Ice Knights team captain Jack Caradonna has taken the ice in his senior season with hopes to bring Geneseo back to the Frozen Four. This will likely be Caradonna’s last season playing competitive hockey; he has applied to medical school and will hang up the skates at the end of the season. “I try not to think about it,” he said. “It’s a really a sad thing.” The 24-year-old defenseman was born and raised in Markham, Ontario—just north of Toronto. Growing up a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, he picked up the game at a young age. “It’s what you play in Canada,” Caradonna said.
Geneseo is not Caradonna’s first college. Before coming to western New York, he attended the University of Toronto while playing junior hockey.
“The curriculum is different, it’s more like high school,” Caradonna said. He explained that the work here is more spread out—much different than standard midterm-final format that he found in his studies in Toronto.
When it comes to his play prior to Geneseo, Caradonna has a history of leadership in junior hockey. “Some of the best teams I ever played on were in junior hockey,” he said. After leading his hometown junior team with a close childhood friend, he changed uniforms. During his last year of eligibility in 2010, Caradonna took the ice as a member of the Stouffville Spirit where he took more of an offensive approach to his game. As a member of the Spirit, Caradonna had a career high of 10 goals in one season. After finishing his eligibility, he decided to combine his athletics with his academics and come to Geneseo.
“This team now would beat any of the junior hockey teams I have seen,” Caradonna said. The game comes to him in the same speed for both leagues, but a higher level of play is clearly visible in college. He has matured his game in the process of leading the Ice Knights and the Geneseo community since his 2011 first-year season.
The Ice Knights frequently host youth clinics and practices for the children in the community in order to give back to the town. “Whenever there is an extra slot for a practice, I usually fill that spot,” Caradonna said. “I want to be a positive role model and communicate well with the team.”
Caradonna led the Ice Knights to a quick 2-0 start this season. The team overwhelmed its opponent Morrisville State College in its first two games on Friday Oct. 31 and Saturday Nov. 1. Reiterating the words of head coach Chris Schultz, Caradonna added that “the only thing we can control is how hard we work.”
The Ice Knights will look to continue the hard work and consistent play on Friday Nov. 7 as “Captain Jack” and the Ice Knights open at home against SUNY Potsdam.