MALDEN, Mass. -- The back-to-back defending Super 8 hockey champion Malden Catholic Lancers held their yearly end-of-year banquet Thursday night at Anthony’s in Malden.
It was an emotional evening, capped off by a speech from head coach Chris Serino, who continues his fight against cancer.
After the event, we chatted with Lancers junior forward Mike Iovanna, who scored the game-winning goal against BC High. Iovanna’s kept the momentum going into the offseason, including his commitment to UMass-Amherst last month.
Here’s the blow by blow with the always dapperly dressed winger:
On his college decision: “I took a tour of the school last year and I feel in love with the campus. I looked at a couple of other schools, but UMass caught my eye. It’s not the BC’s or the BU’s of the world, but I love everything about it. They’ve been watching me and we’ve been talking back and forth. A couple weeks after the Super 8, after the final game, the assistant coach called and offered me. I accepted right away because it was my first choice. I just think UMass fits me.”
On Chris Serino’s speech: “It was so emotional. When coach got up to speak, I couldn’t even look at him. It kills me, I almost broke down crying. It was very emotional and it means a lot to all of us.”
On Serino’s impact on him: “He’s the one that got me to go to Malden Catholic. He’s been there every step of the way with me.”
On expectations for next year: “The goal is to win it again, obviously. It stinks with the guys that are leaving, but we should be good. With Ara [Nazarian] and Siff [Tyler Sifferlen], I think those guys can step it up next season.”
--After receiving his ESPNBoston.com Mr. Hockey Award, BU-bound captain Brendan Collier confirmed that he will playing with the Valley Junior Warriors next season before joining the Terriers in 2013.
--Serino took the podium and thanked the assembled for their continued support, wrapping up the evening’s festivities saying, “I wouldn’t be here except for having all of you in this room.” There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.