Oct 9, 2020 | SPORTS | By Zeke Lloyd | Photo courtesy of The Catalyst Archives

When Troy Conzo ’21 first took to the ice, he thought he should bring along his roller blades. He was seven years old. But in almost no time at all, he learned how to move on the ice with skates. He picked up hockey even faster. At 17, he started to play in a Junior Hockey League. He began in Des Moines, Iowa, before moving to Wenatchee, Wash. “My final season of Junior Hockey I was offered to come play here at Colorado College,” Troy recalled. “Worked out that way, and I’m fortunate to be here.”

Many factors contributed to Conzo’s decision to come to Colorado. “CC has an extremely good education … I loved when I came here for my visit, I love Colorado,” Conzo said. “I felt comfortable with the coaches, and just the program itself has a lot of rich tradition and rich history.” Conzo himself has helped expand that tradition and history. During his sophomore year, Colorado College won the Gold Pan only a short time before upsetting Western Michigan in the playoffs.

But Troy and his teammates are now uncertain of the season ahead. The first games are ordinarily around the first week of October, but they have all been postponed indefinitely. “We’re hopeful that we’re going to play. It’s not easy not knowing when you’re going to play. That does affect the morale a little bit,” Conzo said. “When we’re in the weight room and on the ice every day, everybody is upbeat and good energy … everybody has been handling it pretty well.”

When the season does begin, Conzo is optimistic about how the team will perform. “This year we got about 12 incoming freshmen. They’ve definitely all been pretty impressive in practice from what I’ve seen, and I know the coaches are happy with them as well,” said Conzo. “I think that right there is a really good start.” Conzo also mentioned that the returning players felt a chip on their shoulder. In their minds, they underperformed last year. The team’s mentality for the upcoming season is laid out simply: “We want to win games, have a good record, and have fun doing it.”

Conzo has learned to have fun outside the rink, too. In his free time, he cooks, exercises, and plays video games. While he finds great joy as a chef (pasta is one of his best dishes), he wonders whether games like Madden, NHL, and Fortnite actually stress him out more than they relax him. Accordingly, his pregame ritual does not include video games. Instead, he elects to partake in more leisurely activities: a morning skate, a team lunch, some TV, and a nap.

“Some people have rituals where they have to like, put their left sock on before their right sock,” Conzo said. “I’m not too superstitious. It’s simple and easy.”

Conzo is not certain about what his future holds. He is a political science major, and he cites ‘sports agent’ as his ideal occupation. Nonetheless, he is open to a professional career in hockey, domestically or internationally. “I think that would be a cool experience, to go play somewhere in Europe or in the United States for a couple of years,” Conzo said. “We’ll see how it goes.”

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