“This had Josh’s fingerprints all over it.”
So said Merrimack College coach Scott Borek a few minutes after his team’s impressive 5-1 win at Boston College on Nov. 5.
It was just over a month after the Warriors were rocked by the death of assistant coach Josh Ciocco.
Absolutely no one would have been surprised if Ciocco’s sudden and tragic passing at just 38 years of age had plunged Merrimack into a tailspin and derailed its season.
But it didn’t. Instead, the Warriors have been an inspiring story, rising to the top of Hockey East over the first half of the season.
And Ciocco’s fingerprints have been there for all to see.
The team’s success is a testament to the strength and resilience of Borek, his coaching staff and the players that Ciocco played a prominent role in recruiting along with fellow assistant Dan Jewell.
It’s been a hard road. Immediately after Ciocco’s passing on Oct. 3, Merrimack faced a difficult decision.
The news about Ciocco came on a Monday. A few days later the Warriors were scheduled to get on a bus to the North Country in New York to open the season with games against St. Lawrence and Clarkson on Friday and Saturday.
To play or not to play?