Saranac Lake hockey player competing in Italy | News, Sports, Jobs

Scottie Nicholas holds up the Warrior World Cup Champions banner in Aosta, Italy. (Photo provided)

SARANAC LAKE — While most students at Saranac Lake spent their spring break in the United States, Scottie Nicholas spent his vacation playing hockey in Europe.

Nicholas, from Saranac Lake, traveled with his family to Turin and Aosta, Italy, in April for the Warrior World Cup Challenge, an international ice hockey tournament that brought together teams from across Europe and North America.

Nicholas, an eighth-grade goaltender who was a member of the Saranac Lake Placid varsity hockey team last season, returned from the tournament as a champion after beating Lombardi – a team from a northern region. Italy – 10-0.

Nicholas was instrumental in the success of his U15 team MCN Hockey Club, winning the championship game while recording two shutouts in the tournament.

After winning the championship, Nicholas and his team swapped shirts with their opponents.

SLP’s Scottie Nicholas kisses the post during the second period of a game against Plattsburgh High School at the 1932 Jack Shea Arena in Lake Placid on January 18. (Business Photo – Parker O’Brien)

“The team was really happy to have American shirts. I thought they would be a lot more mad at us because we, like, beat them in the championship game. Nicholas joked. “But they were really happy to have our shirts, so that was cool.”

The MCN hockey team that Nicholas played for is managed and coached by MCN Sports Advising, an organization based in Boca Raton, Fla., which runs tournaments and camps to help young hockey players progress to higher levels of higher game.

His mother, Suzanne, said she heard about the team and the tournament through Facebook and decided to contact the organization’s founder and advisor, Dave LoPresti.

“We spoke to him about the leagues and the level of play that Scottie has played in the last few years and he knew him well,” she says.

She said they sent him some video trial material and that same day he was accepted into the team.

SLP’s Scottie Nicholas skates during warmups for a game against Beekmantown at the Saranac Lake Civic Center on January 20. (Business Photo – Parker O’Brien)

“It was pretty amazing to come across something on Facebook and have it become a reality,” she says. “I think our whole family is grateful for the experience and support from family and friends, businesses and fundraising items for his player package. We all know this isn’t an opportunity for all players or all families, so we’re truly grateful.

Much like Scottie, young hockey players from all over the United States tried out for the team, making it one of the most skilled teams he ever played for. He basically played with 15 foreigners.

“I was excited because I felt we would be really good because we picked kids from across the country,” he said.

Nicholas said he only met one of his teammates before playing in Europe as he had previously played with him in another team.

His team played against teams from Switzerland, Italy and France in a tournament he will probably never forget. Nicholas said it could be one of the biggest accomplishments of his hockey journey so far.

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Catherine J. Martinez