BREAKING THE ICE WITH BONNEL AND FARRINGTON
By Jared Tennant
Forwards Gordy Bonnel and Nate Farrington are two of the top three scorers on the Ice Breakers roster. Bonnel, 26, hails from Mechanicsville, Maryland. The 5-foot-10, 175-pounder is leading the Ice Breakers in scoring with 12 goals and 22 assists over 28 appearances, good for a total of 34 points. Bonnel played in three different junior leagues between 2010-14 before playing professionally in the Czech Republic in 2015-16, scoring five goals and dishing out an assist over 18 games with HC Pelhrimov in Czech3. Bonnel has spent the last two seasons playing for three different clubs in Sweden's Division 2. Last year, he put together a 14-12-26 scoring line over 34 games with Bålsta HC.
Farrington is a 23-year-old out of East Freetown, Massachusetts. Other than two years of club hockey at Springfield College (ACHA II), he doesn't have a ton of experience to his name, making what he's accomplished this season even more impressive. Farrington, who has a 5-foot-11, 195-pound frame, is the Ice Breakers third-leading scorer, with seven goals and 15 assists for a total of 22 points in 34 games. His improvement has been a remarkable process to watch throughout the season. After registering a single point through his first eight games, Farrington has 21 points over his last 26 games.
Q: What led you to the Ice Breakers this season?
Nate Farrington: I just love playing the game, saw that the Ice Breakers had a camp, and figured I'd give it a shot.
Gordy Bonnel: Well first of all, I wanted to change things up and try playing pro in the U.S. I grew up here, so why not? The second part is meeting Mark Essery this summer through a mutual friend of ours. We kept in touch and I knew about the new team in Mentor this season. So, I decided to make the jump here a couple of games after the season had started.
Q: Gordy, how do you think your time playing professionally in the Czech Republic and Sweden helped your development as a player and person?
GB: As a player, it's helped me learn a lot about the game and the different style that are played. Personally, I've grown to try and enjoy the little things in life as much as possible. Getting to see different cultures and lifestyles was an eye-opening experience. I love traveling to new places now.
Q: Nate, how do you think your time playing at Springfield College helped your development?
NF: Springfield was an unbelievable experience all around. From a hockey perspective, I believe my class played a huge role in developing a legitimate program at the club level. Going from 13 guys freshman year to a full roster and championship team by my senior year was incredible.
Q: Gordy, what's been working well for you this season that's helped you become the team's leading scorer? Is there anything specific that you believe led to your recent 18-game point streak?
GB: I do my best to keep positive-minded and always remember that I'm playing a sport I love. Nothing really specific, just trying to be consistent with my play and having confidence in myself, even in tough battles.
Q: Nate, after getting only one point in your first eight games, you have 21 points in your last 26 games. What's led to the improvement?
NF: Just hard work, trying to improve every single day.
Q: What's your gameday routine like?
NF: It's pretty simple. Morning skate, lunch, nap, game time.
GB: I try to keep it simple, it starts with a morning skate to warm the legs and hands up a little, then it's time for brunch. I usually go somewhere with some guys on the team for a good meal, followed by a little power nap before heading to the rink to battle.
Q: Who's your favorite NHL player?
NF: Patrice Bergeron
GB: Tough one, there's so much talent nowadays. I'll go with Alex Ovechkin, I've always enjoyed watching him play for the Capitals.
Q: What are your hobbies?
NF: Really just sports in general.
GB: I love traveling, but I do a lot of work on the water during the off-season like fishing, crabbing, etc.
Q: It's been an up-and-down season, but the Ice Breakers are still within striking distance of a playoff spot. What do you think it will take to make a run to the playoffs over the next couple of months?
NF: Every weekend is huge for us. We need to come ready to go to work on Friday and play like we know we can. We all know we're capable of going on a run, now it's time to show it.
GB: We need to be a consistent 60-minute team, that's big in this league. We're gonna be battling in every area of the rink and winning the small battles. Doing the small things in games will definitely help with success.
Q: Favorite food?
NF: Mac and cheese.
GB: Maryland Blue Crab easily.
Q: Favorite movie?
NF: Infinity War.
Q: What type of music do you listen to?
NF: Country, rap, and rock.
GB: I'm into all kinds of music, traveling has helped with that. My playlist has it all, from Tiesto EDM to country to 80's rock to dirty heads reggae and so on.
Q: What's a random fact about you?
NF: I'm an only child.
GB: I love learning about the universe and everything that's out there.
Q: Favorite hockey memory?
NF: Winning the championship senior year of college.
GB: Probably all of my hockey career in Europe so far.