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Union hockey #TBT: Self-confidence helped Cook achieve goals

Union hockey #TBT: Self-confidence helped Cook achieve goals

The Union hockey program celebrates its 25th anniversary season this year. To commemorate it, I’m ta
Union hockey #TBT: Self-confidence helped Cook achieve goals
Matt Cook of Union, shown in action against Brown during a game at Messa Rink, was the Dutchmen's co-captain from 2007-09

The Union hockey program celebrates its 25th anniversary season this year. To commemorate it, I’m taking a look back at some of the players who were part of the program and have them share their memories of playing for the Dutchmen.

Matt Cook

YEARS PLAYED AT UNION: 2005-09. He was co-captain from 2007 to 2009.

POSITION: Forward.

CAREER STATISTICS: 141 games, 34 goals, 43 assists for 77 points.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO COME TO UNION? [Head coach] Nate Leaman and [associate head coach] Rick Bennett were the first coaches I talked to during the recruiting process that I felt understood my game and wanted to give me a shot to be a Division 1 hockey player, my dream growing up. The school was a great fit academically and I was ecstatic to be part of building a winner from the ground up in a great league. It ended up being one of the best decisions I could have made both personally and for my hockey career.

WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT YOURSELF IN YOUR TIME AT UNION? You can will yourself to do just about anything. No team is too good to beat, no workout is too hard to finish and no school subject is too complicated to understand. “Believe in yourself” seems like a bumper sticker cliché, but you can’t accomplish the big stuff unless you have the internal confidence to do so.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT: My last shift at Messa Rink. We were up handily against Clarkson to finish off a playoff series sweep, and we got to finish the game on a shift with all five seniors. It was our first playoff series win in the program’s 20-year D-I history at the time, and while it doesn’t seem like much now, in the context of how Union Hockey has grown, it was such a relief to get the monkey off our back and win that series. It was especially nice to share that moment on our home ice with all my classmates as we are very close and had worked very hard together for that moment.

WHAT HE’S DOING NOW: Cook is an investment grade credit trader at Barclays investment bank. He’s also getting married this summer.

HOW DID YOUR PLAYING CAREER INFLUENCE YOUR LIFE AFTER UNION? Playing hockey at Union was a great prep course for working in finance and especially trading. It taught me how to be focused, deal with adversity and consistently work hard and produce every day. Our coaching staff pushed us to go the extra mile to separate you from the pack and while the game is a little different on Wall Street than on the ice, similar principles apply.

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