By Nicole Dupre ‘17
The Merrimack Warriors got off to an impressive start to the season as they registered two ties against the 4th ranked team in the country, UMass Lowell. They followed that up by defeating Boston University the following weekend. Merrimack currently has a record of (3-1-2), catching the attention of many. Sophomore defenseman, Aaron Titcomb sat down to discuss the current success the team is experiencing this season, as well as his hockey journey so far.
Q: At what age did you start playing hockey and what inspired you to start playing in the first place?
A: I started skating when I was about two and a half or three, and I started playing on an organized hockey team when I was four. My grandmother wanted to take me skating so I went with her and I’ve been hooked ever since.
Q: What did you do over the summer to keep yourself conditioned for this season?
A: This summer I was here at Merrimack with Coach Mull and all of the local guys. He really did a lot for us with conditioning, mostly off ice stuff but we did get to skate on the ice. We worked out Monday through Thursday.
Q: What can you do to change your game if anything?
A: I’m always looking to change my game because obviously you want to get better and improve. If there’s one thing I can work on I think it would be my skating and maybe being a more vocal guy. I feel like the team this year needs a more vocal guy. And obviously being a good teammate and being there for everyone. As a sophomore, you’re going to have some of the younger guys asking you questions, trying to adjust with the game, so just being there for them is what I want to do.
Q: What’s the feel of the locker room before the game? Do you have any rituals you do before a game?
A: The feel before the game is kind of relaxed. You get in the locker room, music is playing, and guys have their cups of coffee and granola bars. Guys will be taping their sticks up or some guys have their rituals of going out to a certain spot in the rink. Me personally, I’ll go onto our bench before the games and tape my sticks. The cold air kind of wakes you up a little bit. Rituals, as a team we obviously do the warm ups together and then when there’s a minute left to game time, someone will yell minute and then 30, and we all repeat it. Some of the guys have handshakes. Little things like that.
Q: What is different about playing at Merrimack College that you haven’t experienced with any other team?
A: I think just the team chemistry, there’s a unity feeling. Every year there’s new guys and you just adjust to the culture. What’s different is definitely the culture of the program. If you have a problem, you can go to anybody on the team. You have 27 brothers who are always there for you and always have your best interest.
Q: What has been your most memorable moment as a Merrimack hockey player and why?
A: I probably have two that top the list. The first one would probably be committing to Merrimack because I had my whole family there and it was after the BU game, it was a gut feeling for me. I personally had a long road to get to college hockey so it was just getting that commitment was great for me. The second memorable moment would be when the guys and I went to Minnesota. We ended up beating Minnesota in their rink and in their tournament. I think there were over 12,000 people there and I know the guys can attest to it that it was probably the craziest experience I think I’ve ever had, just in my two years here. I think the only thing that can top that would be winning a national championship. That’s what I’m hoping for this year.
Q: After an impressive 2014-2015 season, what improvements are being made as a team to make this season even more successful?
A: Every year is different. I think there are little things behind the scenes that we’re changing that people don’t always see. How we work out in the gym, tweaks in little things like stretching. It’s more worrying about your body and getting prepared for the season, while maintaining your strength. With us, it’s remaining consistent. Last year we came out hot then we had a little slip. I think it’s just being consistent and the guys feel the same way. It’s not letting little things get in our way.
Q: And lastly, do you have any advice for the rookies?
A: Even though it may be a new experience for you guys, enjoy it, take it in. Because, it goes by fast and you’re going to want it back. So take it in and know that all the guys are here for you. I think they’ve done a great job and they’re going to be a strong asset to Merrimack Hockey and I’m excited to see what they do this season.