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Casey Fitzgerald Eager to Team up With Brother Ryan at BC

By Becky Olsen, 03/17/15, 8:00AM EDT


Casey and Ryan Last Played Together During Casey’s Freshman Year of High School.

Photo by Tom Sorensen.

When Casey Fitzgerald wraps up his time with the U.S. National Under-18 Team this season, he will move on to Boston College, where he will team up with his brother Ryan.

“My brother was committed, so that was huge — the ability to play with him again,” Casey said. “He has had a huge influence, and we have always pushed each other. He has been through everything except the NTDP. He can show me what to expect, what to do and what not to do and how to handle myself.”

It will be the first time that the brothers from North Reading, Massachusetts, will play together since Casey’s freshman year in high school. Ryan Fitzgerald will be a junior at BC next season.

“I can’t wait to play with him again,” Casey said.

The opportunity to play alongside his brother was one of several reasons Casey picked Boston College. He cited the school’s location just outside the city and his family legacy there: His grandfather attended BC and his cousins, Jimmy and Kevin Hayes, played for the BC hockey team when Casey visited.

“They showed me around,” Casey said. “The coaches — Jerry York has had a great history, and I just knew it was the right place for me.”

Fitzgerald got a preview of what big-time hockey feels like when he was invited to play in the CCM/All-American Prospects game in September.

“It was awesome and a cool experience,” he said. “The people in Buffalo were great. My brother was there two years prior, so I went to that one and saw it. I was real eager to play there myself, and it was real cool.”

Ryan had a few words of advice for his younger brother before the game.

“He told me to enjoy it — it’s only one game, and you never get to do it again, so just have fun with it,” Casey recalled.

Casey Fitzgerald, a 5-foot-11, 186-pound defenseman, said he is much more comfortable on the ice this season after tallying three goals and recording 11 points as a member of the U.S. National Under-17 Team one year ago.

“Coming in this year, as a group, we had more confidence than we did individually,” he said. “I feel better on the ice. Last year, I was confused and didn’t know what to expect. This year, I came in real confident and eager to play. I think that helped me a lot.”

In addition, adding the college games to the United States Hockey League schedule helped the team improve and gain confidence, he said.

“It’s been a huge difference,” he said. “Last year, we really weren’t too sure about what to expect in the USHL. This year, as you can tell, we have been dominating and playing our type of hockey. Playing the college teams, it’s good to get those under our belt and see how fast the game will be for most of us next year. It’s to prepare us for the [U18] World Championship.”

Fitzgerald and his U18 teammates have four USHL games remaining before heading to Switzerland for the 2015 International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 World Championship. These next couple weeks will be key, he said, if Team USA is to win a world title.

“We need to buckle down and tighten it up a little,” Fitzgerald said. “We lost to Russia in the Five Nations in February and it kind of has burned a fire in us, and we need to use that to our advantage.

“Our coaches are tremendous, but we have been executing. We have been going out there, have been focused and are getting it done.”

This experience playing for the National Team Development Program and prepping for the world championship reminds Fitzgerald just how important a role hockey plays in his life.

“Every since I can remember, hockey has played a huge role in my life,” he said. “When I was a kid, I was always watching my dad, or trying to play with my brother. My whole life has been hockey, and I haven’t really known anything else.”

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

Past Features

Under-18 Team News


#4 Casey Fitzgerald (Photo by Dave Reginek)

Casey's Favorites

Favorite NHL Team
Pittsburgh Penguins

Favorite Movie

Favorite TV Show
How I Met Your Mother

Favorite Actor
Vince Vaughn

Favorite Actress
Rachel McAdams

Favorite Music
Coldplay, Dave Matthews Band

Favorite Sport (Other than Hockey)

Favorite Athlete (Non-Hockey)
Tom Brady