Matthew Fawcett, a little speedster out of Rhode Island who plays a fast and aggressive game, committed to Quinnipiac this past weekend. We caught up with him shortly after to talk about his background, college recruiting process and future plans
Q&A with Winchendon Forward Matthew Fawcett
Describe your experience at Winchendon and making the jump from Rhode Island hockey to New England Prep School, and playing on a line with two top prospects in John Mulera (Providence) and Ben Thomas?
The season prior to Winchendon I played for a prep school near my house, Moses Brown. We played a little bit of a weaker schedule, but I have been playing with Thomas and Mulera for most of my life and that made the transition easier. I played with Thomas for a few years on the ’99 Providence Capitals during youth hockey and all three of us have played together spring and summer tournaments since we were about 10 years old. Player at Winchendon was a lot of fun – we have a great rink and coach, and played a great schedule.
Explain your recruiting process. When did schools start showing interest in you, and how did you arrive at your decision to commit to Quinnipiac? Was it a difficult decision?
Colleges started to show interest last fall during the Cape Cod Whalers half season, and then around Christmas time at the St. Sebastian’s tournament. That was when Quinnipiac first saw me play, and soon after that I went there on a tour. As soon as I stepped foot in the ice rink I knew I wanted to play there. I loved the campus, the coaches were great, the facilities were unbelievable, and the atmosphere at the game was jaw dropping. I also toured at Merrimack and UConn.
I recently played at the U17 New England Player Development Camp and had a good weekend. The Monday after the camp Merrimack called me and asked me to come back to campus for a second visit. During the second visit they offered me. I was then offered by Quinnipiac soon after and had to make a decision. It was tough to tell Merrimack I chose Quinnipiac because they are great coaches and have a great program in Hockey East. After watching Quinnipiac beat Yale this year at home in front of an amazing, electric sellout crowd, and then watching them go to the National Championship game, I knew I wanted to play at Quinnipiac. I also think the style of play Quinnipiac plays matches my game.
What other schools offered you?
Merrimack was the other school to offer, it was between Quinnipiac and Merrimack. I liked both schools, I just thought Quinnipiac was a better fit for me personally.
What are your plans for the summer and upcoming season?
For the summer I plan on going to the USHL Sioux City camp then to the U17 National Camp the following week. I plan to workout with my strength coach four times a week all summer and skate with my skating/skills coach three days a week in July and August. I’m going to stick with working out and training to get ready for next season. Next year I will be playing for Winchendon again, but also with the U18 Eastern Mass Senators split season team.
You were passed up in the USHL Phase 1 Draft last year, and fell to 12th round this year. Was it a struggle for you at all when you weren’t getting recognized or appreciated by certain people, or were you always confident that coaches would catch on to your talent in time?
I am a firm believer if you are good enough you will get picked up eventually. Not getting drafted last year was disappointing, but I just kept working hard and knew it would come if I kept working.
You had a great Nationals in San Jose, CA. How was that experience for you playing with the Whalers?
Nationals were a great experience, we had a great team with a lot of good players. We didn’t come out with the results what we wanted but we all still had an awesome time.
Define your game? Where do you see your strengths and what role do you see yourself playing in the college game?
I see myself as a playmaker who can score, but also who can play defense and work hard. I hope my role at Quinnipiac is to help create a lot of offense, play aggressive and help them to win.
What will you be looking to improve upon from now until your freshman year at Quinnipiac?
My main focus before my freshman year at Quinnipiac is to get bigger, stronger and faster.
Photo Credit: Dan Hickling/ Hickling Images