When you get an undersized and overlooked player with many seasons of NCDC experience and time in the NAHL, the team he often ends up on can make themselves look like geniusues for giving that tenacious player a chance. For the Stonehill Skyhawks, Frankie Ireland is that player. The Longmeadow, Massachusets native gets to play close to home as well. Ireland offered some thoughts on reasons of doubt that he uses to go and prove people wrong every day, along with why he likes playing near home.
“People have doubted me since forever. Why? Reasons that don’t make sense. I’ve been told that I’m too small too this too that but I still put the puck in the net still could make and receive hits and still make plays. I think being close to home I can have my hometown friends come to games which I’ve never had being far from home usually and then the occasional home cooked meal because those are the best.”
As to how he got to Stonehill, Ireland said of his choice and how he got there.
“Junior hockey had its ups and downs, teammates come and go but the friendship lasts forever. Juniors is your second family. It was incredibly fun. I couldn’t wait for it to be over and go to school and now that school is here I wish I had another year. All the king bus rides in the for lonestar were brutal ( because every team in the South often has long trips in those buses to take ) but then you look back and have some the funniest moments on road-trips. The Junior Bruins are my home for a while and so I tried out lonestar it was a team and moment in life I’ll never forget. And of course the lonestar coach (Dan Wildfong) knows what he’s talking about as well as jr bruins guys. They just help people get to the next level. They help develope those details to get you to the next level. Everyone in college hockey can skate pass and shoot but you do those little details like taking an extra stride instead of gliding, or make tape to tape passes. And putting pucks into space all those little things separate you from everyone else.”
On Stonehill he added “I think it’s a great thing what stonehill is doing it’s a school that is trying to do soemthing with its program and definitely has the people and potential to be something good. Everyone wants to play at those big schools, but I’m excited to be where I am I made a dream come true by playing division 1 hockey. I’m excited to be a part of a time that is soemthing new I’m excited to show what I have bring to the table and then some. It is good to be able to have all my friends and family be able to be there and support me and cheer for me and the team. I know they are trying to do everything they can to ensure a smooth transition to division one. I also understand it’s a bit hectic and I think as time goes on things will start to calm down for stonehill but as far as goals go, they wanna be able to compete at the top level and prove they belong there. “
Ireland added regarding his offers, “as far as offers go I didn’t have any “official” offers I toured 3 top division one schools and looked promising but was tough with all the covid stuff that was going on. I think as far as my game goes I’m competitive I hate losing. I wanna be the best guy out there and I think I put in the work off the ice that people don’t see so it’s nice when I have success and it pays off. I think I’m fast and a playmaker. But also love to mix it up in the corners. Away from hockey I’m a big golf guy, lately I have had the itch to golf everyday. But golf is too expensive. I will major in a business field (unsure which one as of yet).”
If you want someone who could be the first captain of Stonehill that came when the team went Divisom one, given his pedigree as a leader, Ireland would be a great candidate. Look for more announcements from Stonehill on their roster and a schedule soon.
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