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Mark Bedics | | November 7, 2013

Fighting for his team -- and country

St. Cloud State sophomore goaltender Joe Phillippi

St. Cloud State sophomore goaltender Joe Phillippi is making sure he is being all that he can be.

The popular United States Army slogan rings ever true for Phillippi as he joined the Army ROTC program this summer.

“Going into armed forces is always something I had an interest in, and it really came down to if I didn’t do it now, then when would I do it,” Phillippi said. “I spoke with the Army staff and they told me I could continue to play on the hockey team as a member of the ROTC, which was necessary because hockey is so important to me and I am not ready to give it up. In fact, they said they love student-athletes because they typically have a lot of the characteristics of being a leader.”

Phillippi is certainly showing what it takes to be a leader when it comes to time management. He is taking 20 credits this semester as a Finance major in addition to hockey and ROTC commitments. The hockey team typically practices four times a week with two games, while the ROTC program meets Tuesday and Thursday morning for training at 6 a.m. followed by class. With everything going on, Phillippi, a Shoreview, Minn. native, still keeps a 3.7 GPA. Tuesday and Thursday, he has 6 a.m. ROTC workouts.

“I have really had to focus on my nutrition and sleep habits to be able to accomplish everything,” Phillippi said. “Obviously my time management is huge so I always have to make sure I am staying on top of everything.”

Husky coach Bob Motzko couldn’t have been more supportive of Phillippi's decision to join the Army ROTC program.

"Joe is just a fantastic young man,” SCSU head coach Bob Motzko said. “He has an incredible work ethic, which he applies to academics, his work during the summer, hockey and now his commitment to the ROTC.  His dedication to our team, his involvement with the ROTC and his future service to our country really says a lot about his character and integrity.”

Although he is relatively new to the program, Phillippi is excited about his future in the Army, possibily as a helicopter pilot.

“It all comes down to serving your country, there really is no more big of an honor than that,” Phillippi said. “I am so proud in Army ROTC and be able to wear the uniform. My grandpa was in the Army and I remember trying on his uniform when I was a little kid and being so proud because he was in the Army, and I want my kids to be able to do the same thing.”

With regards to hockey, St. Cloud State is off to one if its best starts in school history as they are one of only two unbeaten teams in the nation with a 5-0-1 record. The Huskies host the seventh-ranked Miami Redhawks this weekend in an important National Collegiate Hockey Conference showdown.

“We have gotten off to a great start, but we have a really tough weekend coming up,” Phillippi said. “Going to the Frozen Four last year was awesome, and really just everything you think it would be and more, but we feel like we have unfinished business since we didn’t win it all. I won a high school state championship, a junior championship and we won the McNaughton Cup [WCHA title] and none of those compare to the Frozen Four. The goal is definitely to go back this year and make some better memories.”

Crossing the blue line
Bowling Green has not lost a game on its home ice this season with a record of 4-0-1. It marks the first time since 1995-96 the Orange and Brown has not lost a home game in their first five games of the season. The Falcons’ won six consecutive games in 1995- 96 before losing to Western Michigan. They will host Minnesota State-Mankato for a series this weekend looking to try and top that mark. Quinnipiac has won eight games in a row after losing its season opener against Alaska-Anchorage. The Bobcats is tied with its Division I school-record win streak which was set just a season ago from Nov. 30 to Jan. 5. Quinnipiac hosts Brown and Yale this weekend in its quest to extend the record streak. The Bobcats did not defeat Brown in three meetings last year (0-1-2), while they won three of four against Yale.Boston College is 3-0 at home this season and 1-2-1 on the road. In addition, the Eagles have outscored their opponents, 20-6 in the Conte Forum, but have been outscored 15-9 on the road. In its seven games this season, neither team has been shut out and there has been an combined average of more than seven goals scored per game.

Minding the net
Alaska forward Cody Kunyk is two points shy of 100 career points as he has 43 goals and 55 assists in 119 games … Maine is 3-0 at home this year and 0-3-1 on the road … Clarkson, which is off to its best start through 10 games since 1991-92 at 7-2-1, has seven wins through the first 10 games after compiling just nine in 36 contests last year … Canisius’ Kyle Gibbons has now totaled 97 career points and is just three points shy of becoming the eighth player in the program’s Division I history to reach the 100-point plateau … Of RPI’s eight games this season, the winning team has scored at least six goals in four of them … Vermont has killed off its past 20-power plays … Bemidji State has already won on Friday (twice) more times this year than they did all of last year … Michigan Tech has had several close calls this season with four of its six losses coming by just one goal … Northeastern’s Mike Szmatula has an eight-game point streak (3G, 10A), while teammate Braden Primm has a career-best seven-game point streak (6 G, 4A) … New Hampshire has played its past six games against ranked opponents … Bentley’s Brett Gensler needs seven points and eight goals to set the school’s Division I record.

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