When Triton hockey coach Drew Wile went looking for some leaders for his team in the preseason, all he had to do was look a couple of yards in front of his net to his senior defensemen, Derek Donley and Jared Salmon.
“It doesn’t go by position,” Wile said of the captain position. “It goes by leadership, and it goes by work ethic — on and off the ice. I’ve had Jared for three years and he’s been damn near perfect. Derek has come here, this is his second year, and he has assumed a leadership role. You’re not going to find two guys that practice the way they do. If our guys practiced the same as these guys, I wouldn’t be worried about four losses.”
Although he grew up in Salisbury, Donley joined the Vikes from Winnacunnet High School in Hampton, N.H., the same year that Wile returned to the fray as coach. Winning has been a big part of their game, making the tournament both seasons. Currently standing at 9-4-0, the Vikes look assured to do the same this season as well.
“They welcomed me like a regular family, it was good to see,” Donley said of the Vikes. “These were the kids I grew up with, and it’s nice to work with the kids who worked at this basically their whole lives.”
For Salmon, it was simply the return of an old friend.
“I’ve known Derek for a while,” said Salmon. “We go back since elementary school and I’ve always known he was a good hockey player too. So I think we all looked at it as a positive when we knew who was coming in and what he had to offer for this team.”
What both captains offer their team is a blue-collar attitude. They get the job done, even if it means letting their teammates get all the attention up front.