CBA’s Brendan van Riemsdyk immediately thought of his family when he learned he had been named 2012-13 All-Shore Ice Hockey Player of the Year.
“My brothers, James and Trevor, both won the award when they were at CBA,” he said. “So, I definitely would have taken a little bit of a ribbing from them if I didn’t earn it one of these years.”
It’s not easy being the youngest of three van Riemsdyk brothers when you’re part of the storied CBA hockey program. As if the name across the chest doesn’t carry enough weight, the responsibility associated with the one sewn on the back could cause a lesser player to crumble.
But on-ice achievement is etched into the van Riemsdyk family lineage, if not its DNA. As mentioned by Brendan, who just finished his junior season with the Colts, both his brother James, a No. 1 overall draft pick in 2007 by the Philadelphis Flyers out of the University Of New Hampshire and a current member of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and Trevor, a sophomore and defenseman for the UNH Wildcats’ nationally ranked program, have quickly ascended the hockey ranks after earning their title as the Shore Conference’s best.
And the youngest of the bunch plans on skating a similar path.
“I do plan on attending the University of New Hampshire in either the fall of 2016 or 2017,” van Riemsdyk said, “and there are some interesting opportunities out there other than high school hockey for my senior year, but it’s not out of the question that I’ll return to CBA next season. I’m actually leaning toward it because earning a degree from CBA is very important to me.”
That’s good news for CBA who will lose top defensive pairing R.J. Steer and Colin Kirkpatrick, as well as top line forwards Glenn Florczak and Matt Langlois and starting goalie Chris D’Alessio to graduation in the forthcoming 2013-14 season from what coach Ryan Bogan touted as “the most talented Colts team” he’s had in his tenure behind the Christian Brothers’ bench.
And despite the pain of not making a return trip to Newark’s Prudential Center this past season, after Don Bosco Prep’s upset NJSIAA semifinal victory unceremoniously dismissed the second-seeded Colts, even van Riemsdyk couldn’t hold back a smile when reflecting upon his junior year and the accolades obtained on both a team and personal level — namely a Gordon Cup finals win over Delbarton.
“It meant a lot to beat Delbarton in that game,” recalled the winger, who recorded a goal and an assist in the 5-2 Gordon Cup victory. “As well as the team finally getting over the hump against those guys, personally, that was my first win against Delbarton in my career at CBA.”
The goal in that title game acted as the 100th point of van Riemsdyk’s high school career. A feat not easily obtained in such a hard-nosed and high brow division as the renowned Gordon Conference, and a career milestone the junior was unaware he had surpassed until the postgame meeting.
“Throughout the season I knew I was getting close to 100 points, but as the game came I had totally blocked it out and forgotten about it. After the win, when we were done celebrating as a team on the ice, Coach Bogan came up to me in the locker room and handed me the puck, which just added to the emotions of that night. There just aren’t words to describe how that night feels, but looking back on it, it definitely brings a smile to your face.”
“It’s a huge honor to win this award,” admitted van Riemsdyk, “but something like this doesn’t happen without my teammates and my coaches. They are as much a part of this as I am, and I couldn’t have done it without the.”