Scoring is a family affair at the MacArthurs, and Colby, the youngest, takes over as the top scorer in the Maritimes
On May 24, Rodney MacArthur had a nice surprise when he got up.
An email was waiting for him: it contained the 2022-2023 schedule for the Union College men’s hockey team.
Rodney, a good hockey dad, was brimming with excitement about watching his youngest son Colby play his first NCAA season in Schenectady, New York, next fall.
“It will be an excellent step for him, because he has never played at this level, he analyzes. Colby believes he’s up to the challenge, and so do we. We are really excited and plan to go to Schenectady to cheer him on. »
Rodney and Colby will be sure to discuss this exciting new chapter in the 20-year-old’s career over the next few days.
But right now, Colby’s only concern is helping the Summerside Western Capitals win the 2022 Centennial Cup, presented by Tim Hortons, in Estevan, Sask.
“I refuse to project myself beyond the two weeks of the tournament,” said the man who led the Maritime Hockey League (MHL) with 57 assists and 75 points in the regular season. “We are here to win. My family came to cheer me on, and all of our conversations revolve around hockey and my game.”
Colby’s performance in the preliminary round is proof that his intense focus pays dividends on big occasions. He leads his team with six points (2G, 4A) in four games and was named the tournament’s Most Sportsmanlike Player. On Wednesday afternoon, his goal in overtime allowed his team to win 4-3 against the Ottawa Jr. Senators and advance to the quarter-finals against the Collège Français de Longueuil.
One of the secrets behind Colby’s staggering production and ability to stand up in key moments is his belief that hockey excellence is in the DNA of the MacArthur family.
His father Rodney and older brother Brodie won their league scoring championship once and twice respectively during their Junior A careers in Prince Edward Island. Rodney, who is now the principal of Queen Elizabeth Elementary School in Kensington, was the Island Junior Hockey League (IJHL) leading scorer in 1988-89, when he played for the Abbies of Charlottetown. Brodie, who wore the colors of Summerside, finished first in MHL scoring in 2018-2019 (110 points) and in 2019-2020 (108 points). His 357 points in 196 games is a league record.
The 23-year-old, who has been playing for the University of Prince Edward Island since 2020, thinks about making passes first, like his younger brother – 215 of the points he has scored for the Westerns Capitals are helpers.
Cheering Colby from PEI. during the Centennial Cup, Brodie explains how their father instilled in them a desire to play well on 200 feet and be selfless on the ice.
“He was our coach, and every time the game was out of reach for our opponents, he would ask us to make three passes before going for a shot. That’s where the pass-first mentality comes from. »
Colby says he’s grateful for Rodney’s dedication, who helped his sons harness a talent that was already evident from their first outings in the backyard.
“He made us do unusual exercises for children of four or five years old, like dribbling in a triangle or using angles and bands to create games. He wanted what was best for us. I couldn’t have had a better father. »
The MacArthur brothers collect individual distinctions, but also team championships. Colby has won nine consecutive league titles, a streak dating back to the U11 level, and Brodie has also collected his share of championships, including one at the Tournoi International de Hockey Pee-Wee de Québec in 2012.
The battles between brothers on the home rink forged the intensity of Colby and Brodie.
“It’s because of him that I’m so competitive,” says Colby. Even though I was younger and five inches shorter than him, he hit me as hard as he could when we were fighting in the corner. We pushed each other to be stronger. »
Now an adult and 6ft 3in tall, Colby towers over his brother by three inches and is also taller than his father. He uses his imposing size to play a more physical style than Brodie and Rodney.
The latter is proud of the player that Colby has become.
“He’s a better skater than I was, more fluid. He is also a more complete player. He’s great at both ends of the rink and solid in the face-off circle.”
Brodie, meanwhile, says his brother is nowhere near his ceiling.
“He gets better every year. He always had good skills and good vision, as well as a desire to win and to work hard. But he has also improved his shooting, his speed and his game in general, and I believe he will only improve further. »
Under head coach Billy McGuigan – who not only coached Brodie, but was also batting for Rodney’s Abbies – Colby would try to become a trailblazer for the MacArthurs. He would indeed be the first member of the family to win Canada’s National Junior A Championship.
And he would do so with the support of Rodney, Brodie, his older sister Brooke and their mother Kim.