Rogers family is all hockey
Back home in Watertown for Christmas break, Stephen Rogers joined his brother Doug, a senior center on the men’s hockey team at Harvard, for a skate at the Bright Hockey Center in Allston.
“Doug had watched one of my games and felt I needed to protect the puck a little better, so we worked 1-on-1 and it definitely helped,’’ said Rogers, who as a freshman forward is the fifth-leading scorer (4 goals, 5 assists in 19 games) at Trinity College in Hartford this season.
“We’ve been hip-to-hip since we were kids, and now when we’re on road trips we text back and forth, encouraging each other.’’
When Harvard played an afternoon game at Yale last weekend, Elizabeth Rogers drove to New Haven to root for Doug. He joined her for the ride home, just in time to catch the final period of Trinity’s game that evening at Tufts University, where husband and father Jim Rogers was already in the stands.
“We’ve had a great relationship and I’m very proud of Stephen,’’ Doug said. “When I was a senior at St. Sebastian’s and he was a freshman, I was the center and he was my winger. Stephen scored the winning goal in overtime against Milton Academy early in the season at our rink and it’s a special memory.’’
The feeling is shared by Stephen, who recalls the play: “We broke in 2 on 2. I looked back to pass to Doug, but took the shot and it went in over the goalie’s shoulder. I circled the net and jumped right into Doug’s arms. It was just my second varsity game.’’
A baseball captain back at St. Sebastian’s, Stephen will also play on the diamond for Trinity, a Division 3 program.
As of last week, the older sibling had five goals and five assists after 19 games for the Crimson this season, and is Harvard’s leading career scorer among active players with 33 goals and 54 assists in 117 games.
When Ted Donato was hired as head coach at Harvard, his first recruiting stop was the Rogers residence.
“Doug’s been one of our best players lately. He’s our only senior forward, his game has developed in a lot of areas, and he’s been our best faceoff guy and one of our best penalty killers,’’ said Donato. He also said he thinks Rogers, taken in the fourth round of the 2006 NHL draft by the New York Islanders, has the tools to play professionally.
Back spasms sidelined Rogers for the opening round of the Beanpot Tournament, but he returned to the Harvard lineup to score two goals and an assist Feb. 5 against Brown, and suited up for the Beanpot consolation game against Northeastern on Monday night, when the family rooting section at the TD Garden included his older brother, Jimmy, and four older sisters - Mary, Bethany, Jane and Catherine.
Mary Rogers, a Bentley College graduate, is the third-leading career scorer in Division 2 collegiate field hockey and was a three-time All-American; Bethany (Northeastern) and Jane (Boston University) were also field hockey All-Americans in college; Catherine played the game for Division 1 Maryland.
The basement of the Rogers home is overflowing with used ice and field hockey equipment, which prompted Doug to make a chair out of old hockey sticks to clear some space.
“All our children worked hard and had a passion for their sport,’’ said Jim Rogers. “Sports has taken them to the colleges of their choice and it’s been special for us as parents to watch each of them along the way.’’
Doug and Stephen grew up watching their sisters star in field hockey at Watertown High, and occasionally played goalie in their yard or in the street while the girls fired tennis balls at them with their sticks.
“I probably know the rules of field hockey better than most guys,’’ said Doug.
Trinity hockey coach Dave Cataruzolo, a Watertown native, was well acquainted with the Rogers family.
“I taught Doug and Stephen at a clinic in Natick when they were youngsters and grew up with Jimmy,’’ said Cataruzolo, “and I knew back then they’d both be outstanding hockey players. Stephen has an athletic maturity, the skill set and the size,’’ at 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, “and he’s already on our power play and penalty kill.’’
A three-time Midland Wachusett B Division All-Star at Groton-Dunstable Regional High who attended Middlesex Community College and the University of Massachusetts Lowell before enrolling at Wentworth, Dombrowski started in 18 of 19 games this season, and was the team’s second-leading scorer (10.1 points per game).
Dombrowski had recorded 10 or more points in nine games through last weekend, including a season-high 21 in an 83-65 win over New Jersey’s Berkeley College. He was also averaging 3.4 rebounds per game and was named the Commonwealth Coast Conference Rookie of the Week on Dec. 6.
“We expected Adam to have a longer transition to college basketball, but it’s been very smooth and he brings a tough-minded approach to the game,’’ said Leopards head coach Tom Devitt.
Among the top returnees for Bob DeFelice, in his 42d season as head coach of the Falcons, is junior right fielder James Roche of Arlington, a first-team All-Northeast-10 Conference selection last year who has 17 homers and 68 RBIs for his career at Bentley.
Marvin Pave can be reached at 508-820-4223 or marvin.pave@rcn. com.