Many of you might not know that big #24 on the UConn hockey team with the “C” on his jersey is Ben Freeman–a Casco Bay alum from the powerhouse 1996 birth year and a Falmouth native.
We caught up with Ben following his OT game winning goal at Northeastern and Ben reflected on Casco Bay Hockey’s role in his hockey development:
Casco Bay Hockey’s Role in developing my passion for hockey:
“I played my entire youth hockey “career” with Casco Bay. Although I may be biased, I believe this is the best possible scenario for a young kid to develop both athletically and emotionally. I was fortunate to have great coaches in John Hart, Dave Weatherbie, Harlan Michaud, Brad Weller, Brett Watson, and my dad Paul Freeman. Some of my fondest hockey memories are from my experiences with Casco Bay Hockey. I remember exciting half-ice practices at NYA like they were yesterday. To this day, my best friends were the kids I met on Casco Bay teams. Although those Casco teams were amazingly successful – 7 Maine State titles and a Tier II National championship, I can proudly say that many of my teammates remain good friends, and many have gone on to successful college careers in sports, as well as professional careers in the workforce.”
High School, Prep School, and Juniors:
“Casco Bay Hockey prepared me for two years of high school hockey at Falmouth, and later a successful career at Northfield Mount Hermon. My prep coach, Tom Pratt, was also instrumental in preparing me for the next step, which for me was junior hockey. After prep school, I played for the Junior Rangers of the USPHL. This was a huge step in my career. I thought I was ready for college, but looking back I needed another year to further develop my game. Off season training with Pete Clark at Beyond Strength in Falmouth and Derek Whitmore also prepared me for the rigors of Division I hockey.”
Hockey East – UConn:
“It was always my dream to play in the Hockey East conference. I’m living out my dream every day at Uconn. As a captain, I have learned many valuable lessons on leadership. Coach Cavanaugh has been amazing for my game and has helped me round out my abilities. While at Uconn, I was fortunate to attend a Toronto Maple Leafs development camp as well as two Calgary Flames development camps. Following college, I hope to play professionally. After hockey, I plan to use my Health Care Management major to enter the workforce.”
Thank you Casco Bay Hockey!
“I am very lucky that I grew up playing with my Casco Boys. My parents made a rink in the backyard and we would play for hours. Brian Hart, Kevin Hart, Teddy Hart, and more have helped pave the path for me. My passionate friends in the Casco community helped blossom my love for the game. I am grateful for Casco Bay Hockey every day.”