Colonial Sports Network

Colonial Sports Network

Colonial Sports Network

Colonial Sports Network

Colonial Sports Network

The Colonials failed to score a run in both games of the doubleheader against Youngstown
Softball Shutout in Doubleheader vs Youngstown State
Colby Sherwin and Joshua Woodman April 9, 2024

MOON TOWNSHIP-- After dropping two of three, the Colonials looked to improve to above .500 in Horizon League play when they hosted the Youngstown State Penguins for a doubleheader. These...

Chad Veltri Goes Back to Roots, Leads Brand New Colonials Roster in Hometown

Chad+Veltri+Goes+Back+to+Roots%2C+Leads+Brand+New+Colonials+Roster+in+Hometown
Samantha Dutch

When RMU lost to Niagara in the quarterfinal of the Atlantic Hockey Playoffs in 2021, then goalie of the Purple Eagles Chad Veltri had no idea the next time he would take the ice in Clearview Arena would be for the Colonials.

Veltri, a Pittsburgh native, grew up playing for Fox Chapel. He spent his early years playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite, and his best year was in 2017 for the under-18 team, where he posted a .924 save percentage.

“Growing up in Pittsburgh, hockey wasn’t that big. It’s so cool to see when I come back where the fans are. When it comes to our games, the building is always full. This fan base is great,” Veltri said, looking back at his hometown team.

Being from the area, Veltri naturally grew up as a Penguins fan. From four runs to the Stanley Cup Finals and bringing home three championships to the Steel City, he feels the team has done nothing but grow in Pittsburgh.

“I think the Penguins have grown the game here so much,” Veltri said. “Sid [Crosby], Geno [Malkin], and Tanger (Letang) have done such a great job being ambassadors for hockey. I can only hope to be one someday.”

Speaking about his favorite player, Veltri smiled and had a very clear answer.

Samantha Dutch

“Oh, it’s got to be Flower [Marc Andre-Fleury]. He plays like he’s on fire, but it’s so controlled. My favorite moment is his save over the Red Wings in the Cup Final.”

With the hockey teams returning this season, many fans wondered how the team would gel.

“You would think we would have taken a bit, but we clicked immediately. We are all best friends. When you are having a bad day, go to one of your teammates… we are super close, and I love hanging out with them,” Veltri said.

Veltri didn’t take the road usually traveled. He played for Corpus Christi Ice Rays, Sioux Falls Stampede, and Youngstown Phantoms; after all that, he went to play for Purple Eagles in 2019.

“I’ve been all over the place… From Texas, South Dakota, and Ohio, I’ve seen hockey in some wild places and seen some crazy fans, but I’m grateful for the ride,” Veltri said.

When living all over the place, Veltri has taken the ice in places where “hockey is not usually played” but had a few favorite moments.

“We had some insane moments,” Veltri said. “In Texas, we shared a rink with the rodeo, so when you’d come in to practice, there would be a bull there. They also didn’t know much about the game, but it was a beach town, so I didn’t mind.”

Veltri has been rock-solid in net, at times leading the nation in most categories, and now sits in the top thirty when it comes to save percentage.

“The game just really comes to me,’ Veltri said. “I think that’s been my core idea. Once I make a save, I’m locked in.”

When the season ends, Veltri’s college career will unfortunately be over. He has a few ideas on what’s next but wants to clarify something.

“I just want to be in the game, whether in five years with kids and a family, but I just want to be with the game. I love it and want to stay with it,” Veltri said.

Veltri and the rest of the RMU men’s hockey team will take on Bentley in the AHA conference tournament on March 2 in Waltham, Mass.

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Colby Sherwin, Contributor