Whether it’s based on the 7:15 a.m. workout sessions, 4:30 p.m. tape review, or two hours of evening practice, junior forward Matt Moulson could be called a hard worker. From his ritual pre-game conversations with his dad, some might even call him a family man. His summers spent at skating camp, improving his footwork and speed on the ice, might lead others to call him committed. All assessments would be correct, yet there’s one more facet of Moulson’s personality that fans often miss.
While Moulson’s work ethic and dedication shine through in his preparation and play on the ice, it’s his humility that shines through in person. Even when describing some of his most amazing goals, such as the single-handed pick off at Dartmouth last season, Moulson emphasizes the team’s efforts above his own.
“That’s just the way our forecheck works, by having them make a mistake. It was mostly positioning on that play,” he said, downplaying his quick moves on the Green defense. “[Shane] Hynes came right in, and I just made a lucky bounce.”
But it’s not just against Dartmouth where Moulson credits others for helping him succeed on the offensive end. He feels it’s been happening every since he took to the ice at Lynah Rink. “I’ve always been able to put the puck in the net, that just seemed to be my strength, but it happened because I play with good players,” he admits. “[Ryan] Vesce [’04], Hynes, [Byron] Bitz — those guys work a good play or pass, and I just need to be there at the right time.” Moulson also points to head coach Mike Schafer ’86 as a source of motivation, particularly where it concerns improving his weaknesses.
“He’s always pushing me to get better, and I really appreciate that,” Moulson said. “He’ll push me because he knows I can play better. Sometimes I really need that kick.”
While the junior may have a hard time recognizing his own accomplishments, his teammates certainly do not. Moulson was voted an assistant captain this season, a rank that illustrates the leadership he’s demonstrated and the position he’s established for himself on the team. Schafer is also extremely proud of the way Moulson’s adapted himself to the program.
“Matt plays his best hockey when he plays physical,” Schafer said. “It’s when he steps out of that goal-scorer role and he plays what I call ‘Cornell Hockey.’ He does all the things that a fourth liner would do in terms of keeping it simple. He succeeds because he has the skills to capitalize on turnovers or when he has a big hit or if there’s a loose puck.”
For Moulson, playing for a D-I program has been more than thrilling; it’s been invigorating. “The energy from the crowd is just unbelievable.” He said. “It doesn’t matter how tired you are, or how crappy you feel, when I hear that crowd I just want to score the big goal.”
Archived article by Matt Janiga
Sun Staff Writer