The Colgate Scene
In any language, Etienne is a star
When Etienne Morin was through playing Midget Triple A in Quebec, he faced a decision. He could play semi-pro hockey in a major junior league or pursue his education, continue the sport he loved on the junior level and learn English.
Morin, who grew up in Levis, just across the river from Quebec City, chose the second option, and headed to Ottawa to learn and play.
When Colgate came calling, the forward was interested. After visiting campus, he was sold. It wasn't necessarily an easy transition, however. Morin had been studying English for less than two years (though he had lived with an English-speaking family during hockey season) in a rigorous Catholic school.
"I was still struggling when I got here. I could have a conversation, but writing papers was tough. My classmates were a lot of help and most of my professors understood."
On the ice, the speed of the game required an adjustment.
"The defense was faster, so it was harder to go to the net, and the goalies were faster, so it was harder to score."
Morin held his own, though, and helped Colgate earn its first trip to the ECAC finals in Lake Placid under coach Don Vaughan.
During Morin's sophomore year, the team made it to the first round of the NCAAs before bowing out against Michigan, thanks to a disputed goal.
"We knew we had the team to make it all the way. We had a lot of confidence."
Last season that confidence was tested. Chemistry seemed to be a problem and the team struggled.
This year Colgate is top-heavy with sophomores and first-years and Morin, a senior, is the captain. He works hard to ensure the newcomers are comfortable and that they want to play.
"I try to step up on the ice, basically lead by example. I try to be myself and show them, not just tell them, how it's done."
The Raiders have had a tough time putting the puck in the net during the first part of the season, but Morin feels the team has chemistry and that the classes have blended well. It is a long campaign and predicting what might come to pass in March based on what happened in December is not wise.
Even with a lot of hockey to play, Morin pauses to look back when asked.
"When I came to Colgate my goals were to get a degree and play a lot. I wasn't a great student my first year, but I have about doubled my GPA and I'm playing hockey. I'm kind of proud of that."
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