By Kinsey Janke / SARampage.com
A hockey player’s job isn’t done when they sign a contract or leave the ice. No matter what their numbers are, how good their resume is, or what they’ve accomplished, making the team is always just the tip of the iceberg.
A native of Villanova, Penn., Colby Cohen knows the ins and outs of finding a place on a team and making an impact. He began his hockey career hours north of home with the Syracuse Stars of the Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey League. Though the Stars now exist within the Eastern Junior Hockey League, and play in the city of Rochester, their past rosters have included NHL names like Ryan Callahan, Tim Connolly, and the Sestito brothers.
Cohen played in 41 games for the U.S. National Team Development Program before moving his talents to the Lincoln Stars of the USHL. In 53 games with the Stars, he put up 60 points, which ultimately led all USHL defensemen. From there he attended Hockey East heavyweight Boston University and totaled 78 career points (25 goals, 53 assists) in 118 games with the Terriers. It was with Boston University that he was a key part in the capturing of the 2009 National Championship, scoring the overtime game-winner that completed the comeback effort against Miami University.
Since Boston, Cohen has skated in 17 games for the Lake Erie Monsters, three for the Colorado Avalanche, two for the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays, and five recently overseas with Assat Pori, a hockey club in the Finnish Elite League. But it was in Providence where he spent the majority of his time, manning the blueline in 147 games with the Bruins over the last three seasons, scoring five goals and adding 37 assists.
Brand new to the Rampage, Cohen took some time during his first day of practice with the Silver and Black to elaborate on where he’s been and where he’s trying to go.
San Antonio Rampage: You spent a little time abroad between your year in Providence and signing the PTO here, what was that like? How is the game different overseas?
Colby Cohen: It’s a much different style over there. I was sort of used to one thing for the last four years, five years even, and it’s hard to explain. You really just have to experience it. It’s a different game, different styles, and different size of the ice.
SAR: What was it like to be drafted by Colorado after your first season at Boston University?
CC: I obviously went through the process with them with being drafted at 18 and rookie camps…But it was great. It was a good start for me. I played a group of games in Lake Erie and got a chance to play some games in the NHL.
SAR: Why did you decide to forgo your fourth year after having so much success at BU?
CC: I thought that I had a good chance to play some NHL games, and I thought it was a good time. Looking back, I was right. I got to play some NHL games quite quickly into the season, and obviously that’s the goal. I look back and I don’t regret anything I did. I still am very much a part of BU and their alumni. I was just back there practicing with them before I came here and they treated me like I was part of the team.
SAR: Have to ask about the overtime game-winner against Miami that won the National Championship in 2009. What was it like scoring that goal?
CC: It was quite a while ago, but it was obviously an experience I’ll never forget. Looking back, it will be tough to top that one. It was just one of those lucky bounces that worked out in my favor.
SAR: What’s your goal here in San Antonio?
CC: I just want to play. You come back a month after training camp and take whatever’s out there. I’m very thankful and grateful for Florida’s management and bringing me here to San Antonio to give me a try. I want to get in, and play, and I just take it on a day-to-day basis. It seems like a great setup here with great guys on the team.
SAR: If you weren’t playing hockey, where would you be? What would you be doing?
CC: I don’t know. Maybe do some broadcasting or get involved in sports somewhere on the television and radio side of things. I haven’t put a lot of thought into it, I’m hoping this hockey thing works out.