Ipswich-Rockport Hockey Season Preview

With the 2018-2019 high school boys hockey season less than two weeks away, it means that it is time for a preview. Coming off a tumultuous 2-13-3 season, means a new chance and fresh start for the Rockport, Manchester Essex, Ipswich co-op hockey team. Led by captains Nick Fonzi, Max Kivekas, (both of Ipswich) and AJ Curcuru (Manchester-Essex), the young team is geared for a season of fun and rebuilding. With only four seniors, the team does not have much varsity experience but that does not mean a lack of talent. With Max Kivekas returning for a fourth year of starting at goalie as well as three league all star appearances under his belt, he provides stability between the pipes. Rockport also returns league all star defense man, junior Kyle Khani. With Tye Wallis returning to his hometown of Ipswich after three years living in Canada, he will be a great first defensive pairing with Khani.

While talking to Christian Fabbri, one of last year’s captains, he believes there should be optimism for the upcoming season “My prediction is the Vikings will have a bounce back season with a lot of returning players. I’d say an 8-8-2 record to get Rockport back in the tourney is absolutely reasonable.” Fabbri a star player while playing for the Vikings, was a two time all star who had to come over some adversity during his playing days. “By far my worst memory of high school hockey was right before the first game my sophomore year; I was trimming my neighbors hedges before my football banquet and I slipped and cut my leg extremely bad. I had a broken tibia as well as nerve damage. I was med-flighted to Mass Children’s and had to have surgery and was out my sophomore year and was not the same until my senior year.” In comparison, when asked about the best experience he said, “Junior year coming back from being down 3 goals in the last game against Shawsheen with a tournament spot on the line. We didn’t pull out the win in the end but we showed a lot of resiliency against a tough team and that was the loudest I heard that building in 4 years.” In the final question I asked Christian what he thought of this year’s captains as well as other upperclassmen and their  leadership. “I think Fonzi will make a great captain. I drove him everyday last year and through all those car rides, games, and practices I can tell he’s all in on Vikings hockey. Max has been a four year starter now and he will absolutely be the best goalie in the conference this year, as well as a great leader in the locker room. Getting Tye back this year should add some experience to the blue line and I think he’ll be a strong physical presence for the young guys to follow.”

Looking for an outsider’s view on the team, we turned to captain Nick Fonzi’s dad.  Mr. Fonzi is very optimistic in his expectations and goals for the team and can really see potential for this team’s future. We asked him how it must be having a son as a captain. Greg responds with “Nick really suites the role as a captain. He’s very disciplined,” he stated, “and I know that he will do whatever it takes to win games.” As being apart of the Melrose hockey coaching staff, we asked him what the comparison is like between Melrose and Rockport. Greg’s responses were very firm and right to the point. “Melrose and Rockport are both coached very well; the only difference between the two is the selection of kids Melrose has and how hard the kids are willing to work.” The final question we asked him was “What is the difference between playing in high school back in the day vs coaching in 2018?” He said, “It’s simple; there are two things that are different with playing now and playing back then. Playing back then you could take a guys head off and get away with it. Where as now if you touch a guy from behind you can get a call for it. Even though the game is a ‘softer’ game now, I still think it is much better regulated than what it was in the past.” As we finished both interviews, we came to the point that both Christian and Greg are very optimistic and believe this could be a successful year for the Rockport Vikings.