After battling chronic injuries through much of his first two seasons and into the start of his junior year, St. Lawrence defenseman R.J. Gicewicz announced his retirement from hockey at the end of October.
Gicewicz will remain a part of the St. Lawrence men’s hockey team as a student assistant coach.
Gicewicz dressed for the Saints’ exhibition game against McGill at Appleton Arena on Sept. 30, but was injured again after a hard collision in front of the St. Lawrence bench.
“The last two years were brutal,” Gicewicz said in a statement. “Luckily, I have great teammates. If I would have gone through this at any other school besides St. Lawrence, I don’t know what I would be doing. I certainly wouldn’t be coaching.”
Gicewicz made his coaching debut on Nov. 3-4 as he was behind the bench for the Saints’ series against Union and Rensselaer. Currently, his biggest role is serving as a liaison between the coaches and players though moving forward, he’ll also be focused on stats and analytics.
“I’ve learned so many lessons about mental toughness and sticking with it and staying positive,” Gicewicz added. “I had a lot of time to think about what I want to do when I graduate and so far, coaching is something I want to do and the coaches were great about it. Coach Morris said, ‘If you want to be in a sweat suit right now on the ice, go ahead.’ They didn’t pressure me into anything.
“It’s been a great transition.”