By Cam Smith ’21
The Providence College Men’s Hockey Team received some reinforcements prior to their 2018-19 winter break. Added to the roster was the dynamic twin brother duo of Matt Koopman ’22 and Kyle Koopman ’22, who joined the team in time for the second half of the regular season hockey schedule.
Natives of Marblehead, Massachusetts, the Koopmans started off their high school careers playing for the Marblehead Headers, before transferring their talents to the Berkshire School in Sheffield, Massachusetts for their final two years of high school. The pair also spent their offseasons with the Mid-Fairfield Rangers Midget U-18 program, competing against top-notched competition while honing their respective skills.
While the news of the duo’s arrival is unexpected to the average fan, the brothers’ destination of PC has long been decided. Both committed to PC prior to their senior year of high school in 2016. “We always wanted a school that was the best fit for us,” said Kyle back in 2016. “Providence is excellent academically and obviously a great hockey school. It’s worked out perfectly.”
Following high school graduation in 2017, Kyle, a 5’11”, 190-pound defenseman, played parts of two seasons for the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League (USHL) before going up north to Canada to play for the West Kelowna Warriors of the British Columbia Hockey League. Koopman accumulated eight assists in 18 games for West Kelowna during his time with them this year.
Matt, a 5’10”, 178-pound forward, has spent the entirety of the last two seasons with Waterloo in the USHL. Koopman picked up eight goals to go along with 17 assists in just 24 games during the 2018-19 season for the Black Hawks, putting him at an astonishing average of over a point per game. He also tallied two game-winning goals while posting a plus 14 rating.
Matt has already impressed in his short time with the Friars, playing in all six games while also tallying the first goal of his college career on Jan. 4 against no. 16 ranked Miami (OH). He gave PC a 3-2 lead at the midpoint of the third period after tipping in a shot on goal by Josh Wilkins ’20. The Friars would go on to secure the victory at a mark of 4-2.
Matt expressed his excitement of attending PC back in 2016, calling Head Coach Nate Leaman “one of the best coaches in the country.” With an eye on the future, Matt also stated that “being Hockey East players, the both of us, it’s almost crazy to think about. There’s someone always wanting to take it away from you, so it makes you work that much harder to hold onto your position. You have to be prepared for the jump to college hockey.” With an electric start to his college career, it appears as if Matt Koopman is more than prepared.
The future is now for the Koopmans, as they look forward to four years of dazzling onlookers in Schneider Arena.