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SPORTS
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Former Owl dreams of gold in the hockey rink
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By ANDREW IMBER
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Every four years, for a couple of weeks, the world comes together to watch the Winter Olympic Games. Like its summer counterpart, the Winter Games have numerous events that can inspire nations to cheer for a common goal.

However, something special at the Winter Olympic Games is ice hockey, an event that provided the United States with one of the most memorable moments in history, known famously as the “Miracle on Ice.”

Every young hockey player dreams to someday represent his country on the grandest of all stages. For duel citizen of the Unites States and Belgium, former Florida Atlantic University hockey captain and defenseman Nick Pacquee, that dream is alive.

“I’d love to go over to Europe and play in the Belgium Elite League,” said Pacquee, 25. “After playing there for two years, you are eligible to play for the national team.”

Pacquee was born in Belgium and lived there until he was 5 years old. He has family there with whom he could stay with during the hockey season.

“I’d be able to be there about six or seven months out of the year,” Pacquee said. “The team pretty much pays for everything over there. Players on the higher level A-team don’t have any other jobs. They just play hockey.”

Pacquee’s teammates feel he has a good chance to make an impact overseas.

“Nick Pacquee plays for the love of the game,” said Erik Bentley, the former Owls goaltender. “He played for the love of his teammates and gave all he had on any given night. To be quite honest, I could not think of anyone I would rather have as my captain and teammate.”

As with most nations, Belgium has different tiers of competitive teams. The A-team has approximately 20 players, who are the nation’s best. If Belgium were to qualify for a future Olympic competition, that A-team would be playing for the gold medal.

“To put things in perspective, Belgium is approximately the size of Maryland,” Pacquee said. “There are about 1,500 people who play hockey in Belgium. There are about 1,500 rinks in the United States.”

Currently, Pacquee works as an intern for Test Sports Clubs, an organization that trains athletes for competitive leagues. Most notably, Test Sports Clubs trains perspective NFL players before the NFL Draft.

“If I get a well-paying job here, it may affect my decision,” Pacquee said. “But I don’t want to be a 40-year-old looking back and asking myself ‘What if?’ It would be an amazing accomplishment if I could make it.”

 
 

 
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Hockey goalie has plenty of drive



Former Owl dreams of gold in the hockey rink