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By Jake Courtepatte
Heading into the second season with the UMass Amhurst Minutemen, Mario Ferraro's sweater will have a slightly different look.
The 5'11,” 180-lb. King City native was named as one of three captains of the NCAA division I hockey squad, in just his sophomore year.
“I mean it's a huge honor to be recognized as a leader, on a team full of leaders,” said Ferraro. “Everybody on this team leads by example and works hard so it's just a huge honor to be recognized as a leader on this team.”
One of two sophomores named to a trio of captains, including World Junior Championship Canadian Cale Makar, Ferraro leads the fourth youngest team in the highly-competitive Hockey East heading into the season, one year removed from a second-round exit in the NCAA division I playoffs in 2017-18.
Despite the early exit, Ferraro has high hopes for his team that hosted its first home playoff game since 2007, turning around a dismal four-season run for the Minutemen that saw them sink to the bottom of the barrel.
“This group is something real special,” said Ferraro. “We did a lot this year considering how young we are, and we kind of achieved over a lot of people's expectations and that's exciting for us, and we're never going to lose confidence. It's a growth mentality, and we're pumped up for next year.”
Ferraro said he understands his new leadership role on the team, despite only entering his second season with the Minutemen.
“Next year we're going to have a lot of new freshman coming in … we're going to have to elevate and get stronger, it's going to be exciting.”
As for how his role will change in order to elevate the team?
“Being more vocal and giving my teammates constructive criticism in a positive way is something I need to look to doing this year,” Ferraro said. “Especially because we're going to have more freshmen coming in next year, they've got to know their role and they've got to be ready and they've got to be led into this year knowing what to expect.”
Ferraro will look to the work of his past captain, graduating senior Jake Horton, as a mentor to find his role while donning a letter.
Ferraro, a draft pick of the NHL's San Jose Sharks in the 2017 Entry Draft, first skated for the NobleKing Knights as a six year old. He grew up in King City, and attended King City Secondary School.
He skated with the Sharks at the club's development camp in June, though is certain to return to UMass for the duration of the 2018-19 season.
Excerpt: Heading into the second season with the UMass Amhurst Minutemen, Mario Ferraro’s sweater will have a slightly different look. The 5’11,” 180-lb. King City native was named as one of three captains of the NCAA division I hockey squad, in just his sophomore year.
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