HC grads Brodie Sheahan, Everett Sheen and Matt Clune playing together again on the Ontario Reign.
By Andrea Wiegman
Special to GoHolyCross.com
Some say that three's a crowd, but for recent Holy Cross grads and teammates, Matt Clune (′12), Everett Sheen (′11) and Brodie Sheahan (′10) three's company. The former Crusaders played together on the Hart Center ice, and have once again found themselves on the same team when they signed with the Ontario Reign this past year. They recently took time out of their busy schedules to reflect on their years on the hill and how it prepared them to continue onto professional hockey in California.
Two-time team captain, Sheen, graduated with the record at Holy Cross for most career games played with a total of 149. He is also a member of the exclusive "100 point club" with 104 total career points, and is sixth on the list of most career goals scored with a total of 52. As a senior captain in the 2010-2011 season, Sheen led the team in goals scored with 17. In 2011 Sheen was awarded Team MVP, as voted on by his teammates. Sheen excelled academically as well, being named to the Atlantic Hockey All-Academic Team in 2008, 2009 and 2011.
Clune is tied for ninth for career games played with a total of 140 from 2008-2012. In 2010 and again in 2011 Clune was named to the Atlantic Hockey All-Academic team, showing excellence in his schoolwork along with his athletics. As a senior Clune received the 2012 Michael P. Quinn Award, given to the best defensive Holy Cross hockey player over the course of the season.
Sheahan and Sheen's story goes back even before their time as teammates at Holy Cross. They have traveled very similar paths, from a childhood in Lethbridge, Alberta to a collegiate career in Worcester, Mass., and their most recent destination in Ontario, Calif.
After a successful four years at Holy Cross, the CHL team, the Bloomington Blaze, recruited Sheahan where he played for two years as one of their top four scorers. In 2012 Sheahan signed with the Ontario Reign, where his older brother Brock also plays. He recognizes how lucky he is to have Sheen as a constant presence whether on the road with the Ontario Reign or spending a summer training together back home. Sheahan appreciates the fact that he has been able to grow and develop his career with such a loyal friend and teammate by his side. "Just the fact that we have chosen the same path in both our athletic and academic lives shows how similar we are," said Sheahan. "As athletes I think we both have similar goals. Everett is extremely professional in his approach to the sport and I have tried to be as well."
Sheahan and Sheen are constant motivators to one another when times get tough. "In the summer we train together which is nice," Sheen noted. "It means we have each other to push one another even on days when we don't feel like it." Sheen praises Sheahan's offensive skills and his ability to constantly be a top performer at every level.
Sheen's route to California included some time in Rhode Island with the Providence Bruins of the AHL, followed by a career with the Reading Royals of the ECHL and eventually he found himself back with former teammate and long time friend Sheahan in Ontario. Sheen acknowledges that pursuing a career in professional hockey can be very difficult because the athletes are constantly on the move and traveling. It can be physically and emotionally taxing. However, he fully appreciates the fact that he is still playing the game that he loves with long time friends and teammates by his side.
Sheahan speaks highly of Sheen's leadership skills and his constant care for the team. "Everett has been one person I have played with that puts the team first while still maintaining his support for the individuals he plays with," said Sheahan. Sheen's devotion to his team is evident as he confidently states that his favorite aspect of the game is time spent in the locker room before practices. He notes that there are a lot of funny stories shared between friends and good memories made.
Being a newcomer in the world of professional hockey, having two familiar faces around has helped Clune with the transition. Clune was excited at the second chance to play with his fellow Crusaders and to be sharing an apartment with Sheen. "Having Everett as a teammate and roommate definitely made me feel comfortable," said Clune. "Even if I have to do most of the cleaning!"
Sheen attributes one of Clune's greatest strengths to be his commitment to his teammates. "Matt is the type of guy who will step up and defend anybody on his team," said Sheen. "He is an extremely hard worker and is constantly trying to better himself on and off the ice."
Clune accredits his work ethic and the drive to better himself to his two brothers, Rich and Ben, who are his greatest sources of inspiration. Older brother Rich is a professional hockey player for the NHL's Nashville Predators, and younger brother Ben plays baseball at Sewanee University. "My brother Rich influences the emotional side of me and is someone I trust and look up to, I know I can go to him because he's been through it both on and off the ice," said Clune.
Clune likes to model his game after his brother because he sees him as one of the strongest and toughest players that he knows. On the other end of the spectrum, Clune can count on his younger brother, Ben, to keep him level headed. Ben is always there for his older brother to give him objective and sound advice. Outside of family Clune believes that his time at Holy Cross wholly prepared him for what he would encounter when he made it to the pros. He is gracious for the time at Holy Cross that allowed him to develop his faith on a solid foundation. Clune acknowledges chasing his dream of playing professional hockey is not the most secure career path, however, his faith has allowed him to do the thing he loves.
Clune, Sheahan and Sheen all agree that they reminisce about their time at Holy Cross at least once a day. Their best memories are the ones off the ice and those moments that led them to be closer as a team. "We spend a lot of time reminiscing about our time at Holy Cross together," noted Sheen. "So much so, that I think some of the guys feel as if they played with us at HC."
"It's been a privilege and a blessing to play with former Holy Cross teammates as we are trying to build new memories and win a championship together now," said Sheahan. The alums still follow HC hockey closely, checking up after each game.
Ontario Reign's Website: http://ontarioreign.com/home/