Mathieu Gervais Commits to University of New England

Mathieu Gervais has committed to the University of New England for next season. He has been described as a two-way player that does the little things, and always finishes his hits. He possesses the ability to get position at the net front for second chance opportunities.

Mathieu was born in Kingston, Ontario to a huge hockey family:

“My dad was a die hard Montreal Canadiens fan and had played growing up, so when I was 3 years old he signed me up for skating lessons. From there I fell in love, my parents had a hard time getting me off the ice. My earliest memory of hockey has to be my first game of travel hockey. I was playing a year up and was extremely nervous, but excited. I scored in my first shift and I had a smile on my face for the rest of the day. It just made me fall in love with the game even more.”

Prior to Juniors Mathieu attended Canterbury School in Connecticut:

“Prep School was a really great time. I learned a lot from my time at Canterbury. You obviously are there to play hockey but you learn a lot about being independent as well. It was my first time living away from home so it was an adjustment but overall it has really helped me for the future. You learn a lot about time management, playing hockey and going to such a prestigious school isn’t easy. I made a lot of connections there and it really helped my growth not only as a hockey player but as a person.”

A Canadian going to prep school in the US is not common, we asked him what went into that decision for him:

“Growing up in Kingston the path that every hockey player wanted to go was the OHL route. Going into my draft year, when I was 14, I knew I wasn’t good enough to make it in major juniors. I did know that I wanted to play hockey and get an education at the same time. So I made the decision to move to the States to attend prep school. It wasn’t an easy decision but in order to play college hockey I just felt it was the best option for my growth.”

Getting into his NCAA recruiting journey, Mathieu talked to several Division III schools:

“This season was really the first year where colleges were really interested in me, so it was a new experience. I had talked to quite a few schools, the ones that I was really interested in was UNE, Endicott, Skidmore, Curry, and SUNY Cortland. All of the schools were great but UNE was really just the best fit for me.”

And why he finally landed on UNE:

“I knew UNE was the right fit for me after I had visited and done an overnight. I was very interested before, when they had first talked to me, but just getting on campus, getting to meet the guys, see the rink and everything they had to offer it was just too hard to say no. Coach Swallow has done such a great job with the program, so to be able to play for a coach and a program like UNE’s was just too hard to pass up.”

After Canterbury, he spent 2 seasons in the NCDC. His first season with the Connecticut Jr. Rangers and this past season with the Syracuse Jr. Stars:

“My first season of junior hockey was definitely and interesting one. I came in fighting to make the team at Connecticut. I eventually made the team and ended up battling some tough injuries throughout the season. I only ended up playing 22 games so I wasn’t getting many looks. I decided to go back to the NCDC for my age out year. I was cut by Connecticut after their main camp and ended up in Syracuse thanks to Coach Kelly. This season, Coach has really given me more opportunities than I would have gotten else where and with the help of my teammates have found some more success this year.”

We asked how he planned to prepare for NCAA hockey:

“This summer is a big one for me. I know that in order to play college hockey you have to be in serious shape. So I train with Mike Bouchard in North Haven, CT for my off-ice at least 4 times a week. Bouchard has been great with me and really helped me get prepared for this season, so we have a lot of work to do this summer as well. I also skate with Larry Viera in Milford. Larry really pushes me on the ice and I feel I am getting better after every skate with him. I am also going to have to be really focused on my nutrition, as that’s just as important as all the training you do.”

Elaborating on first year of Junior hockey and battling through injuries:

“The toughest challenge I have faced in hockey has to be this past summer. When I was cut by Connecticut I was pretty lost. I didn’t have a place to play and wasn’t really sure what the future held for me. I had reached out to many different junior teams and wasn’t getting many offers. It was very late in the summer and I didn’t know if I was going to be playing hockey in the fall or not. Thankfully Coach Kelly in Syracuse gave me the opportunity to tryout for the NCDC team. It was a long tryout and with so much competition, I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it. Eventually I was offered a contract to play for the stars and it’s been one of the best things to ever happen to me.”

And life post college hockey:

“I definitely think about life after hockey. I am going to study sports management at UNE. I love sports and business so to be able to combine the two has always been interesting to me. I’ve always been interested in the business of sports and how they run. I’m not sure exactly what I want to do but to be able to be involved in sports as my profession is something that really interests me.”

This season Mathieu has played 50 games with the Stars and racked up 42 points. He earned 20 goals and 22 assists in regulation play.