A senior forward from North Chelmsford, Ryan Scarfo scored the first goal in Union College’s 2-1 win over Dartmouth Feb. 10 that locked down a top-four spot in the ECAC standings and a first-round bye in the league tournament. Scarfo is having a breakout season, and he and his teammates are looking to follow up their success of last year, when they earned a share of the ECAC regular season title and landed a berth in the NCAA tournament. Through the Dartmouth game, Scarfo had career highs in goals (17) and points (29). Before Union, Scarfo spent three years at Governor’s Academy, where he was a captain in hockey, soccer, and basketball. A managerial economics major, he’s served as an assistant team captain last year and this.
Q. You missed Union’s run to the NCAA championship in 2014 by a year, correct?
A.. Yes. Tough timing, huh?
Q. What’s been your athletics highlight at Union?
A. Last year was a pretty special season. Every team is different and every team is special in its own way. Last year we got our first taste of Lake Placid for the ECAC Championships. We were able to win a share of the Cleary Cup for winning the ECAC regular season. It was special group and there’s a banner for it now in Messa Rink and it will be remembered forever. Then we went to Cincinnati for the NCAAs. It’s nice to get that experience of something you grew up watching on television.
Q. What did you think of Lake Placid?
A. That was a blast, minus the loss to Cornell. The experience itself playing in the rink there was pretty special. They had a nice little tour of the Olympic rink for the players.
Q. How much do you know about the 1980 Olympics held there?
A. Actually, “Miracle” is my favorite movie. I still watch it. I watch it quite a bit. Some of the guys give me a hard time because I quote the movie so much.
Q. What’s one of your favorite quotes from the movie?
A. I like, “Tell your boy here to keep his head up and he won’t have to worry about it.”
Q. Can last year’s experiences in Lake Placid for the ECACs and then the NCAAs help you this year?
A. I think we gained something from last year. We’ve gone through it and know what to expect. As you move into playoff time and get closer to the tournaments you want to take your game to the next level individually and collectively as a team.
Q. What’s your favorite rink to play in besides your own?
A. Messa’s pretty special. But if I’m not allowed to say Messa I’d go with Cornell’s. It’s fun. They’ve got a pretty cool rink. It’s a great atmosphere and the fans are pretty awesome. We had a game there the other day and I think it was sold out. They always make it a good environment and it gets pretty rowdy.
Q. What’s the best part of playing college hockey?
A. I think the best part is representing your school and having a group of 27, 28 guys you get to be with every day. You’re all going through the same things with school and practice. There’s a lot to balance and right when you step on campus you have 25-plus friends and that’s a huge advantage maybe a lot of other kids don’t have. You’re a part of something bigger than yourself and you’re playing for your school. Most of us have dreamed of playing college hockey from when we were little kids and we’d come to games and look up to the players. Now we have little kids running around the rink looking up at you and you’re signing autographs for kids. That’s one of the best things: You’re putting yourself back to when you were a kid and you’ve switched roles.
Q. What’s been your favorite class at Union?
A. One was culinary chemistry. I’m going to go out on a limb here. It’s pretty fun. All the labs were just cooking. Plus, it’s a pretty good skill to have later in life. I love to cook.
Q. What’s your specialty?
A. I’m a big fan of steak. I love a nice steak dinner with rice or mashed potatoes and a vegetable like asparagus. I’d do the steak pretty basic. Nothing earth-shattering. Some spices, garlic powder, lemon pepper. Pretty simple. Probably a ribeye or New York strip. Can’t be buying filet mignon on a college student’s budget.
Allen Lessels can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.