Rampage, Tigers grad, Colorado Springs native Cimino looking for strong final junior season with USPHL’s Mustangs
Nick Cimino started his junior hockey career last season on the East Coast and will finish this season closer to home.
A 2001-born Colorado Springs native, Cimino is playing for the USPHL’s Ogden Mustangs in 2021-22 after spending the 2020-21 season with the Seacoast Spartans in the EHL.
During his season in New Hampshire, he finished second in goals (13) and tied for fourth in points (23) in 37 games for the Spartans.
“Due to the pandemic, we were only allowed to play three other teams that were in our state of New Hampshire,” Cimino said. “Other than that, being on my own and experiencing juniors for the first time, I’d say I still had a great time.”
Ogden coach-GM Kenny Orlando loves what Cimino brings to the Utah-based team.
“Nicholas brings a mix of capabilities to the Mustangs forward group,” Orlando said. “Offensively, he can move the puck, create plays, and knows how to find the back of the net. His strength along the walls adds to his value and will help contribute to our stingy defensive zone play. We are happy to get a chance to work with Nicholas and push him as much as possible before moving on to the college level.”
Cimino has been loving his time in Ogden to this point.
“Coach Orlando reached out to me last year during my first year of junior hockey,” Cimino said. “We stayed in touch during the offseason, and I skated at one of the camps and knew right away that this environment felt like home. I want to be a power forward that is creating plays and opportunities for my teammates. I also would like to be a good role model off the ice to the younger players and always remind them that juniors only last so long.
“I’ve always enjoyed Utah and to have my family watch me play juniors for the first time was part of the reason I wanted to come here. I also trusted Coach Orlando to put a solid team together.”
Playing for the Mustangs, Cimino said he has been able to start the season already knowing a handful of players on the team.
“Jake Jensen, Stanford Zito and Walker Crum, we all used to play club hockey together in Monument for the Rampage,” Cimino said. “Jake billeted with me for our last two years of AAA hockey.”
Growing up, Cimino said he first got hooked on hockey some 16 years ago.
“I would say what started it all was going to Colorado College hockey games when I was about four years old,” said Cimino. “One game, my dad bought me a little wooden hockey stick from one of the concession stands and I couldn’t stop smacking a tennis ball around the house. My dad ended up getting me roller skates and my passion for hockey just took off after that.”
Cimino began his youth hockey days with the Air Force Academy program and then played three years for the Colorado Springs Tigers.
“During my youth, I was also playing football during the summer,” explained Cimino. “When I got to high school, I had to pick between football or hockey but luckily I had the opportunity to try out for the 15U AAA travel team for Rampage and I ended up making it so I had no time for football. I believe everyone that I’ve played under or have gotten coached by has helped me become who I am today.”
Going forward, Cimino said his short-term goal is to focus on each weekend and win the Mountain Division. He eventually wants to continue his hockey career in college and major in Business.
Photo/Jonny Berry/Tim Broussard
— Matt Mackinder
(October 16, 2021)