During Friday’s game on Sept. 27, Danato Tempesta ‘20 scored in overtime, carrying the Phoenix into a 6–5 victory against UNC Chapel Hill. This was the first win of the season for the Phoenix, and their excitement could be heard after the game with “Earth, Wind, & Fire,” blasting from the locker room.
“I feel pretty good, pretty amazing, not going to lie. First win of the season always feels good,” Tempesta said after the game. “It was a tough couple of penalties, you know, we had it down a little bit, 5–3 only to finish it off in overtime. It was a nice win.”
At the end of the first period, the Phoenix were down by three to UNC, only for Tempesta and Hunter Vance ‘23 to score in the second, followed by goals from Matt McGaffigan ‘22, Jack McAuliffe ‘23, and Vance again in the third. Tempesta made the winning goal in OT with his parents looking on from the bleachers, who were in North Carolina for Elon’s Family Weekend.
At 5’6”, Tempesta can have a hard time competing against taller opponents, but it doesn’t take away from his intensity and success.
“Not shying away from anything,” he said about his biggest strengths from the game. “I know I’m a smaller guy on the ice, but I like to go in the corners and play hard against the bigger guys. It’s tough sometimes. Some of the guys are twice my size, but it’s definitely fun.”
This is Tempesta’s fourth year playing Forward for Phoenix Club Hockey. During this time, he’s made a lot of memories and connections with the team.
“[My favorite part is] just to be apart of the team, be with the guys all the time,” he said. “We’re all family here, so I just connect with everyone. We all hang out on the weekends, it’s not just on the ice. I just love being apart of the group.”
One of his favorite memories from his time with the club was during his first year in 2016 when the Phoenix won the Stephen Russell Tournament.
“It was definitely a great time,” he said. “It was a lot of fun playing with those guys back then. And just to get a trophy, something tangible, it’s always fun to get something like that.”
Tempesta hopes the team this year will obtain a similar success story.
“I hope we make the playoffs this year,” he said. “We’re looking good so far. We’ve got a good group this year, so we’re going to try and push and try to get as many as we can.”