Peter on the Ice, In the Spotlight
Peter plays hockey. Actually, Peter started playing hockey at age nine and had not one, but two hockey moms!
Growing up in Lynn and Cambridge, Massachusetts, Peter easily gravitated to ice hockey. Peter tried baseball, but says he didn’t have the attention span. “I had a friend who lived next door to a Bruins player who talked to me about hockey. I decided to give it a try.”
He had a sense the hockey scene in Boston was a “small, tight-knit community.” As Peter’s skills and talent blossomed his parents “went to the rinks and researched the elite teams.” They figured out how try-outs worked and how to establish contacts—all this in a world generally dominated by dads. At times, Peter wondered if he was “getting a fair shake,” but says, “It could have been more in my head than a reality. My parents were embraced like all the other kid’s parents … especially by the Canadian kids’ parents!”
They found a team and soon Peter was playing for the North Shore Raiders. By the time Peter was 15 he was enrolled in the prestigious Tabor Academy in Marion, Massachusetts, on the shores of the Atlantic.
“I was scared out of my mind!” he said, talking about being thrown into an elite prep school environment and all the worries about academics and making the hockey team. Tabor's men's ice hockey team, three-time New England Champions, has produced over 20 NCAA Division I and NHL-caliber players over the last 20 years. He soon found that all was well. He even confided in his roommate that he had two moms and discovered acceptance and support.
Between high school and college, Peter played in the Eastern Junior Hockey League for the Bridgewater Bandits. The EJHL was founded in 1993 by Dan Esdale and has 14 teams from across the Northeastern United States. It was formed to meet the needs of hockey players in the Northeastern United States who wanted to further their skills in preparation for college or professional hockey. Peter landed spots at two Division I schools, completing his hockey career at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts.
|Peter and his hockey moms.|
Between his junior and senior years, Peter suffered a torn ACL. There were other complications, too. What was he going to do about Senior Night, the night when all the hockey players go out on the ice and recognize their parents? Peter and his moms were concerned that people might not understand, even though they had felt accepted by families along the way. After all it was such a public thing, and a crew from ESPN was scheduled to be there!
Then May 17, 2004, happened. Peter’s moms were the first to marry under the new law passed in Massachusetts. He was able to lovingly, publicly, embrace both his moms, out on the ice—bright lights, cameras, crowds, and all.
“From protective to broadcast live … to have that progression and to have it recorded (ESPN made a documentary about Peter) it just blew my mind. You couldn’t write a story any better,” he said.
Peter stills plays hockey, even though he works full-time as a Senior Program Specialist in Boston. He gives back to the community too, speaking to kids at Boston College as part of a freshman orientation panel on diversity.
To read about another kid doing cool things with theIr family, check out "Maya Goes to May Day."