It has been a long journey for forward Nick Carretta. Hopefully for both him and Ohio, his two goals and two assists in Ohio’s 8-2 win over Roosevelt on Saturday was not his peak, but instead another big step for a player who has taken so many.
In Ohio’s first two games of the weekend, Carretta totaled just one goal and one assist. The senior had been quiet throughout the weekend, but his Saturday night performance earned him the most points on Ohio’s roster for the night, matched only by fellow forward Phil Angervil.
Carretta’s journey as a Bobcat began four years ago, and he spent his first two years in Athens playing for Ohio’s Division II team. Even though it wasn’t where he wanted to be, Carretta was able to make the most of his time in Division II.
“It played a huge role,” said Carretta. “I played bigger minutes down there, and I was able to work on some skill stuff while playing with a great group of guys.”
After two years with the DII team, Carretta was given the opportunity to move up and play with the DI squad. However, his first season in a new division was cut short. He sustained an ankle injury that required surgery and forced him to miss the entire 2020-21 regular season.
Carretta put in the work during the offseason to rehabilitate his injury, and now he’s back and contributing for the Bobcats.
“It’s been a lot of hard work.” Carretta said. “It definitely set me back a lot so it took a lot over the summer to come back and ultimately get to where I am.”
Carretta’s hard work has not gone unnoticed. Ohio coach Lionel Mauron is just as happy as Carretta is to have him back on the ice.
“He’s been battling through adversity for years, and he gets rewarded now because he stuck with it,” Mauron said. “He’s a great person and we’re so lucky to have him.”
The Bobcats were certainly lucky to have Carretta Saturday. He and his line scored or helped to score five of the Bobcats’ eight goals. Carretta, along with linemates Angervil and Alex Singley, all registered at least one goal and one assist.
While Carretta was the star of the night for the Bobcats, he stayed humble and made sure to mention his teammates. They’ve been alongside him for his journey, and he believes they deserve recognition as well.
“I need to credit my teammates for my success tonight, especially my linemates,” Carretta said. “Singley and Phil (Angervil) worked their butts off and dominated.”
The Bobcats have shown off their depth all season, and Carretta is part of that depth. Despite this being his first full season playing Division I hockey, Angervil has scored three goals and four assists in seven games.
Carretta has encountered many barriers since he arrived in Athens. But, as the season marches on and his performance continues to improve, he’s found it easier to scale those barriers.