Forget the image of the duck, placidly coasting along the water’s surface while below, out of sight, his webbed feet churn furiously. The Hilltop boasts an updated version. Anthony Vincent, too, may seem phlegmatic on the surface, but underneath his calm exterior, twin turbines drive this quiet and unassuming sixth former to levels of academic and athletic success that are virtually unprecedented.
Consider. Now in his fourth year at Salisbury, Vincent has achieved High Honors in every one of his ten trimesters on the Hilltop. Over the same span of time, the native of Wilton, Connecticut, has been a four-year member of the varsity hockey team. No other student in the School has achieved the dual distinction of uninterrupted High Honors standing while performing as a four-year varsity athlete. Currently, Vincent carries six courses, among them Economics, Calculus, and AP Environmental Science. As of this writing, five weeks into the winter trimester – and the hockey season – he is carrying A+’s in all six.
Consider. Last year, three members of the Class of 2015 graduated with three New England Prep Hockey Championships apiece to go along with their Salisbury diplomas – the first student-athletes in New England prep hockey to achieve that distinction since the start of post-season tournament play in the late 1970s. Over that four-decade time span, Vincent is the only player in New England to achieve prep hockey championships as a freshman, as a sophomore, and as a junior. This year, his teammates elected him a captain.
People encountering his reserved, well-mannered, and humble demeanor for the first time can be forgiven if they sell Anthony Vincent short. He is not one to draw attention to himself, much less to his extraordinary accomplishments.
What is the well-spring of these accomplishments?
Vincent discovered hockey one afternoon as a five-year-old. He happened on a friend playing in a peewee hockey game at a local rink. He had never seen anything quite like it. To Vincent, his friend seemed to be having the time of his life. “Something sparked,” Vincent explains. He had, in fact, never even skated before. He joined the team. He learned to skate. “I liked the social part, I liked the competition, and I loved winning puck battles,” he recalls of those first few weeks in the sport that would become his greatest passion.
By age eight, Vincent’s skills earned him a place on the Mid-Fairfield Blues, the club he would play for up to his entrance to Salisbury. “Almost every member of the team went off to prep school,” Vincent notes. And what is it like to face them now on opposing teams? “It’s great!” Vincent states without hesitation. “It makes the competition even more intense. But off the ice,” he adds, “we’re right back to being friends.”
Leading the Mid-Fairfield Blues throughout Vincent’s years of youth hockey was Marvin Minkler, a coach whose powerful influence on Vincent and other boys is inestimable. That influence goes a long way toward explaining Vincent’s remarkable achievements both on the ice and in the classroom. As Vincent tells it, “Coach Minkler instilled the message that doing well in school would help us succeed with hockey. He would have us print out our report cards for him. If he saw a weak grade, he would communicate his concern to our parents, work with them and with us to figure out the problem, and help develop a plan for improvement. As a coach, he did not want players distracted by school issues. I learned that doing well in school is the best way to ensure that, whenever I go out on the ice, my only focus is hockey.”
Clearly, Vincent learned that lesson well.
But Minkler’s influence is reflected in other ways, too. With Salisbury’s recent focus on positive and negative images of masculinity, particularly the potential for positive and negative role-modeling by coaches, Vincent’s further observations about Minkler are particularly timely. “I think Coach Minkler, through hockey, has taught me a lot about what it means to be a man,” Vincent states, “as well as reinforcing things that my father and mother always emphasize. Not only doing well in school but overcoming adversity, being tough when situations require it, being resilient, pushing limits, mental as well as physical, not backing down on the ice or in the classroom but instead tackling challenges rather than sitting and sulking.”
Minkler’s influence does not end there. The way he used the idea of family to build a close-knit team made a deep impression on Vincent. Building relationships and supporting teammates, particularly through difficult stretches, has been integral to Vincent’s approach as a member of the Salisbury varsity team, even more so in his role as captain. “Of course captains set an example for teammates to build off of,” Vincent points out, “but it’s just as important to help a teammate when he’s down, support him by finding a way to turn something negative into a positive. Being the ‘alpha male’ is not as important as helping everyone to work together. Supporting each other’s strengths and talents,” Vincent asserts, “builds a stronger community.”
It turns out that Minkler also taught Vincent how to eat. “My mom was a big influence on teaching me how to ‘eat healthy,’” Vincent says, “but hearing Coach Minkler talk about the same things and explain how it could make us more effective hockey players had a huge effect." (And, yes, Vincent has only praise for Salisbury’s dining services and the healthy food choices they make available to the community in the dining hall.) By the way, Vincent himself has become quite adept in making bread, often alongside his mom, and in curing protein-rich beef jerky.
As with most top prep athletes nowadays, Vincent’s sport is a year-round endeavor. He has been a member, for instance, of a “split-season” (i.e. fall) team that includes Salisbury teammates Dayne Finnson, David Jankowski, Jordan Kaplan, and Cole Poliziani. From September to mid-November, the team played two games every weekend. Last fall, they won the regional tournament, earning the right to compete in the national tournament starting on March 31 in San Jose, California.
Summer means hockey camps, such as the National Hockey Training Camp at Berkshire School (Sheffield, Massachusetts) and the Harvard Hockey Camp (Cambridge, Massachusetts). Next summer, Vincent has been invited to work as a shooter at a camp for hockey goalies. Like many top players, he also has a trainer as well as a network of players around home who get together to train or play several times a week throughout the summer.
As a number of top Salisbury players have done in recent years, Vincent hopes to play junior hockey after he graduates, deferring college until fall 2017. Ideally, he will end up at a college with a strong pre-business program along with a Division I hockey program.
Level-headed as ever, Vincent makes no predictions about this year’s prep hockey playoffs and Salisbury’s prospects. He and his teammates, he assure others, know that past records mean nothing - well, except to opponents who “act like they’ve just won the Stanley Cup if they beat us,” Vincent muses. The team focuses on approaching each game the same way, striving to accomplish the same set of goals that will ensure the best chance for success each time they take the ice. It is a formula that has worked awfully well for Head Coach Andrew Will’s hockey teams during his tenure at Salisbury. And it is a formula that Anthony Vincent has applied better than most in his career as a hockey player and a student.
Congratulations to the 04 CT Oil Kings for winning the AYHL 2014-15 Championship!!
The entire 04 team battled all weekend long and were outstanding beating the #1 Seeded NJ Rockets 3-2
Daniel Hu, was the hero of the game winning power play goal with 1:12 in the 3rd period
On behalf of Tomasz Piatek and myself we would like to thank all the coaches, families and players of the CT Oil Kings organization for a fantastic 2014-15 season - everyone was great and we look forward to an even bigger and better 2015-16 season.
The USA Hockey SafeSport Program was implemented in full last season for its members. The SafeSport Program was developed in conjunction with the United States Olympic Committee (“USOC”) and is designed to prevent abuse and maximize the safety of our participants in the off-ice environment. The SafeSport Training is part of the Program and is intended to heighten awareness of those that are in supervisory positions over youth participants in our game.
We recognize that adding additional educational requirements increases the burden on our coaches, but as the primary and most direct leaders and supervisors of our youth teams, it is critical that all coaches are trained in ways that can help prevent abuse within our programs. In the 2013-14 season, all coaches were strongly encouraged to complete the SafeSport training, though some Affiliates did require that their coaches complete the training.
For the 2014-15 season, all coaches will be required to complete the SafeSport Training this season. The SafeSport Training is valid for 2 seasons. Thus if you took the training for 2013-14, you will not need to take the training again until the 2015-16 season (at which time a shorter “refresher” course will be available). USA Hockey strongly encourages and supports policies requiring that coaches complete SafeSport training prior to being added to a roster (and many Affiliates have adopted such policies). However, for this season only (2014-15), Affiliates may choose to extend the deadline for a coach to complete the training until 12/31/14.
The SafeSport Training is available for you to take right now so you can get a head start on your upcoming season. The training is available at no cost. The training was produced by the USOC and is comprised of short video segments that take approximately 90 minutes to complete; however, not all training needs to be completed in one session. You will need your USA Hockey Member Number, which can be obtained at www.usahockeyregistration.com (under Member Options, click on ‘Request Duplicate Registration Confirmation).
Information on how to register and access the SafeSport Training can be found on our website at http://www.usahockey.com/page/show/909009-safesport-program-training-. Also, please be sure to select the USA Hockey SafeSport course as there are multiple courses available. The website also has links if you have questions about the training or on registering for the training.
We strongly encourage you to get a head start on your 2014-15 season and complete the SafeSport Training this summer. Thank you for your diligence in helping make our sport as safe as possible!
Tomasz Piatek Signs 6 Year Deal with The CT Oil Kings
Tomasz Piatek & Marvin Minkler 2014
The both popular and successful coach Tomasz Piatek who has coached both locally and professionally overseas has signed an exclusive coaching contract with the CT Oil Kings.
President of the CT Oil Kings Marvin Minkler said: "We are privileged to have Tomasz commit to the Oil Kings. I have known Tomasz personally and professionally for a very long time and his commitment to the kids and his passion to develop hockey players is exactly what the CT Oil Kings are all about - we are excited to have him."
Along with a coaching contract Tomasz has been named Director of Hockey Operations for the CT Oil Kings
Tomasz spent time back in his home country of Poland from 2011-13 coaching Aksam Unia Oswiecim
Melissa Samoskevich Commits To Quinnipiac University
Melissa Bangs One Home!
Melissa Samoskevich Commits To Quinnipiac University!!
Defenseman / Forward Melissa Samoskevich who was just names to the USA U18 National Team has committed to Connecticut's Quinnipiac University. Melissa is considered one of the top female prospects in the United States - the US Team sure could have used her today.
Stamford, CT - The 2001 Connecticut Oil Kings held the hot hand all weekend at the highly competitive Fall Classic at The Stamford Twin Rinks. The Oil Kings went 4-1 through the tournament and beat the feisty Providence Capitals 5-2 in the Championship game on Sunday.
The CT Oil Kings kicked off the tournament beating the CT Wolf Pack 6-2. The Oil Kings received 6 goals from 5 different player: Jonas Passante had a pair, Jake Repaci, Nicky Scollard, James Monahan and Tristan Fasig each had one.
Game two was a tight defensive battle and featured some great goaltending from Parker Ravosa and his counterpart goaltender Max Macchioni from The Providence Capitals - the Caps squeaked by with a 1-0 win.
Game three was the "go or go home game" against the speedy players from Team ComCast. The CT Oil Kings went down early 2-0 but stayed resilient and batted back to tie it in up the second period 2-2. The third period was a back and forth battle with Parker Ravosa making some big saves for the Oil Kings. The Oil Kings kept grinding, finally breaking through with 1:33 left in the third when Christian Sarlo snipped from the top of the circle. Then a minute later with :33 seconds left in the game, Sarlo found the back of the empty net to seal the deal for the CT Kings.
Sunday's semi finals put the #1 seed Mercer Chiefs against the Oil Kings. the Kings scored early and often beating a tough Mercer Chief team 6-1. Goal scorers were Jack Ferguson, Marcus Kivisikk, Jonas Passante and Christian Sarlo had a pair. Mackie Samoskevich had a 4 point day with a goal and three helpers.
The Finals were a rematch with the Providence Capitals who had earlier beat the Oil Kings 1-0. If there were any doubts they evaporated quickly, when the Oil Kings jumped out to a 3-0 lead within the first 8 minutes. The Kings then battled the rest of the way killing countless penalties including a third period 5 on 3. The CT Oil Kings stayed tough and held on to win 5-2 winning their first Tournament Championship of the season!
The CT Kings will be training hard over the next month, October finds the CT Oil Kings on the road at the Warrior Invitational tournament out in Michigan October 18-20. The CT Oil Kings are still looking to schedule games including some with the Mid Fairfield Yankees located just a mile and a half from the Stamford Twin Rinks - but for some reason they can't find the time.
Labor Day Face Off ~ Invitational Tournament / Kingston, MA 2013
The 01 CT Oil Kings came out of the gate strong this past weekend against some stiff competition from the Boston area. The 01’s fired the fist shot beating the Valley Forge Minutemen 6-0. The second game ended in a 1-1 tie in a goaltending dual between Parker Ravosa and the stingy Bay State Breakers. Game 3 saw the Oil Kings again victorious scoring four unanswered goals in a 4-1 win over the Boston Advantage. Game 4 had the South Shore Kings edge the Oil Kings 3-2 in a tight checking game great goaltending game.
The Oil Kings finished second in the overall standings and played the Bay State Breakers in the #2 vs. #3 semi-final game on Monday morning. The Oil Kings trailed 2-0 going into the 3rd period, but their never say die attitude allowed them to dig out of the hole and tuck 2 late in the 3rd to tie things up. One overtime, two over times and then three Trevor Souza bangs one home 5-hole sending the 01 Oil Kings to the finals for a rematch against the South Shore Kings.
The finals featured the rapidly maturing CT Oil Kings battle the highly talented speedy South Shore Kings. In another close game the South Shore Kings held off the late surging Oil Kings to squeak away with a 3-2 win and the championship hardware. Not a bad start for the Oil Kings at all.
Who Was Hot?
Parker Ravosa led the way in the nets all weekend and was amazing for the Oil Kings in every game.
Top 5 scorers for the weekend: AJ Von Brauchitsch. Christian Sarlo, Marcus Kivisikk, James Monahan and Jackson Brosgol.
Top D: Jack Ferguson, Joe Cascio, Trevor Souza and Sean Breslin
Point Getters: Mackie Samoskevich, Josh Fuss, Tristan Fasig, and Nicky Scollard
The CT Oil Kings in their debut tournament went 7-0 winning the prestigious 2013 Chowder Cup
U16 Team Drew Hickey - McKay Flanagan - Anthony Vincent - Jamie Carnavalla - Kevin O'Leary - Jesse Anderson - Sam Nestor - John McDermott - Colin Bernard - Brady Collins - Barclay Gammill - Brian Smyth - Taggart Courriveau - Mike Ventricelli - Gregory Krisberg - Josh Sarlo
The following player received tournament All-Star recognition:
All Star Forward - Taggart Courreau
All Star Forward - Sam Nestor
All Star Defenseman - Gregory Krispberg
Tournament MVP - Josh Sarlo