Oh, brother times four
The Lynnfield hockey team (10-0-1) is off to a flying start this season. And if you’ve gone to a game, you might have seen multiple players with the same last name on more than one occasion. You weren’t going crazy – the Pioneers currently have four sets of siblings on the varsity team.
Jack and Jay Carpenter, Drew and Dylan Damiani, John and Michael Marenghi, as well as Aidan and Will Norton are all on the team and contributing to the hot start. Even on the bench, head coach Jon Gardner and associate coach Jason Gardner are twins.
Senior captain Drew Damiani recently picked up his 100th career point off of an assist from, guess who, his brother Dylan.
“It was awesome to be able to get that huge milestone and have it be from my brother in the rink that we grew up playing together in. [It] was just special,” Drew Damiani said. “[It’s] something I’ll never forget.”
As for the on-ice chemistry, it was in full effect.
“You know the next move he’s going to make and where the puck is going to go,” Drew said. “It makes everything click that much easier.”
Another milestone occurred this year in a 4-1 win over Groton Dunstable as Aidan Norton scored his first varsity goal – assisted by his twin brother Will.
“He [Will] was going down the corner and I went through,” Aidan said. “He found me because of the chemistry – he knew exactly where I would be.”
Despite the bonds on the ice, it’s the bonds off it that Jon Gardner likes the most.
“It creates a nice family environment,” Jon Gardner said. “If you’re friends with the older brother, then you’ve known the younger brother his whole life and his friends, too. Everyone knows each other.”
Drew Damiani and Aidan Norton both described the team as “one big family.”
“We’ve always played together, we hang out together outside of school and all of our families are friends,” Drew said. “We’re one big community and we all consider each other family.”
“Everyone on the team is close. We don’t just consider our blood brother our brother, but everyone on the team,” Aidan said.
During practice, Drew and Aidan weren’t shy in admitting they can “be annoying” to their brother when they have the opportunity.
“You always take that chance. It’s just making them better,” Drew said. “We’re here to play hockey and to play the sport we love.”
“Sometimes Will and I will get mad at each other for a bit, but we move past it and keep on going,” Aidan said.
The coaching staff keeps an eye out to make sure no one takes unnecessary shots at their sibling. Jon Gardner mentioned that if the Norton twins get into it, they’re “pretty good at catching themselves now.”
“It’s good though. They’re holding their siblings to a higher standard, knowing what they can and cannot take,” Gardner said.
Between the chemistry both on and off the ice, it’s no surprise to see Lynnfield’s dominant record as that “one big family.”