“My freshman year in the Super 8, it was my first time in that type of game and that type of atmosphere. It was at Merrimack, the place was packed,” Crinella said, “I was playing with my brother on the first line as a freshman and we both scored in one of the games and then we kept on scoring. That’s when I wanted to pursue hockey and that’s when I fell in love with that game, that series of games and that atmosphere.”
Success runs through the Crinella family tree as recently as two years ago when brother Frank became a one of the more renowned two-sport athletes in the state. He credits big brother’s faith in him to the development of his budding talents.
“I always had that friendly competition with him to see who’s better and to see who can out-duel each other,” Crinella said, “During the season, he’d always come back from college and always help me out. He’s my best friend and he inspires me to be the athlete that I am today.”
And while on the topic of success, the preseason-favorite Panthers now feature four talents set to play Division I hockey. Teammates and Crinella credit that to their chemistry as youngsters.
“It’s obviously very special,” said teammate and 2015 Quinnipiac commit D.J. Petruzzelli, “It doesn’t happen for a lot of kids. It’s a few years away but it’s definitely something we’re looking forward to. “
“You get familiar with the other team and all of the new players,” Crinella said, “We have a lot of new players this year so it’s great to finally meet those guys on the ice now and have that chemistry with them.”
Now the next step for Crinella is to continue to evolve those raw abilities, something he knows he has to do to succeed at the next level.
“I try not to get too high or too low on myself,” Crinella said, “I really want that mentality of being intense and being like an animal and getting the puck to the net; really just going all out so I can score.”
And with the continuous growth both on and off the ice, there is no reason to believe the success won’t continue.