Senior Peter Alfano hopes for rewarding last season

By Korey Peterson

When the end is near for an athlete, it can either be disappointing or rewarding.

Senior and outgoing NIU hockey club president Peter Alfano is hoping for the latter. His end as a NIU hockey player will come at the conclusion of this semester, but the middle of the season, when he graduates with a degree in organizational management.

Alfano knows a little bit about organizing and managing. Before becoming team president, he was given the duties of organizing the team’s financing as club treasurer. As president, he would manage all of the team’s other matters including recruiting and ice rink leasing.

Alfano has also been a force on the ice since coming to NIU as a freshman in the fall of 2006. After decent freshman and sophomore campaigns, Alfano broke out as a junior in 2007, tallying 38 points in 31 games. He was selected to play in the Mid-America Collegiate Hockey Association All-Star game that season, which was held in Philadelphia.

He increased his point total to 41 last season, raising expectations for the current season. With the pressure on and the freshmen stealing the show this year, Alfano struggled out of the gates.

“We had been moving him around a lot with other players which was affecting his stats a bit,” said NIU head coach Greg Chromy. “But he has been a phenomenal player and has done whatever we have asked him to do. He’s going to be a tough role to fill and we are going to miss him.”

Any worries about his offensive production are over now, as he has recorded points in nine straight games. He has 16 total points so far this season on eight goals and eight assists. But Alfano doesn’t worry about his individual statistics, only team statistics.

“I just want the team to get as many wins as possible and make it to the playoffs since we haven‘t been there in three years,” he said. “I want to help the team by putting up as many points as possible before I‘m done.”

Both Alfano and Ian Kalanges, the current general manager and a former high school teammate of Alfano’s, have put together this year’s team, a team that Alfano believes is the best one he has seen since his arrival at NIU. The ACHA is agreeing with him as NIU is receiving votes to become ranked in the top twenty teams of the conference’s Central region.

While the All-Star game and an upset victory over a ranked Illinois State University team as a junior are good memories for Alfano, his most memorable moments almost have nothing to do with hockey.

“Being with the guys, being with the team on road trips and the stupid things we did are what I will remember the most,” he said.