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Hockey captain Tory Dello skates into senior season

| Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Senior defenseman Tory Dello, and newly appointed alternate captain, looks forward to his final season as a defenseman on the Notre Dame hockey team. He does so while also keeping in mind the past three years of experience under his belt.

“The biggest struggle especially as a freshman and sophomore was just getting used to the everyday,” he said. “The early workouts and then class and then getting prepared for practice and then trying to find a meal in spare time and then trying to do all the homework before the next day of class. That was definitely the biggest struggle, was how to manage my time well in order for me to be successful.”

Kendra Osinski | The Observer
Irish senior defenseman Tory Dello surveys the ice during Notre Dame’s 3-2 loss to Minnesota Duluth on Oct. 27th, 2018.

But for Dello it was all worth it.

“I think definitely the big-time championships and making it back to back are definitely some highlights that stick out,” he said. “But also just creating friends especially within my own class and hanging out with them every night and going to dinner is something that I’m really gonna take away from my experience here so far.”

Dello knew from around age 13 or 14 that he wanted to stay close to home — Crystal Lake, Illinois — while in college.

“I just sat down and made a list of my top three schools and Notre Dame was the second school that had reached out to me,” he says. “I was here for a tournament and came back for an official visit and just fell in love with the campus and the University and committed two days later and here I am now.”

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman and alternate captain Brent Seabrook was a big idol on the ice for Dello.

“I tried to model my game more after Seabrook because that’s just the type of player I saw myself as,” he says. “Watching Blackhawks teams every other night and every weekend, he was just the one player I always had my eyes on: just the little things he did and picking up my game and trying to emulate him the best that I could.”

Outside the rink, Dello looks up to his dad as a role model.

“From juggling like three jobs to afford [me] playing hockey, and all that stuff … he really just passed on his work ethic to me,” he says.

Off the ice, Dello reflects on his game in different ways.

“When I’m not playing hockey, 90% of the time I’m on the golf course so I would say that that’s the thing I look forward to the most is getting my work done for the day and then heading to the golf course and then after just spending time with friends and family and relaxing,” he says. “Our season is so long and so busy, so that first couple weeks up to a month after season it’s just really nice to lay back and gather your thoughts on season and get mentally prepared for summer training and for next season.”

And when the season comes, Dello will be ready as a captain and as teammate.

“My goal personally is definitely just to be a leader and set the example for the younger guys,” he says. “I’m not a super vocal person or super loud but if I can let my actions speak for themselves and just teach guys the way things are done, I’d much rather do it by my actions and hold myself accountable to a high standard to set a good example for the younger guys.”

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