By Nick Curcuru
---- — Pete Mondello’s senior hockey season is not quite finished.
The Gloucester tri-captain captain has already had quite a successful senior campaign leading the Fishermen in scoring with 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists) this winter while being named to the Northeastern Conference All Star team in the process.
This weekend Mondello will be playing his final high school hockey game skating amongst the best of the best in the state at the Mass. State Hockey Coaches Association’s Boys Hockey All-Star Game presented by Shriners at the DCU Center in Worcester (4:00 p.m.). Mondello is the first Gloucester player to be selected to the game, players are chosen by the MSHCA for their leadership, talent and skill, since 2007 and will be playing amongst the 46 best high school hockey seniors in the state.
The event is put on by the Worcester Sharks, the San Jose Sharks American Hockey League affiliate, and is put on to help players showcase their talent and gain experience playing on a big stage according to the Sharks web site.
Mondello received the news of his selection for Saturday’s All Star game in the middle of the winter hockey season and while he originally hadn’t heard of the game, he realized that it was quite the honor after doing a little research.
“I had never really heard of the game before but once I looked at all the kids on the roster I was like ‘wow, this is pretty good,’” Mondello said. “It’s such an honor to be recognized on a team like this.”
Mondello won’t just be participating on Saturday, he will be apart of the starting lineup. This weekend’s starting lineup was chosen by a text vote, a vote that raised money for Shriners Hospitals, and with the support of his school, friends and family Mondello came out on top. The senior captain will join Wilmington’s Cam Owens and Austin Prep’s Nolan Vesey as the first line forwards while Peabody’s Chris Minter and Hingham’s Andrew Flynn man the blue line and Burlington’s Derek DeCastro gets the start in goal.
Foes will also become friends in Saturday’s All Star clash. In addition to Mondello and Minter, Beverly’s Andrew Irving and Danvers’ Joe Strangie will also be representing the Northeastern Conference.
“It’s definitely going to be interesting playing with some of the other players from the NEC,” Mondello said. “But I’m just happy to be there, it doesn’t matter who’s playing next to me.”
Mondello was a jack of all trades type of forward for the Fishermen this season as the young team counted on him to do a little bit of everything as one of the squad’s most experienced veterans. A staple in Gloucester’s forward rotation since his sophomore year, Mondello helped anchor a potent Fishermen first line this spring.
The senior captain can lead a rush through the neutral zone and play effectively in the greasy areas of the ice, in front of the opponents goal and in the corners. His play on the top line nearly spring-boarded a young and inexperienced Gloucester team into the postseason.
Mondello is planning on playing hockey at the club level when he gets into college as he is looking at Merrimack College and Northeastern as potential college destinations.