Quinnipiac men’s hockey adds an impact player

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Kyle Levasseur

By: Kyle Levasseur

Ordinarily, a division I college hockey team does not add a new player to its roster in the middle of a season.

Yet 11-year-old Michael Torello is extraordinary.

Torello was diagnosed with Kernicterus, a form of brain damage, in 2017. Team Impact, a national nonprofit that builds connections between children with serious illnesses and college sports teams, teamed up with the Torello family and Quinnipiac men’s hockey so Michael could dawn the blue and gold.

(Michael Torello and his family with Rand Pecknold)

 

“Team Impact is a great organization,” Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold said while sitting with Michael and his family. “We’re excited to have him and looking forward to it and we’re hoping he can make as many games as possible. One of the big things for me is we’re hoping we can get him out there on the ice for the national anthem.”

The Torello family joined Team Impact after one of Michael’s friends linked with the Yale football team. The team atmosphere is something Michael’s parents find helpful in Michael’s battle against Kernicterus.

“It feels awesome,” Michael’s mother, Carolyn, said with Michael’s friends in attendance. “It’s important for Michael to feel like he’s part of something. The kids that are here today, they embrace Michael.  They treat him like one of their own, and it’s important that now he has the whole Quinnipiac team.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Quinnipiac captain Chase Priskie ready               (Bobcats signing autographs for Michael            to hand Michael his new jersey)                                              and his friends)

 

Pecknold also said Michael will be able to teach the Bobcats a valuable lesson.

“One of the things that we’ve had a lot of success with at Quinnipiac is that we have guys that compete and battle, and we talk a lot about winning races and winning battles,” Pecknold said.  “Obviously, Michael has some battles that he’s facing on his own here now and we want to be part of that process. I think we can learn a lot from him.”