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Alumni Interview – #4 Matthew Metzger ’10

Thursday, 07.30.2015 / 8:44 AM / Uncategorized


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Meet Your Alumni

Throughout the summer and into the ’15-’16 we’ll be showcasing Rider Hockey alumni and what they’ve been doing since graduation.  Follow us on Twitter at @RiderHockey & Instagram at “Ridericehoceky”.  Please sent any questions or Riderhockey@gmail.com

 

Name: Matt Metzger

Graduation Year: 2010

Major: Radio and Television Communications

Employment: Assistant Director of Undergraduate, Rider University

 

  • What is your fondest memory during your time as a Rider Bronc?

You hear it all the time, especially when it comes to hockey, but my fondest memory as a Rider Bronc was being a member of the team. You come in your freshman year already connected to a group of guys that you will spend almost all your time with both on and off the ice. These are guys that I have made life long connections with and the hockey team played a huge role in that. A close second to the relationships you build with your teammates was the opportunity to play at Citizens Bank Park during the NHL’s Winter Classic in Philadelphia. It was an amazing experience and it was great for the current team to involve our strong hockey alumni base.

  • If you can recall, what factors lead you to attending Rider University to pursue your education and continue your ice hockey career?

I really was looking for an institution where I could do what I wanted when I wanted to do it. This was a factor both on and off the ice as I was heavily involved in the radio station, TV station, student entertainment council, working as a tour guide and playing on the hockey team.

  • What advice would you give prospective student-athletes who are considering Rider University?

Find an institution that allows you to grow as a player in a competitive league but make sure you find a place that allows you to grow personally and professional. Professional hockey is likely not the next step and it is the time you put in the classroom, internships, networking, etc… that will allow you to succeed. Hockey can be a great way to make these connections and finding out how you prospective school and team is “connected” can be very helpful.

  • What advice would you give current Rider student-athletes (both on and off the ice advice)?

Stay focused on your academic pursuits. Working hard in the classroom, getting involved on-campus and taking on an internship and/or a Co-Op experience are all parts of your personal and professional growth. Putting these things off or not taking full advantage of them is the same as lighting money on fire.

  • How do you feel the level of competition was at the collegiate level?

When you say “club ice hockey” people think it is just some guys getting together to play pick up hockey against other schools and this could not be further from the truth. You practice twice a week, two games a weekend for the majority of the academic year and you’re playing against teams that work just as hard both on and off the ice. When you know the ultimate goal is to win a national championship guys are going to give it their all every night and the competition is definitely something you’ll have to adjust to. It’s also an adjustment going from the oldest age group in your travel league/high school competition to facing-off against guys that are 21-22 years old.

  • Have you remained in the hockey community upon graduation? Adult leagues? Coaching? Referring?

Hockey has always been a huge part of who I am and I don’t ever see myself stepping away from the game. I am fortunate enough to help promote the Rider ice hockey program through both my career in admissions and writing different pieces for the website. I travel for work but as my responsibilities shift, I would love to take on a fulltime coaching role in a travel/high school organization.

  • What did you consider the biggest rivalry game in your hockey career while at Rider?

Every game against TCNJ (The College of New Jersey)! The building was packed and they were easily the most excited and energetic fans I’ve ever played in front of. We share our rink with them and making sure they knew who the better team was an annual basis was something I looked forward to.

  • How has playing hockey helped you as a professional?

I would not have landed my first job out of college if not for the connections I made through my two and a half year internship with the Trenton Devils of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). I broadcasted for the Youngstown Phantoms in the United States Hockey Leagues (USHL) for a year after graduation and it was a phone call placed on my behalf that started the interview process with the Phantoms. Networking can pay huge dividends and my experience playing and coaching hockey helped my land and secure my position in Trenton.

  • Did you have a pre-game ritual before games?  If so, what was it?

I listened to the same pre-game mix starting in high school through my college career. I didn’t change a single song on that list for almost eight years. In the locker room I always put my left piece of equipment on first and always said a quick prayer before warm-ups.

  • If you could give a pre-game message to the current team, what would it be?

If you asked the guys I played with, I was never shy about being vocal in the locker room before during and even after games. For me, it always came down to playing for the family in that room and leaving it all on the ice. If you play for each other and you give each other your best, you might not win every game but you can walk out knowing you gave it your best. In those cases we can work on getting better to find a better result the next time we hit the ice.