The lone senior: Hamilton bids farewell
Published: Thursday, March 21, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 21, 2013 02:03
Utah State’s home game against the University of Utah last month was senior forward Matt Hamilton’s last game at the Eccles Ice Center. Even though the Aggies lost, it was still a special night for Hamilton and the rest of the team.
“It was awesome,” Hamilton said. “I mean, the fans packed the house and it was just a great feeling.”
Aggie head coach Jon Eccles shared the sentiment.
“I’m happy for him,” Eccles said after the game. “He’s put in a long five years and he’s played well.”
Aggie goalie Bryce Scherschel said one particular memory of Hamilton’s play will stick with him even after Hamilton has moved on from Utah State.
“My first year, we’re in Colorado, and we’ve never swept the Colorado road trip,” Scherschel said. “It’s 4-4 in overtime and Hammy makes a great pass to Billy Gouthro, who puts it in the net for the win to get us to 3-0 on the weekend.”
For Hamilton, it was more about helping his teammates earn the win than helping himself.
“I had a lot of good friends on that team that was their senior year, so it made it that much more special to help them achieve their goal as a senior,” he said.
Hamilton was a part of many firsts for USU hockey. He helped the team earn its first Colorado road trip sweep two years ago, and this year he was an integral piece of USU’s first No. 1-ranked team.
Along with his accomplishments, his personality and work ethic will leave an impact on his teammates.
“The dedication — he’s always got hockey on the mind,” Scherschel said. “Whenever you’re talking with him it’s always, ‘What we can do to get better?’ Having a guy like him on the team is a definite benefit.”
His experience is vital to the team, as well.
“He’s got a wealth of knowledge that he can share, so it was really good learning from him,” said defenseman Ty Johns.
As for his future outside of Utah State, Hamilton is hoping to keep playing hockey. He will have a highlight tape to show his skill to other teams.
“We’ll see what happens over the summer,” Hamilton said. “We’ll see if I can stay healthy and prolong my hockey career.”
Hamilton’s Aggie career came to an end with a loss to Michigan State in the semifinals of the American Collegiate Hockey Association National Tournament. This was the most successful season for Utah State hockey since the 1997-1998 team also made it to the semifinals, and Hamilton had a large part in this year’s achievement.
“He’s a good guy, a great team guy and a great player,” said captain Brian Gibbons.