Keeping up with the hockey team captains

With the 2018-19 hockey season underway, the team has recently named Cam Amantea, Nils Rygaard, Nolan Nicholas and Eric Sinclair as team captains.

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Nolan Nicholas Photo credit: UAA Athletics
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Eric Sinclair Photo credit: UAA Athletics
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Cam Amantea Photo credit: UAA Athletics
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Nils Rygaard Photo credit: UAA Athletics

Amantea has been part of the UAA hockey team for four years. However, his hockey career began much earlier than his freshman year of college.

“I started skating when I was 3 years old with my dad. He would build a rink in our backyard so I was fortunate enough to spend a lot of time on the ice,” said Amantea. “I grew up playing minor hockey in Calgary, Alberta until I graduated high school. From there I spent three years in Penticton, British Columbia, playing for the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Hockey League.”

“I think the biggest thing it’s taught me is really just the honor of having the guys look at me as a leader and to have their respect in that way is a pretty good feeling,” he also said. “It doesn’t really change the way I do things; I just have to keep doing what I’m doing since that’s the reason they chose me.”

Amantea’s accomplishments are also off the rink as he has been a part of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association All-Academic Team since his sophomore year.

Another of the four team captains, Rygaard, grew up with the sport.

“I started to play hockey when I was 3 and a half years old back in Norrköping, Sweden for the local team, called Vita Hästen,” said Rygaard. “So I’ve been playing hockey for 20 years of my life.”

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With his long history of hockey combined with this new leadership role, Rygaard has learned skills that are reflected in his everyday life.

“It has taught me about work ethic, commitment, working with a team and being a good teammate,” said Rygaard. “Resilience, discipline, leadership, winning and losing. These are a few things that hockey has taught me.”

Within his four seasons at UAA, Rygaard has played in a total of 70 games and has accumulated 16 points.

Sophomore Eric Sinclair is the youngest face amongst the other team captains. As a freshman he was the only Seawolf to be in all 34 hockey games. His performance throughout the season made him a part of the WCHA All-Rookie Team.

Before college, Sinclair was awarded the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League Defenseman of the Year and MVP of his high school team in Kenora, Ontario.

Serving his second year as assistant team captain, Nicholas is originally from Thunder Bay, Ontario. As a sophomore, Nicholas was added to the WCHA Academic Team and was a GNAC FAR Scholar-Athlete Award recipient.

Nicholas began his freshman year with 57 blocked shots in 27 games. His great start landed him the team’s Dean Larson Rookie of the Year Award.

The UAA hockey team has won two out of the five games so far this season. Their next game will be a home match on Friday, Nov. 9 against Bowling Green State University.

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