Four freshman, Chris Breault, Scott Brun, Adam Hosmer, and Sean Sphor all grew up in Massachusetts just within an hour and a half from one another. Now they find themselves as teammates in college outside of their home state at Hudson Valley and making huge contributions for the Vikings Ice Hockey team.
Two of these four players were actually teammates before coming to Hudson Valley as defenseman. Hosmer and forward Sphor both went to high school together and were teammates on their hockey team at Westfield High School in Westfield, Mass.
Since these two knew each other growing up, they have developed a great chemistry together both at high school and at Hudson Valley.
“I feel like we know each other’s play pretty well and we have pretty good chemistry out on the ice together,” said Sphor.
“I played with him for a couple of years and we actually won the state championship when we were on the same team in high school. He is a good player to play with, he sees the ice well and plays good hockey and he works hard,” said Hosmer.
While playing at Westfield, both Sphor and Hosmer did meet the other Massachusetts hockey players on the Hudson Valley hockey team, Breault and Brun, before coming here.
“I played against Scott Brun in my sophomore year of High School. It was a semifinals game for state championships,” said Sphor. “He was on Hudson and I was on Westfield and we played against each other.”
“I actually played hockey against Chris for a year but I played with Chris a couple years before that playing junior hockey.” said Hosmer. “I never played with Scott but I played against Scott once or twice.”
Freshman defenseman Brun said, “[Playing hockey in Massachusetts] is a completely different game. Here, everybody likes to hit, there is not as much stick handling. In Massachusetts it is more of an individual game, where it is more of a bunch of individuals working as a unit of five, to continue one individual play. It is not as much passing back home, it is a lot of stick handling.”
“It was different, it was competitive. There was a lot of people that went to the games and supported you, so it was like a real semi pro-environment. The stands would be packed, we had almost 600 people alone at our finals game which was very cool. It was exciting.” said freshman forward Breault.
While playing high school hockey in Massachusetts, each of these players had memories while playing that they would remember forever.
“Winning the Massachusetts state championship in my junior year in high school is probably my best hockey memory,” said Hosmer.
Breault said, “My favorite hockey memory would probably be from last year when our high school won the Western Massachusetts finals and it took them like three to four years just to get to the finals and last year, in my first year playing high school hockey and we end up making it and we won and then we went on to states which we sadly lost, but it was just a cool experience.”
“In 2012, I won a state championship with my high school team which was a lot of fun,” said Brun.
Like most athletes who play a sport at this age in their life, most of these players started playing sports at a very young age.
“It all started when I was about 6 years old. I played soccer and I moved [to Massachusetts] from Germany when I was a little kid. I was too young to start on a [soccer] team so I was looking for something to do and I ended up just getting some skates and playing [hockey] and just fell in love with it ever since.” said Sphor.
Hosmer and Brun also started playing hockey at a very young age. Hosmer was just three years old when he started skating while Brun was four years old when he started skating. However, Breault didn’t start playing hockey until a later age.
“[I started playing] probably when I was about eight years old. I started off learning to skate then I learned to play hockey, then after that I played competitively,” said Breault.
Men’s Hockey coach Matt Alvey was a big reason why these four men from Massachusetts have decided to come to college at Hudson Valley over any other as Alvey has done a nice job recruiting players for the hockey team.
“I came here and took a look around and talked to coach Alvey and I really liked coach and I liked the campus and I liked the facilities they had to offer,” said Hosmer.
Breault said, “Coach Alvey came up and talked to me after one of my junior playoff games and he was interested in me coming here and playing with the team and hopefully getting better and that was my main decision.”
While Hosmer and Breault both really like Alvey as a person, Brun really likes Alvey because of the type of system Alvey runs.
“Coach Alvey is a lot like my Dad in the sense that they coach in the same style but the philosophies are different. Whereas coach Alvey is going to let me play hockey a little more,” said Brun. “I had two other schools that were asking me to go but when I was talking to the coaches their systems were more like you go here and you go here, it wasn’t much of a challenge and didn’t quite show who I was as a hockey player.”
Alvey has done a nice job recruiting players for this year’s team as the Vikings hold a record of five goals, one assist, and four total points in nine games played so far this season. Brun and Breault each have at least one point throughout their appearances. Brun has one goal and one assist for a total of six heading into their month long winter break.
The Massachusetts players and the rest of the Vikings will take their 5-6 record into their next game on Sunday, Jan. 17, as the Vikings go on the road for two games in a row against Erie Community College on Jan. 17 and 18.