D’Amato named captain of conference all-star team
PETE PAGUAGA — Sports Editor
Last week Ice Owls co-captain Matt D’Amato was named a captain of another team: the Empire Conference Select team.
“The week before, Scott Solomon gave me a call saying ‘we want you to be the captain of the conference all-star team,’” said D’Amato, “I was taken aback by it—had no words.”
“Every two years the ACHA division 3 sends an all-star team over to Europe,” said D’Amato.
The ACHA has each conference put together an all-star team at the end of the season, and then those all-star teams play in the tournament in Westchester, Penn. From that tournament, another all-star team is selected to go play in Europe. D’Amato went to West Haven high school until his junior year, when he left to play hockey at South Kent prep school. He then went to UMass-Boston and tried out for their division III team, but was told by the coach to go play juniors for a year and then come back.
He decided to go to Southern instead and play hockey on their club team while earning a degree. It also didn’t hurt having one of his longest and best friends going to Southern that same year either.
“Matt is a tremendous hockey player, and a great guy overall, I have known him since we were literally born and have been playing hockey with him since we were 6 years old,” said Joe Innamorato, “so I’m definitely proud of him for being selected captain and it couldn’t have gone to a more deserving person.”
D’Amato’s duties as captain are that he is “in contact with the coaches for the Empire team, we talk about what we want to do with the team,” said D’Amato.
Innamorato said this a great honor for D’Amato and it shows what he has brought to the Southern ice hockey club program.
“We won our league last year, and now to have our captain represent the entire league on the all-star team as their captain as well,” said Innamorato. “I think is a huge testament to how well the hockey program has come along since my freshman year.”
D’Amato has been a catalyst on the offensive end for the Ice Owls in his time at Southern, most recently by the 12 goals and six assists for a total of 18 points in the Ice Owls last three games.
Originally D’Amato didn’t tell many of the guys on the team, but the news has spread throughout the locker room, causing some of the players to ask if they will be on the team.
“Me and [Steve Rosenkrantz] and a few of the other guys have been talking about whether or not anyone else has made the team, but in all honesty, I don’t think Matt has any say on who actually makes the team,” said Innamorato. “That’s good news for me and [Rosenkrantz] though, because Matty told us if he had any say, we wouldn’t make first cut.”