"19-year-old Paul Carey adds dimension to the game
When Paul Carey found out he’d been drafted by the Indiana Ice, one of the first thoughts that came to his mind was, “Aren’t there a lot of cornfields out there?”
Carey, a native of Weymouth, Mass., has discovered that in addition to the abundance of cornfields in the Hoosier state, there’s a hockey team and a city that have made him feel at home.
“I really didn’t know what to expect when I was drafted by the Ice,” Carey admitted. “I knew it was a league with a higher caliber of play [compared to] the prep school league I had just played in back in Massachusetts.
“It didn’t take me too long to adjust to playing in this league or being a member of the Ice. The coaches and other players on this team helped me, especially my linemates Jake [Skjodt] and John [Kemp].”
After 21 games, Carey is second on the 17-4-0 Ice and third in the United States Hockey League with 29 points-19 goals and 10 assists. And in the manner that the 19-year-old winger credits his teammates and coaches with his success, they are equally impressed with Carey.
“Paul adds a dimension on the ice that we don’t see here very often,” says Ice assistant coach Scott McConnell, “with the exception of maybe his linemate John Kemp. Paul has the ability to see a play and feed off his linemates, and vice versa, his linemates feed off of him.”
Kemp adds that Carey “does things on the ice you would not even think of. There could be two or three defenders on him and Paul somehow always comes up with the puck.”
Nick Bailen, who is not only one of Carey’s teammates, but also his roommate, says that Carey “is a complete player. He not only puts up the points, but he kills off penalties and plays smart defensively. Paul’s character shines as he always comes through in crucial times of the game.”
Carey, who has made a commitment to attend Boston College starting next fall, credits the Ice coaches, McConnell and head coach Charlie Skjodt, with “pushing the team to continually improve our game.”
A lifelong Boston Bruins fan, Carey grew up in a hockey family: his brothers, cousins and uncles played the game at various levels, so when he was 6 years old, Carey started playing hockey and carrying on the family tradition.
Another part of Carey’s transition in moving to Indianapolis was coming from a part of the country where hockey is somewhat of a religion, to a state where the sport isn’t quite as popular.
“It [the hockey atmosphere] is definitely a little bit different here,” Carey admits. “I’m a senior at Cathedral, and a lot of the kids at the school have never been to a hockey game.
“We [the Ice] work with the youth hockey leagues around here. I believe there’s a real future for hockey in Indianapolis.”
According to Carey, the hockey fans that do come to the Pepsi Coliseum and cheer on the Ice are “definitely the team’s sixth man. We go out there to win, not only for ourselves, but for the fans too.” And it seems to be working, as the Ice are 11-0-0 at home heading into their first December Friday-Saturday night homestand.
Waterloo Black Hawks vs. Indiana Ice
Friday, Dec. 14 and Saturday, Dec. 15,
Pepsi Coliseum, Indiana State Fairgrounds
Indiana State Fairgrounds box office,
all TicketMaster locations,