As a four-year starter for the Newark Generals, Gabe Parini had a bit of an advantage over other players.
He was able to learn the game at an early age from his brothers, Joe and Sol. For him, it made all the difference in the world.
Seeing his brothers on the ice at an early age, not only gave him a love for the game, but they taught him how to win, too.
“I think I was around 3 when I saw them on the ice, and I was hooked,” Parini said.
Joe was a hard-nosed player on the Generals’ first state championship team in 2009, and Sol was a top goal-scorer on the 2010 state title team.
“Once a I saw them win their first state championship, I knew right away that’s what I wanted to do,” Parini said. “The biggest thing they taught me was to win. As time went a long, I was able to learn the game more and more.
Parini, who also was a standout defensive player on Granville’s football team, showed his toughness by playing with an injured shoulder. Although he played in pain, he never thought of sitting out.
“I played because of my teammates,” Parini said. “They been my best friends and I didn’t want to let them down. We had big dreams, and I was going to do whatever it took. I just tried to give 110 percent in every game.”
Generals coach Don Jennings said all three of the Parini brothers were huge assets to the Generals in their own way, but Gabe might have been a cut above.
“Gabe has been a four-year starter for us, and he has just followed in the footsteps of his older brothers,” Jennings said. The whole Parini family has been an amazing asset to the Newark Generals program. All of them started on the team as freshman, which is an amazing feat.
“Gabe comes from more of a football background than the other two. He combines the skills of both of his brothers. He is tough on the ice and has tremendous hands for scoring. He just has the whole package.”
Parini said playing hockey helped slow the game down in football, and football taught him to be tough on the ice, as well as the will to win.
Parini’s father, Gregg, is head swimming coach at Denison University, but that is a sport Parini never considered.
“It’s fun, but swimming laps around the pool wasn’t my kind of thing,” Parini said. “After playing hockey and football, I couldn’t think of playing a sport without contact.”
Parini helped the Generals to a state championship in 2011-12, and that enabled Newark to earn a trip to the nationals in Utah.
“Going to nationals is best memory I have of playing hockey because that was a once-in-a-lifetime deal,” Parini said. “Winning state and going to nationals just meant that we had two more weeks together as a team. It was a special season and something I will always remember.”