Algonquin boys hockey features five sets of brothers

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Algonquin boys hockey features five sets of brothers
The sets of brothers on Algonquin’s boys hockey team gather for a photo. (Top row, L-R) Jack Gulachenski, Jackson Redfern, Wyatt Shea, Johnny Meschisen, Ben Yosca (Bottom Row, L-R) Nate Gulachenski, Parker Redfern, Quinn Shea, Nathan Meschisen, Sam Yosca. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

NORTHBOROUGH – The Algonquin boys hockey team is like family – literally.

While teammates often become close over the course of the season, this year’s Algonquin squad is particularly tight-knit. The team, which went 14-4-2 last season, features five sets of brothers.

“You only go to high school one time,” said Ben Yosca, an Algonquin junior. “Not many people get to experience this, especially four other sibling couples on the team. It’s just awesome.”

Sam Yosca, an Algonquin sophomore and Ben’s younger brother, said it makes the team “more of a tight family,” and that he “thinks it’s a good thing.” The sibling connections create “better relationships with the team,” he said.

Algonquin boys hockey features five sets of brothers
Sam Yosca (left) and Ben Yosca (right). (Photo/Evan Walsh)

Although the brothers comprise much of the hockey team, Head Coach Greg Cappello told the Community Advocate that players’ familial connections were not considered when building this season’s roster.

“I knew we had brothers, obviously. We have had pairs of brothers on this team the last couple years… For me, it just doesn’t really enter my consciousness that much when I’m dealing with players individually,” Cappello said.

While the brother-loaded roster may have been coincidental, Cappello didn’t deny that having family on the team gives Algonquin several “pretty clear” advantages.

“There’s familiarity. There’s a bond, togetherness. The guys every year, regardless of whether there’s family on the team or not, their motto is always ‘family. We’re brothers.’ So, when they’re really brothers, it means a lot more,” he said.

Players described one such advantage: many brothers are separated by one or two years, giving the different age groups unique familiarity with athletes in different grades.

Algonquin boys hockey features five sets of brothers
Parker Redfern (left) and Jackson Redfern (right). (Photo/Evan Walsh)

“This was the first year that we have played on the same team. It’s my senior year, so it’s pretty special to be able to play with him,” said Jackson Redfern. “I think it’s better because [my brother] is friends with a bunch of the younger guys on the team – that makes me closer with them, too. We’re all just really connected, really together, as a family. I like it.”

The younger Redfern brother, Algonquin sophomore Parker, said what an honor it was to play with his brother, also mentioning the heightened team chemistry.

“I’m really happy to be playing with my brother. It’s a little nerve-wracking when we’re on the ice at the same time. I want to impress him a little bit. But I’m just happy I got to play with him in his last year,” he said. “The chemistry is a lot better. You have kids who have known each other for their whole lives.”

Algonquin boys hockey features five sets of brothers
Jack Gulachenski (left) and Nate Gulachenski (right). (Photo/Evan Walsh)

Jack and Nate Gulachenski, two senior twins who both committed to playing lacrosse at Saint Michael’s College next year, are enjoying playing on the same squad, even if there may be some challenges or minor disagreements.

“It has its advantages and its disadvantages – definitely more advantages though. We get to play together. We definitely see each other better, and play well together. But, I mean, of course there are going to be some brotherly disagreements,” said Jack.

The brothers often practice together on their backyard ice rink. Nate alluded to possible twin telepathy.

“I mean, he pretty much summed it up. Whenever we’re together as a line, we always find each other,” he said.

While some of the brothers play other sports together, almost every duo admitted that hockey was an important – and time-consuming – part of their relationship. Even outside of practices, games, and commuting, hockey is always on the top of these brothers’ minds.

Algonquin boys hockey features five sets of brothers
Johnny Meschisen (left) and Nathan Meschisen (right). (Photo/Evan Walsh)

“A lot of our car rides are consumed with us talking about the team, talking about how we played, what we think is going to happen, and what we think Coach [Cappello] is going to do,” said junior Nathan Meschisen. “I mean, sometimes it can be annoying, but it’s nice to be on the same team as your brother.”

Nathan plays with his older brother, Johnny.

“I’d probably have to say [hockey is made] better. It’s more bonding time – we come together as a family at the end of the day,” Johnny said.

Other pairs of brothers agreed.

Algonquin boys hockey features five sets of brothers
Wyatt Shea (left) and Quinn Shea (right). (Photo/Evan Walsh)

“[We talk hockey] every day. Always,” the Shea brothers said concurrently as they laughed.

“Car ride to school, from school: hockey. It’s about all that we talk about,” said Quinn Shea, an Algonquin sophomore.

Quinn’s brother, Wyatt, an Algonquin senior, agreed.

“It’s either hockey, or maybe something in school – but mostly likely hockey,” said Wyatt.

After starting the season 3-3-1, including an 8-1 victory against rival Westborough, the Algonquin Titans hope to turn their family connections into another successful season.

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