Patrick Smyth has a story of recovery and growth at West Point:Read more

Photo Credit: Danny Wild-USA Today Sports

Patrick Smyth is a defensive minded forward who has overcome adversity to earn a spot after losing it through no fault of his own. The Chinese major is a defensive forward who is looking forwaed to potentially working in Military intelligence after he graduates following next season.

Smyth did not play last season after recovering from Covid 19 induced myocarditis, which was diagnosed shortly before Army Hockey returned to the ice. He said “I could not get my heart rate up more than going up a flight of stairs.” “It could have been a lot worse.” Smyth was out for six months and focused on his rehab. The myocarditis was caught through the return to play testing, and Smyth focused on his recovery. This year he is happy to be back and a part of the team on the ice, and is in good health and spirits. On getting back to skating this summer and playing, Smyth took things in stride saying “ it’s like riding a bike to be honest.” He never forgot anything, he just needed time to build himself up and he did. His persistence and desire to get better are a common part of the group he plays for. Smyth is thankful for the world class care he has had and praised all of those involved for diagnosing his injury and helping him forge a path back to playing Division One Hockey.

As Eric Butte said of Smyth and his recovery “ we didn’t know if he was going to play again.” He praised Smyth and Kendrick Frost for how they handled last season and for their personalities. Smyth’s presence is a big part of the group this season, and the team is better with him than without him. Part of the reason Army has great forward depth this season is because of Smyth. For next season, given what Smyth went through and how he has recovered and taken things in stride, he projects to be a candidate for some spot in the leadership group of Army West Point Hockey.

Associate Head Coach Zach McKelvie had the following to say about Smyth.

“We really liked his size and commitment to playing defense. He is a really steady player, maybe the most consistent guy we have. You know what your are going to get with Smythy every night. He’s a great person and his personality really fit with our school Not sure Patrick is a great teammate, the boys love him. He is one of those guys that all the guys like being around, including the coaches. Coach Riley is always in tune to our team’s culture and Smythy has embraced what our program is all about.Even as a freshman, Patrick was very reliable defensively. He played a lot on our penalty kill and was our best defensive center. Since then, even though he was out all last year, he has become even more consistent. Every successful team needs a center like him, he is reliable, committed to owning the middle of the ice and all part of his game have improved since freshmen year. We are really happy with what he brings to our team both on and off the ice.”

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