Stylus Editor Amanda Seef profiled Ian Finnerty in this week's Brockport Stylus. Here's her article...
A weekend of playing against Lebanon Valley pushed Ian Finnerty to the top SUNYAC Ice Hockey player of the week. Finnerty finished the weekend off with five goals and one assist, also being named Brockport's Elite Eagle.
The sophomore delved deep into the hockey world when he was 4 years old, working up to a junior hockey league and now as a center with the Golden Eagles.
Growing up in Ardmore, Pa., ten minutes outside of Philadelphia, Finnerty was signed up for the sport by his dad, who was a hockey fanatic. After playing for a year, and accidentally cutting his wrist on a skate blade, Finnerty thought maybe hockey wasn't for him.
"I picked it back up a year later and ever since then, I've been addicted to the game," he said.
He continued playing through childhood and high school years, keeping with the same team and coach - A.J. Smith. Smith says Finnerty is "one of the greats" that came through his hockey program.
"If you told him something once, you didn't have to go over it again," Smith said. "If I had to rate him from one to ten, he was a 12. An absolute joy."
That team went to playoffs eight of the nine opportunities they had while Finnerty was on the team, starting at age 8.
"He dedicated everything he had to ice hockey," Smith said. "He just fell in love with the game and decided that's where he wanted to go."
Once Finnerty graduated high school, he took off for the junior leagues, playing with the Philadelphia Little Flyers, a part of the Atlantic Junior Hockey League.
During his time with the juniors, he was faced with a feat that proved his dedication to the game. About a month before playoffs in his last eligible year of juniors, Finnerty tore the MCL in his left knee. The doctors said his season was over.
"Hearing that, I laced up the skates for the last time with the group of guys that I played with, with all my heart and soul all season long," he said. "It shattered me that I couldn't go to war with them in the playoffs."
Finnerty took matters into his own hands, asking his team trainer for help. For three hours a day, for three weeks, Finnerty met with the trainer who helped him get his knee back into playing shape.
"Being in the dressing room for the playoffs with my teammates was an unreal feeling, especially when I was I told I wasn't going to be able to," he said. "To top it off, we made it to the championship round."
But with the junior league eligibility running out, Finnerty had to choose a college, particularly one with a strong hockey program.
"At the end of the day, I realized I can't play hockey forever, so a solid degree is important," he said.
After visiting Brockport a few times, and talking with Coaches Dickinson and Digby, Finnerty enrolled at The College at Brockport.
As a 22-year-old sophomore Business Marketing major, Finnerty continues to enjoy his time at Brockport - particularly on the ice. Finnerty scored the game winning goal in the Jan. 16 match-up against Lebanon Valley, and leads the team with 16 points on seven goals and nine assists.