RIT hockey has had so much success that people have wondered who the players are and what makes them a cohesive team. Goalie Tommy Scarfone, in particular, has been influential in the hockey team’s defensive presence over the last three years. Reporter sat down with Scarfone at Gene Polisseni Center to understand who he is and the impact hockey has had on his life. 

Question: Tell me a little about yourself. What do you do in your free time? Do you have any hobbies? Who are you?

Answer: I’m just a hockey player, a goalie and a simple person. When I’m not at the rink, I’m at home watching hockey. During the year, I’m pretty much the same. In the summer I like jet skiing, being outside and playing other sports like soccer and football. [Any] physical activity pretty much, really simple, and it really calms a person.

Q: How do you feel you’re doing in your classes? Are you succeeding the way you want to?

A: I am doing well in school. I think Ive only had two B’s so far in college, and I’m in my sixth semester.

Q: How did you start with hockey?

A: I might’ve been 5 or 6 years old. I played half a season as a player and then I tried out to be a goalie ... It stuck with me and ever since I’ve been in-between the pipes.

Q: Tell us a little about the different leagues and teams you’ve been on until now at RIT.

A: Growing up I went to three different high schools because of hockey and different leagues ... I left Montreal — where I’m from — when I was 17 to go to prep school for grades 11 and 12, which was two hours away, so I lived there. After I graduated high school, I moved to Vancouver to play in the British Columbia Hockey League. I played there for two years to get a scholarship to play in Division I (D-I). I chose RIT, so now I’m here in my junior year.

Q: How do you balance being a full-time student and playing D-I hockey?

A: A lot of time management and managing your studies well. I think my trick is to stay on top of [your studies] ... between Sunday and Wednesday, so that on weekends, you don’t have to worry about school. That’s the biggest thing, because when we’re playing, our mind is on hockey, not really on academics. So, we have to make sure we stay on top of it all before the weekend starts.

Q: Do you see yourself playing professionally after college? Do you have any ideas of what that might look like or where that might take you?

A: That’s my goal, to play professional hockey after college. Whether it’s in North America in the American League and NHL — which is the ultimate goal — or over in Europe. I have no idea what [the path there is] going to look like. I’m just determined. Thats my goal and I know it’s going to happen.

Q: How do you motivate yourself to have that confidence to go into professional hockey?

A: Well, it’s what I’ve been doing my whole life. It’s my dream ... I’m motivated knowing that it’s definitely attainable, so [I am] just working hard. Being a D-I hockey player is a big motivation as well. You have a lot of people who rely on you and you’ve made it this far, so you want to make it further.

Q: How does it feel when you receive awards like you did in January, being named the Atlantic Hockey Goaltender of the Month and the Hockey Commissioner’s Association Goaltender of the Month?

A: It’s a big honor to be recognized by the league and by the NCAA as a whole. It just goes to show that hard work pays off and it’s rewarding. I use it as motivation to get it again the next month.

Q: Would you say all the time and dedication is worth it to you?

A: Oh, yeah. One hundred percent.

Q: How does it feel to have the support of all of the student body behind you? Specifically with the Corner Crew, does their “over the top” support help you?

A: It’s great. I mean, thats the best thing about playing here at RIT: the fans and how passionate they are. They have signs of me, they have the [Italian emoji] hand and the chants. It’s amazing, it puts a smile on your face and you use it as fuel too, because you want to play well in front of them and make them proud. There’s not a lot of college hockey teams that have a band, a Corner Crew and a student section like that, so having them in our corner is definitely helpful.

Q: Do you have a personal relationship with the fanship at RIT?

A: I don’t know if it would be personal. When I’m playing I don’t really look into the stands or anywhere, I’m just focused on the game. But after we win games, it’s amazing to look into the crowd, see that they have posters of me and they’re all doing the hand. It’s just awesome to be in that atmosphere.

Q: What is going through your head during a game? What do you think when somebody is coming towards you at the goal?

A: Nothing. I try not to think, because as a goalie, overthinking is your worst enemy. You try not to think and you just try to play and have fun. You think and act as a hockey player. Nothing more, just to stop the puck. I don’t get nervous whatsoever.

Q: What does it feel like winning? Losing?

A: Losing sucks, it’s the worst feeling. Pretty much everyone is going to tell you that. But winning is great, but it’s a fact of staying humble as well. I don’t think this year I’ve reacted crazy after a win, depending on who it was and how they were reacting. When we win, I try to stay as humble as possible and when we lose, I try not to show It. I try not to display emotion win or lose, but it’s definitely great to win and sucks to lose.

Q: When you do lose a game, do you feel like the pressure is on you?

A: Sometimes. As a goalie, whenever you lose, you always take responsibility for the loss no matter how well or bad your team played. That’s just part of being a goalie. It makes you eager to play again, so whenever you lose on a Saturday, it makes that week feel longer because you just really want to play again.

Q: How is your relationship with the other players on the team? How would you describe the team and your dynamic?

A: It’s great. We’re all brothers, we’re all super close and it’s rare to say that within a team. This is the first team where everyone is best friends and it’s always positive vibes, so that’s definitely helpful off of the ice. [They are all] really good people, hardworking, dedicated, and winners, definitely.

Q: Is there anything else you would care to add?

A: Thank you to all the fans who watch us, who watch me, who support us. We love playing here when it’s packed, so we wanna keep that going.

On April 8th, shortly after RIT's season ended in the first round of semifinals, Scarfone announced his transfer to the university of Wisconsin on his Instagram page.