Back to School; Mancina looks to apply hockey success in the classroom
Matthew Mancina has quite the portfolio after four seasons in the OHL. OHL champion in his rookie season with the Guelph Storm, Bobby Orr trophy champion with the Steelheads last season, and now he looks to bring that success to the University of Prince Edward Island as a student-athlete.
“I’ve really done what anyone that’s played in the OHL would imagine doing. I’ve accomplished a lot more than I thought I would accomplish,” Mancina said. “School is really important to me and my family and to be able to go to school now is a great opportunity.”
Mancina, a 6’2 goalie from Tecumseh, Ont., is part of the latest group of graduating players to go back to school after completing their four years in the OHL. The OHL Centrally Administered Scholarship Program provides athletes with benefits that include covering costs (tuition, books, compulsory fees) towards an undergraduate degree at a Canadian university, equivalent to every season played in the OHL.
With the opportunity to pursue both academics and hockey, Mancina knew that this was not an opportunity he could turn down. “Not many kids get their schooling paid for, it’s a bonus to go to school after [my OHL career],” Mancina said, who joined the Steelheads last summer in a trade with Peterborough.
Committing to the UPEI Panthers, Mancina will be continuing his playing career in the competitive Atlantic University Sport league of U Sports. “I’m expecting the level of hockey to be pretty good,” said Mancina, who ranked 12th among North American goalies in the NHL Central Scouting in 2015. “I’ve asked a few former teammates what they thought and they said it’s the best hockey they’ve played.”
Pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration, heading to UPEI was a simple decision for Mancina. After going on a recruiting trip this summer, he knew that it was where he wanted to be.
“As soon as I went out there, I just fell in love with the place,” Mancina recalled. “It’s a beautiful place especially in the summer and I could really see myself going to school there and for me to go out there and do my own thing will help me.”
After four years of playing a calm and collected game between the pipes, Mancina hopes to bring that mentality into the classroom and beyond. Whether he pursues professional hockey remains to be unseen, but the 21-year old just wants to see where his next four years take him, just like how the OHL led him to UPEI.
“You start out as the young guy in the OHL, and then in your last year you’re thinking ‘wow it’s gone by so fast,’ you kind of want to just rewind cause you had so much fun, so just make the most of your time.”