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Cippollone Brothers Unite to Win National Championship

When Joey Cippollone ’18 made the decision to forego his senior season at Loomis Chaffee to play in the United States Hockey League, he had a lot of hard decisions to make, but one was much harder than the others. “Obviously it was the hardest decision I’ve ever made in my life, but after talking with my coaches, teachers, and my advisor at Loomis, the toughest part of the decision was that I’d miss out on playing in a Loomis jersey with Anthony,” said Joey.

Six years later, it’s no longer a regret, as he and his brother Anthony Cippollone ’20 not only played together this year on the Quinnipiac University men’s ice hockey team but won a national championship against the University of Minnesota in a 3-2 overtime thriller on April 8 in Tampa, FL.

“Going to Quinnipiac and playing with Joey was something I never expected,” said Anthony, “especially since there was a plan for me when it came to college hockey since before I even arrived at Loomis.” That “plan” included a commitment to the University of Vermont after leaving Loomis.

With that plan in mind, Anthony headed to the Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League after graduating from Loomis Chaffee in 2020. (In his senior year, he helped the Loomis team win the New England Prep School Athletic Conference Large School Martin/Earl Championship.) While at Brooks, a coaching staff change at the University of Vermont led to a change of plans for Anthony, and out of the blue he received a call from the coaching staff at Quinnipiac University.

“I remember getting off the phone with the Quinnipiac staff and calling Joey and saying, ‘Do you think this is actually possible?’ We were so excited we couldn’t do anything but laugh really. It was a pretty incredible feeling,” Anthony said.

Finally together on the ice, the brothers knew they couldn’t waste this unique opportunity and did everything in their power to enjoy it. “As a senior this year at Quinnipiac, I felt like there was some wisdom or experience I could share with Joey, and I remember telling him to trust the process and enjoy every second of it, and I think it served both of us really well.”

The Bobcats, who finished their national championship campaign with an overall record of 34-4-3, also won the Friendship Four tournament in Belfast, Northern Ireland, a tournament in which Anthony faced off against former teammates Alex Krause ’20, playing at Dartmouth College, and Kennedy O’Connor ’20, playing at the University of Massachusetts.

“I remember winning that tournament and then talking with those guys after the game, and all they could talk about was how cool it must be to play with your brother. I think it was then that I realized how lucky I was to be in this position,” Anthony said.

“Winning a national championship was always a dream of mine, but to win it with my brother right beside me and my family in the crowd was something that I will never ever take for granted,” said Joey.

As Anthony enters his sophomore season and Joey waits to see if the NCAA will grant him extra year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the brothers plan to celebrate a bit longer, and then get back to work in the classroom and on the ice.

“We made sure to bring the trophy to our golf course back home and show off a little bit,” said Joey, “so for now we’ll celebrate a bit more and then get back to work, because who knows if we’ll ever have an opportunity quite like this again.” 


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