Rockport Co-Op Hockey Team Playing to Win


Ipswich seniors on the team, from left to right, Drew Beaulieu, Tommy Cressey, and Paolo Recupero.

Angela St. Peter and Nick Canzano

     As the Rockport – Manchester/Essex – Ipswich Cooperative Varsity Boys Ice Hockey Team begins another season together, they are full of optimism and ready to face their challenges head on. Having this positive attitude is important considering their difficult season last year. With a record of 3-14-1 , Ipswich senior and captain Paolo Recupero says, “It was a very long and tough season.”

       However, there is a lot of potential among the younger players. There are a number of competitive freshmen from each of the three towns who have joined the team this year. In addition, there are two talented young goalies, one of whom is Ipswich sophomore Max Kivekas, who played all last year during his freshman year. As Ipswich senior Drew Beaulieu explains, “If our young kids can step up, we can have a successful year.”

      This season, there are a good number of Ipswich players on the co-op team’s roster. The Ipswich seniors are Paolo Recupero, Drew Beaulieu, and Tommy Cressey; the underclassmen are Christian Fabri, Nate Hyde, Will Zambernardi, Jake Wile, Nick Fonzi, Trevor Doolan, Chase Gagnon, and Max Kivekas.

    There are a number of things that help the players to prepare for each of their games. In terms of warm ups, Drew explains that they first “warm up as a team, then do individual rituals.” He goes on to say that his individual rituals “include playing soccer with my line mates. We try to keep it in the air as long as we can. It is a common hockey ritual.” These unique pre-game activities are what help the players get relaxed and into the right mindset before their big game.

     Moreover, the coaching staff is a great asset to the team. Coach Patrick McIntosh has been part of the team for a number of years and has been head coach for two. Also, the assistant coach of the team, Brad Thompson, “is a great friend as well as a good coach,” describes Drew. The players all agree that the coaches prepare them very well for games by showing them film sets and having them do a wide variety of physically demanding drills. The team is able to take the skills that they learn from their coaches and apply them out on the ice during games.

     Paolo speaks for the whole team when he says that he hopes “to make the state tournament for the first time since 2012.” The Rockport co-op’s game schedule is a tough one, consisting of many of the same opponents who have bolstered their rosters with talented underclassmen. The team’s biggest challenge this season will be against Shawsheen, who Drew says is a “dirty team.” During their last scrimmage against Shawsheen, there were many ejections from misjudgments in plays and calls by the referees. 

     Over the past few weeks, the Rockport co-op team has had several scrimmages as well as two games. Their first regular season game was against Northeastern Technical High School, who is the second best team in the league. However,  the best team in the league is  Swampscott whom they played second. Ipswich senior Tommy Cressey attributes Swampscott’s rank in the league to their first line, who are all going to play hockey in college. Unfortunately, the Rockport co-op team lost both of these first two games and is now 0-2 so far this season. Despite this, they feel confident that they will be able improve this record throughout the remainder of the season.

     The team as a whole feels that this will indeed be a challenging season. However, they also do not fear as their hard work from the summer will shine on the ice and lead them to a state tournament.