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Arena brothers team up for shared goal

Patrick Arnold, Arts & Entertainment Editor

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Sophomore Matthew Arena joins his older brother senior Timothy Arena for their second consecutive season playing together for the Farmington Valley Generals. Before playing together in high school, the Arena brothers last shared the ice in 2009. The two look to aid the team in hopes of capturing a state title for the Generals.
Halfway through the season, @CTHSHockey on Twitter had the Farmington Valley Generals as the favorite to win the Division II state championship. The co-op team consists of players from Farmington, Avon, and Lewis Mills High School, and the Generals have high hopes of winning the title as the number one team in Division II.
“This year is all about winning a state championship. There are no other individual [goals] that I am focused on. I’ve played hockey for my entire life and to end with a state championship would be surreal and is the most important and only goal this season,” T. Arena said.

T. Arena had a record breaking season last year for the Generals. Being named the sole captain of the team as a junior, he led the team in points (goals and assists) with 73, became a part of the 100-point club for Farmington High School after just two seasons of play, was named to the All-State First Team for Division II hockey in Connecticut, and was in contention for winning the Skater of the Year Award according to cthshockey.org.

M. Arena was the only freshman on the team last year and helped contribute to the team’s success. With one season under his belt, the younger Arena will bring more experience and poise to the ice this year. M. Arena was an honorable mention for last season’s Rookie of the Year award and was an honorable mention for this year’s preseason Division II All-State team according to cthshockey.org

“[Matthew] is only a sophomore and is having success. I know that the next three years will bring him much more and he will reach many personal milestones. A personal goal for him would be to do everything he can to help the team get to where we want to be. He has invested a lot of time into this sport and deserves to be rewarded. In the future, I hope he enjoys every last second of playing for FVG,” T. Arena said about his little brother.
M. Arena loves having his older brother on the ice as a sense of comfort. He knows that no matter what, his brother will produce and make something happen for the team in every game. He enjoys playing with his brother to keep the game interesting and fast-paced.
“I try to emulate my game from [Timothy] by learning from every shift he takes. He does something unexpected every single time he touches the puck, so my goal is to make something positive happen every time I step out there,” M. Arena said.
Farmington Valley Generals defender and assistant captain Sam Buchanan from Lewis Mills High School in Burlington commends both Arenas on their tremendous hockey skills.

“When they are both together, their skill and hockey IQ make them a true dynamic duo, pretty much unstoppable on the ice,” Buchanan said.

Head Coach Michael Barone has been coaching hockey for Farmington since 1994 and been at the helm of the Farmington Valley Generals since the co-op formed for the 2011-2012 season. Barone has coached players such as two-time NHL Stanley Cup winner Nick Bonino, who led Farmington to a Division II state title in 2005.

Barone believes that T. Arena has the possibility to surpass Bonino as the all-time leading point scorer in Farmington history, and feels he is fortunate to have coached a player like T. Arena.

“[Timothy’s] skill level and vision of the game surpasses many that I have coached in the past. His leadership role does not go unnoticed by the coaching staff and the players. It has been a long time since I had a player with this level,” Barone said.
Barone also looks forward to seeing M. Arena fill the shoes of his older brother in the coming seasons.

“Matthew came to the Generals as a freshman. He has improved in the past year and is becoming stronger every year. Once he reaches his junior and senior year, his level of play will be compatible to [Timothy] if not more improved,” Barone said.
The Generals clinched a playoff berth with their win over Glastonbury on January 20. They have an overall record of 10 wins and one loss as of January 28. The playoffs will begin on March 2.

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Arena brothers team up for shared goal