Photo by Rena Laverty
One of Patrick Moynihan’s most memorable moments was being offered a position to play for the USA Hockey National Team Development Program back in the spring of 2016.
As he inches closer to finishing his Under-18 season in 2019, he realizes that he has made a lifetime of memories in a short span.
“There have been so many memorable things but probably the one thing I will remember most is the road trips with the guys,” he said. “You are just hanging out and playing hockey with your best friends. I get to play the game that I love.”
More than anything, Moynihan credits a pretty basic formula for the team’s success.
“It's amazing how close we are as a team,” he said. “The guys are a family, and that translates on the ice. We are willing to help each other out. We have a tight-knit group.”
For the 5-foot-11, 183-pound forward, there is one goal that he still has left, and it is the culmination of two years of training, practices, and games.
“We want to win gold in April [at the Under-18 World Championships]. That is the goal that we have been working towards since we came [to the NTDP] our first year,” said Moynihan. “We know that we have to come every day to the rink and compete. We can have no days off.
“You are only going to get better when you play with the best players day in and day out. In practice, that is always the case. In practice, it’s the best skaters going against the other best skaters.”
Moynihan, who will be attending Providence College next year, credits playing college opponents in helping his development as a player. Plus, those games will help when he is playing a full college schedule next year.
“We are playing against the older guys and it is good for us to get those games under our belt,” he said. “One of the biggest differences is we will know what to do next year in these situations and that is a positive.
“When I visited Providence in November and had my tour, it just felt right. It is a smaller school and a tight-knit community. I really like the coaching staff and they want to win championships, which is something that I want to do.”
Moynihan has already noticed a huge difference in his game from his Under-17 year to this season. He understands how important the training from last spring was, and how it has helped him grow and develop as a player, both on and off the ice.
“The training and workouts we did in the spring are making a big difference this year. The team is bigger, faster and stronger. We are working every day to get better,” he said.
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One thing that still surprises Moynihan is just how much he has changed, especially physically, since his first season with the red, white and blue.
“When I look at photos from my U17 year to now, it’s amazing how much my body has changed,” he said. “I really credit that to [strength & conditioning coach] Darryl Nelson. He really helps us in the weight room to get to this point.
“It really shows what I can do now on the ice. In practice, you are competing and want to play how you will play in a game.”
As a whole, the off-ice training plays a huge role in success on the ice for Moynihan and his U18 teammates. He understands the importance of the little things in helping him find success.
“I can’t put it into words on how much it helps,” he said. “It’s all about the little things, especially when you watch film with the coaches. It allows you to clean up different aspects of your game, whether it is in the defensive zone or something on offense. You can go into the shot room and work on your shot. There are resources to help you succeed.”
It's amazing how close we are as a team. The guys are a family, and that translates on the ice. We are willing to help each other out. We have a tight-knit group.
Moynihan, who tallied 16 goals and 32 points in his U17 year, has already posted 15 goals and 30 points this season. He has been on fire as of late, posting 12 points in eight games including a hat trick at the Madison Capitols on March 1. He credits his teammates in helping him have success.
“It’s all about my linemates,” he said. “I have been playing with Alex Turcotte lately and he has found me alone. I’ve been lucky to put together a good streak of games.”
In the end, one thing really matters to Moynihan, and that is how special it is to wear the colors of his country.
“It means everything to be able to put on the jersey every day,” he said. “I will never forget this amazing opportunity. Every day that I get to put the jersey on is going to be special.
“It’s so amazing — to play for your country and compete for championships. It is what we play for each day.”
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.
Photo by Rena Laverty