Supporting Bulldog Hockey Players Throughout the Years
Meeting the Moms of the UMD Bulldogs
CHICAGO – Playing in the Frozen Four is something college hockey players dream of but to get there takes a lot of work and no one knows that better than the moms of the Frozen Four teams.
“When they lose you pick them up, when they win you cheer them on, give them high-fives,” said Jean Toninato, UMD Captain Dom Toninato’s mom.
The players have dedicated countless hours to reach this point in their hockey careers and so have their mothers but those memories are ones the moms of UMD cherish.
“I always say the traveling part of it is such a blessing because I get to spend hours in the car with my 14-year-old son… If we were at home they would be in the basement and I would be upstairs,” said Karen Pionk, Neal Pionk’s mom.
“We come from a really small town so when Carson was 16 we had to drive an hour just to get him to play triple-a,” said Debbie Soucy, UMD Senior Carson Soucy’s mom.
“It’s a lot of time with your kids and I thoroughly enjoy being with them…. He’ll tell you he’s a momma’s boy, he and I just have a lot of fun together,” said Jennifer Raskob, UMD Senior Willie Raskob’s mom.
Once you’re a hockey mom, you inherit a few more sons.
“I don’t care if it’s Adam Johnson who scores, or Dom, or if it’s Hunter that makes a great save because my son missed something in the defensive zone. I don’t care, it’s about the whole team effort,” said Pionk.
Now, the moms are making the trip down to Chicago to watch their sons on the biggest stage in college hockey.
“I never felt so emotional in my life. It was just, what they worked so hard for. For them to achieve this now is just so incredibly special,” said Toninato.
The Bulldogs are now preparing for their final game this season, the National Championship. For the moms of the senior players, that means the final game of their career.
“I’m going to miss it terribly I want to adopt a little guy and start it all over,” said Raskob.
Win, or lose this Saturday, these women and their sons are Bulldogs for life.
“I wouldn’t change a thing, this has been the best experience,” said Lisa Molenaar, UMD Senior Dan Molenaar’s mom.
“Once you put on a Bulldog sweater, you’re part of the family,” said Pionk.