Corey Rastello has had the opportunity to travel to numerous states, Minnesota, Colorado and Alaska, to name a few, and even accompanied the hockey team to Germany and Austria last season as the student equipment manager for the hockey team. But this winter he will be headed to a new destination not normally known for hockey, Turkey.
“Turkey is not really known for hockey so it will be interesting to see what it is like,” said Rastello who will serve as the equipment manager for the US Ice Hockey University Select Team at the World University Games in Erzurum, Turkey.
The World University Games started with the summer games in Turin, Italy in 1959 followed by a winter version in Chamonix, France the following year. The games have been held every other year since 1981.
Scott Aldrich, the manager of adult hockey for USA Hockey, contacted associate athletic director Joel Isaacson to see if he knew anyone who would be able to serve as equipment manager for the team. The connection between Aldrich and Isaacson runs deep. Isaacson
replaced Aldrich as equipment manager for the Huskies and Isaacson also served as equipment manager for Team USA at the World University Games in Innsbruck, Austria, in 2005.
“I had a great time working for Team USA at the World University Games,” said Isaacson. “It was fun traveling over seas and seeing hockey on an international level. USA Hockey does things right which made the trip that much easier. It was an awesome experience and I hope Corey has as much as I did.”
Isaacson recommended Rastello, who jumped at the chance.
“I didn’t hesitate when Joel asked if I wanted to do it,” said Rastello. “This is one of those situations you only get once in a lifetime.”
Rastello’s duties will not be much different than what he currently does with the Huskies: sharping skates, laundry and fixing equipment. One of the biggest changes will be that most of the equipment for the tournament such as a skate sharpener will be sent from a post that USA Hockey maintains in Germany.
Rastello will travel to Vermont for a mini-camp with the team, which is comprised of players from university club teams, Dec. 26-30 and will feature three games against Castleton State College, Saint Michael’s College and the University of Vermont. The team will also have another mini-camp in Chicago Jan. 21-24 before departing for the Games
The Games will feature pool play, with the United States joining Spain, Slovakia and Kazakhstan in Group C. The United States finished seventh in 2009, the best ever finish for Team USA at the World University Games.
The University Games mimic the Winter Olympics with 11 sports contested.
“I definitely want to check out skiing and snowboarding,” said Rastello. “We play every other day and I hope I have some free time to see some other sports while I am there.”
Rastello, a native of Calumet, will graduate in May with a degree in business administration. He is currently involved with the Advanced Portfolio Management Program at Michigan Tech, but he has his sights set on a career path away from finance.
“I would like to continue in the equipment field for a while. I would like to work in the American Hockey League.”