Saturday, March 05, 2016

Joe Sacco: UNH's Newest Commit

Joe Sacco - 2016 UNH Commit

Forward Joe Sacco (Photo: Kasey Eriksen)
Joe Sacco (DOB: 6/1/1996), a 5'11", 185 lbs. right-shot forward for the Vernon Vipers, has committed to the University of New Hampshire for the Fall of 2016. The 19-year-old Sacco began his rookie season in the British Columbia Hockey League as the Vipers' third-line, right winger. As this season progressed, he scored 10 goals and 9 assists and moved up to the starting lineup. Sacco also earned time on the Vipers' power play, potting 4 power play goals, and on the penalty kill, where he scored 2 short-handed goals.

Sacco played in 56 of Vernon's 58 regular season games. The Vipers finished the regular season with 24 wins and Joe Sacco accounted for 4 game-winning goals. Vernon earned the fourth playoff spot in the Interior Division of the BCHL. In the first game of the best-of-seven series against Penticton on Friday night, the Vees downed the Vipers 6-3.

Here's a video profile of Joe Sacco produced by in December:

Prior to his advance to Junior A hockey in Canada, Joe Sacco graduated from The Rivers School in Weston, Massachusetts and played four seasons of New England Prep School hockey. Joe played for Head Coach Shawn McEachern, an All-American at Boston University, member of the Stanley Cup Pittsburgh Penquins, and former Assistant Coach at UMass Lowell and Northeastern.

Sacco played 109 games for The Rivers School and tallied 55 goals and 38 assists. In his senior year, he was the team's captain and leading goal scorer (22 goals in 31 games). He tied for 8th in goal scoring in the New England Prep School League.

I had an opportunity to interview Joe Sacco, via email, about his hockey career and commitment to UNH:

Mike Lowry ("C-H-C"): Congratulations on your commitment to play for the University of New Hampshire. What are the main reasons you chose UNH?

Joe Sacco: Pretty much everything, the location, the campus, the school, the atmosphere, the coaches.

Mike Lowry: What other college programs were you considering?

Joe Sacco: I was also considering Providence but I am very excited with my decision to choose UNH.

Lowry: Have you and the UNH coaches agreed on a target date for you to enroll as a freshman at UNH and join the team?

Sacco: Yes, I'm enrolling this fall so fall of 2016.

Lowry: At this stage in your hockey development, what are the strengths of your game? What areas are you trying to improve?

Sacco: The strength of my game right now is my skating ability. I feel like I'm a strong up and down type player. Also my work ethic is another strong suit. I'm trying to improve my game away from the puck such as playing defensively and finding areas on the ice where I can put myself in a good spot to be effective.

Lowry: Before you joined the Vernon Vipers this season, you played four seasons for former Boston University All-American and Stanley Cup winner Shawn McEachern at the Rivers School. How did that experience prepare you for the move up to Junior A hockey out in British Columbia?

Sacco: Playing at Rivers was an unbelievable experience. I loved every minute of it. Coach was great to me, he always believed in me. He really did teach me how to play the game the right way and I feel that the style of game he had me playing helped me transition to Junior A.

Lowry: Your Dad is a former BU hockey star, veteran NHL player, former head coach of the Colorado Avalanche, and current assistant coach of the Boston Bruins. What's the best piece of hockey advice he's given you?

Sacco: He's been through it all and the best piece of advice he still gives to me to this day is to never let what anyone else thinks stand in your way. If you want something then you have to go get it. Prove yourself right

Lowry: What are your academic strengths and interests?

Sacco: Business and history are both interests for me, history was my strongest subject in high school.


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