden Hawk program before the pandemic began in March 2020.
Golden Hawk fans will witness a team incredibly passionate about hockey and a team that has been working hard in the rink to make it a very exhilarating season.
“You’ll see the most exciting group, just because everyone is hungry to get going,” Sorrentino said.
Sorrentino, a star player, was named rookie of the year in his first season back in 2017-2018. He was also named in his third season with the Golden Hawks to be honoured as a USPORTS Academic All Canadian. In the most recent year, Sorrentino was third in assists and fourth in points on his team.
Overall, his set of skills and veteran impact is something to watch. “We have 30 players carrying on the team this season and 16 have never played in OUA in their career,” Sorrentino said. This is something that the Golden Hawks and every other OUA school have never had to deal with before, as they attempt to usher in two new recruiting classes that have never played since the pandemic.
The team this year is split with a lot of familiar faces and a lot of fresh ones too. Sorrentino, however, is not worried about forming chemistry after the entire team was stripped away from hockey as they all want to win now and make up for the lost time.
“Being appreciative of being at the rink makes it a lot easier to generate chemistry on the ice” Sorrentino said as the Golden Hawks try to incorporate a bond between the new teammates that are joining this year.
“Once you get to the University level you realize that everyone is here for the right reasons and is a good hockey player, so when you go out there, we all know how to play hockey and we will generate chemistry,” Sorrentino said.
The team is quite skilled as the returning players are in good shape to mentor the new teammates arriving. Getting used to your linemates can take a long time to develop a proper and successful bond between players. However, with everyone’s eyes on one goal this year they all have the right reasons to play and attempt to win Laurier’s first OUA championship since the 1990 season.
If there is anything the pandemic has taught not just myself, but others, it is that we all need to be thankful for what we have and what we have given. Sorrentino says that when hockey was suspended indefinitely it made him realize greatly how nobody should ever take things for granted, especially varsity level hockey.
In his time off, the Golden Hawks were working hard behind the scenes staying ready and in shape for the next game. “If you work hard on something, it will come,” Sorrentino said about putting in the work for the upcoming season.
Hard work is something that is present in the Golden Hawk dressing room and that has been implemented by coach Greg Puhalski. “Greg holds a pretty high standard in work ethic which has now become a team identity,” Sorrentino said on the culture and system that Coach Puhalski has installed.
Off the ice, Sorrentino has praised Coach Puhalski for his mentorship and how he has impacted him with his time at Laurier. “Take care of what you need to on the rink and take care of what you need to take care of outside the rink…and that’s something that is outside of hockey.”
Coach has relied on his older players such as Sorrentino, to be the ones to lead the team to victory on most nights to get the season going. “Leading by example and everyone else will follow. As an older player I’m really excited and grateful to play hockey again this year and put myself in a position academically too and hopefully we’ll have a great season!” said the veteran forward about how he and his other teammates will be integrating his leadership skills for the upcoming season.
All in all, the Golden Hawks are preparing for what is expected to be one of the most exciting, energetic, and passionate seasons yet. “It’ll be 20 months since everyone has played a hockey game,” Sorrentino said on the last time there was Laurier hockey.
The season kicks off next week at Guelph. Tickets will be made available shortly through Laurier’s athletics website and season ticket packages will also be available this year too.