Two Of A Kind
Tufts hockey players Matt and Greg McCarthy know the true meaning of teamwork.
Medford/Somerville, Mass. [01.27.06] The Tufts men’s hockey coach may have thought he was seeing double when freshman forward Greg McCarthy first took the ice this season. He was the spitting image - in size and playing style – of his older brother Matt, a team veteran. But the connection between the two goes even deeper than that -- and it’s helping the Jumbos to shine on the ice this season.
“We have very similar styles of play, and we know pretty much where each other will be,” Matt, a senior psychology major at Tufts, told the Milford Daily News.
"I know what he’s going to do, if he’s going to shoot or pass," Greg added.
The brothers’ knack for finding each other on the ice has produced results for the 7-5-1 Jumbos. Matt, who was recently namedtheNew England Small College Athletic Conference's Player of theWeek, is the team’s leading scorer, with nine so far this season. According to the Daily News, Greg, who has racked up six goals of his own this season, has assisted on almost every one scored by his brother.
"It’s been a lot of fun (playing together)," Matt told the newspaper. "We were on a line together the first part of the season and we had about 20 points between the two of us, which were all assisted on by each other. I think all my goals except two were assisted by (Greg).”
Ironically, aside from summer league teams, Matt and Greg have never played together before coming to Tufts. And the Medfield, Mass., natives, who attended different high schools (Tabor Academy and Medfield High School, respectively), are both having a standout year, which comes as no surprise to head hockey coach Brian Murphy.
"They’re both big, strong guys, they have good balance on their skates and they’re very gifted offensively,” Murphy explained to the Daily News. “They can handle the puck well and both can score. And they have a little bit of an edge to their game as well, and can be physical and really wear people down."
Greg plays like his older brother did as a freshman, Murphy reminisced to the newspaper.
"Greg is scoring a little more than Matt did, but we have a much better team than when Matt was a freshman,” Murphy told the Daily News. “They have very similar tools. Matt has really learned how to be a good defensive player -- he wasn’t so great as a freshman, but that’s not uncommon, and he’s someone we now use in key situations. Greg is working toward getting to that level."
While Greg is working to improve his hockey skills, he’s also busy trying to get acclimated to college life. Luckily, he has his older brother close by to guide him.
"He’s made it pretty easy, really easy," Greg told the newspaper. "All the seniors on the hockey team make it a good time for the freshmen. They’re all pretty good leaders."
According to Matt, it’s standard practice at Tufts for the upperclassmen to help the younger players adjust to college life and athletics.
“We kind of always look after the freshmen when they first get here,” Matt told the Daily News. “And obviously I looked after Greg a little more because he’s my brother."
But soon, Matt won’t be able to keep such a close eye on Greg. While the elder McCarthy brother hasn’t formalized his post-graduation plans, Matt told the newspaper that he’s not ready to retire from hockey just yet.
"I may try and play [hockey], but I’m not sure,” Matt told the Daily News. “… But I’m not ready to hang up my skates yet so I’m going to see what I can do.”
In the meantime, both brothers are relishing the opportunity to play together at Tufts for at least one season.
"It’s good to be able to play with (Matt), even if it’s just for one year," said Greg. "It’s good. You’re just as happy when he scores as when you do."